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Drivers of Deforestation?Facts to be considered regarding the impact of shifting cultivation in Asia

An estimated 260 million indigenous peoples live in Asia1. Most of them inhabit forested uplands where a large number of them practice shifting cultivation, which is also called as swidden cultivation or rotational farming. For them, shifting cultivation is not merely a technique of farming; it is their way of life. Government policies and laws have attempted to limit or outright ban shifting cultivation since it is considered a primitive and destructive form of land use. Recently, several governments of the region involved in REDD have identified shifting cultivation as a driver of deforestation in their REDD Readiness-Plan Idea Note (R-PIN)2 and Readiness Preparation Proposals (RPP)3.Decades of research on virtually every aspect of shifting cultivation has generated sufficient evidence to prove that its sweeping condemnation by government bureaucrats, politicians or professionals is based on insufficient and erroneous information, or quite simply myth4.Past state intervention aimed at restricting or eradicating shifting cultivation has had serious negative consequences for the affected indigenous communities, and we therefore call on SBSTA to ensure that the discussion on shifting cultivation in the context of identifying drivers of deforestation is not based on the old prejudices, but on the facts that have been well established by scientific researcher and is easily accessible.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Advocacy and promotional materials
Language of document
  • English
  • Agricultural processing
  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Ethnic minorities and indigenous people
  • Ethnic minorities and indigenous people policy and rights
  • Mitigation
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Asia
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Viet Nam
Copyright No
Version / Edition 1.0
License unspecified

Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Joan Carling, Christian Erni,

Co-author (individual) Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Joan Carling and Christian Erni
Publisher Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP); International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
Pagination 12
Date uploaded June 13, 2015, 01:10 (UTC)
Date modified August 7, 2020, 00:49 (UTC)