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Shifting cultivation in Myanmar


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This presentation by Naw Ei Ei Min
was given at a session titled "How indigenous peoples use landscapes approaches to conserve forests: Good practices and challenges for food security and livelihoods" at the Global Landscapes Forum in Lima, Peru, on December 6, 2014.

The panel focused on the roles and contributions of indigenous women in landscape forest management. Also, the experiences from REDD+ in Asia were shared, linking it with the land use of indigenous peoples.

Published in: Environment
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Shifting cultivation in Myanmar

  1. 1. Naw Ei Ei Min POINT ( Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together)
  2. 2.  "Shwe Pyaung taung ya”- hill-farm.  Mostly in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin and Shan states  Estimated 15,000 ha per year ( REDD roadmap)  22.8%of the total land area (Forestry fact sheet, Forest Department, 1993)  15% of the forest area  Fallow Period ranging from 0 to 7 Years  1/10 of population rely on shifting cultivation (2004)  Reduced year by year
  3. 3.  All types of land belong to the state, use right do not own land  pioneering or unsustainable shifting cultivation are often listed as the main drivers of forest degradation.  "to discourage shifting cultivation practices causing extensive damage to the forests through adoption of improved practices for better food production and a better quality of life for shifting cultivators" The Myanmar Forest Policy (1995)  1992 Land use act for wasteland/Vacant land – 30 years
  4. 4. • Farmland Law • Customary land tenure is not recognized • Specifically communal/collective tenure is not allowed under the law • Rotational agriculture systems ‘shifting taungya’ is not recognised as a legal land-use under the law  land can not be registered • Vancant, Fallow and Virgin land law • Grazing and forest lands can not be communally titled • No independent legal redress in case of conflicts
  5. 5.  Hsin Hswe and Lake Poke , Natalin Township, Bago Division, Myanmar, Estimated 100 households, 2 hour to 5 hours on foot  Barter economy  Main Crops: chili, sesame, cotton for exchange and paddy. tomatoes and egg plants and corn for family consumption  5-7 fallow period, permission during Brithsh Colony, reduced land by illegal logging  Animal husbandry, turtle eggs and orchid  Rat Infestation (Hpjan's bulbous roots for food , wild pig eat bamboo flowers, cats for mice, traps and collective hunt, exchange rice with orchid and pork)  600 Kyats for tax
  6. 6.  5 villages Kanpetlet Township, Mindat District, Nothern Part of Chin State, Estimated 100 households, 24 hour on foot  Main Crops: rice, corn, Pickel tree leave, sweet potato, potato, egg plant, tomato, chili  Hunting (Gi, Sat, Tiger, wild pig, rabbit, wolf and butterfly) and fishing  Decreased fallow period in some area up to 1-3 year, stronger customary practice, high rate of migration  Selling and Plantation of Yam Seed, 5-6 USD per viss ( Chinese Market)  family income per month is between 20,000 and 50,000 kyats (20 to 50 USD)
  7. 7.  Shortening fallow period and reduced practices due to many reasons  Loss of traditional land due to investments (e.g. hydropower, agriculture);  Growing population;  Lack of land tenure over shifting cultivation land and surrounding forests;  Lack of viable alternatives to shifting cultivation and acceptable technologies or practices to improve or diversify slash-and-burn agriculture.
  8. 8.  Research and documentation on shifting cultivation and related studies  Acknowledge land tenure for sustainable shifting cultivator  Support services for indigenous peoples to enhance their livelihoods,  capacity building on innovations especially for women and youth, skills on agroforestry, NTFPs etc.  Biodiversity Conservation and Enhancement and protection against bio-piracy and unfair and illegal patenting