Shifting cultivation in the sacred himalayan landscape

Shifting cultivation is an indigenous farming practice prevalent in forested highland communities of the Eastern Himalayas. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) is a part of Eastern Himalayan landscape. KCA is a community managed area occupying 2,035 sq. km in Taplejung district in eastern Nepal. It is one of the
biodiversity hotspots in Sacred Himalayan Landscape (SHL). Shifting cultivation also called bhasme locally in KCA is a common practice of the ethnic communities residing in this area. Shifting cultivation mostly termed as slash and burn is constrained by policies and people practicing this farming systems are projected illegal however, this is still found to be a major source of food security for the poor and marginalized people. Therefore, this age old practice of rural farmers require due attention in the changing political context. Against these backdrops, this publication is an attempt to bring issues in light and help start a policy debate on shifting cultivation for sustainable development, food security and biodiversity conservation.