Environmental Impact of Shifting Cultivation and its Management: A Case Study of Mizoram, India

Himanshu Joshi
Kalpataru Kar

DOI: 10.2190/3JA1-1CN3-N1UL-670N


Global concern about the environment at the Stockholm Conference in 1972 led several countries to assess the environmental impacts of their development activities. Unlike the case with developed countries, environmental problems in developing countries like India mostly arise due to the lack of balanced development. The ills of the continuing practice of shifting cultivation (jhum) in the northeastern region of India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal, Manipur, Tripura), other regions of the country (Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka), and the world (sections of Africa, Indonesia, Burma, and China) are now being realized. This study examines the adverse effect of shifting cultivation from a holistic view point. Quantification of the effects of management options on overall ‘system status’ is also attempted by means of the technique of composite programming. This allows alternative management strategies to be compared in light of their efficiency and their potential to arrest environmental degradation.

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