Livelihood options fundamental to conservation
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 2: One of the key elements of a successful community conservation model, and its effective implementation, is the participation of indigenous women in decision-making process.
This was stated by the Chairman of Sukhai Community Conserved Areas (CCA) and leader of Tizu Valley Biodiversity and Community Livelihood Network (TVBCLN), Ivan Jimo at the 2nd edition of Nagaland Regional Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum 2021, held on August 1 at Sukhai Village in Zunheboto district.
According to a DIPR bulletin, the event was organized to bring together community voices, Government officers, SHG groups, farmers and indigenous organizations towards understanding community conservation model in Sukhai, and exploring opportunities for a sustainable future.
“For a conservation model to be successful, as much the indigenous knowledge of the community is essential, the participation and engagement of indigenous women in the decision-making process is an important aspect for effective implementation”, Jimo said.
Talking about traditional farming methods once practiced in Community Conserved Areas across Sukhai and nearby villages, Jimo stated that conservation won’t be successful until livelihood options are provided to the people.
He also said that shifting or jhum cultivation does not always degrade the ecology and it is a far more economically and biologically sustainable way of farming when compared to settled form of agriculture.
According to the report, Sukhai has taken every effort to mobilize the community members towards preserving its land and the rich biodiversity.
Jimo also highlighted the indigenous culture and tradition of Sema Naga communities which are interlinked to nature “since time immemorial”, it added.
Speaking on the issue of Article 371 (A) and land ownership in Nagaland, Chief Conservator of Forest (Environment, Biodiversity & Research), Nagaland, Supongnukshi stated that forest and ecosystem management in the State involves many stakeholders like, Forest Department, Agriculture Department and civil societies, amongst others.
“As per Forest Survey of India Report (2019), over 75.31% of total geographical area of Nagaland is under forest cover. Open forest category of forest lands largely fall under jhum fallow lands”, he informed.
An insightful presentation on ‘Biodiversity vis-à-vis Shifting Cultivation in Nagaland’ was delivered by Pikato V Jimo, the POU of Nagaland Empowerment through People Economic Development (NEPED) and General Secretary of Sukhai CCA.
Designed to promote insightful deliberations in context of indigenous people, forest management and traditional practices, the 2nd edition of Nagaland Regional Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum witnessed informative deliberations and presentations from an eminent panel of other speakers like Dr Rakesh Kumar Chaursia, Head & Senior Scientist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Nagaland; Heirang Lungalang, Chairman of Nagaland Community Conservation Area’s Forum (NCCAF); and Rokongulie Meyase, professional bird guide and tour operator from Khonoma CCA.
The grassroots colloquium was strategically designed and orchestrated to focus and explore indigenous perspectives on rural future context such as biodiversity conservation, community-led habitat restoration, harmonic co-existence with nature, grassroots climate action, resilient livelihood through sustainable agricultural practices, traditional handloom and handicrafts, according to the report.
It tried to delve into interesting case studies of the fringe communities in context of indigenous forest conservation, governance and management through Naga traditional customary laws and practices, the report added.
The Forum was organised by Balipara Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Assam. The 2nd edition of Nagaland Regional Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum was been hosted in partnership with the Tizu Valley Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Network (TVBCLN) and The Energy and Resources Institute of India (TERI).
The Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum was launched in 2013 to find solutions leading to important lessons for the communities and others, at all levels, from local to global.
(Page News Service)