Shifting Cultivation, Livelihood and Food Security: New and Old Challenges for Indigenous Peoples in Asia | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2014
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

This briefing note presents the findings of seven case studies conducted from May to June 2014. The studies were conducted in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Thailand and looked into the livelihood and food security among indigenous shifting cultivation communities in South and Southeast Asia. The briefing note provides a summary of the main findings of the case studies and the common recommendations from a multi-stakeholders consultation held August 28-29 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Participants at the multi-stakeholder consultation included government agencies, UN agencies, regional NGOs, Indigenous Peoples’ organisations, community leaders, and local governments. Shifting cultivation and food security Across South and Southeast Asia a large number of people depend for their livelihood and food security fully or partly on shifting cultivation. The majority of the people practicing shifting cultivation in South and Southeast Asia belong to ethnic groups that are referred to as ethnic minorities, tribal people, hill tribes, aboriginal people or, as they increasingly call themselves, Indigenous Peoples. Shifting cultivation is probably one of the most misunderstood and thus controversial forms of land use. Over the past decades, arguments brought forward against this form of land use – that it is an economically inefficient and ecologically harmful practice – have been proven inaccurate or outright wrong. Yet, shifting cultivators are still widely discriminated and neglected and in most countries their land and resource rights are not recognized and protected. The studies take stock of the changes in livelihood and food security among indigenous shifting cultivation communities in South and Southeast Asia against the backdrop of the rapid socio-economic transformations currently engulfing the region.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Asia_Indigenous_Peoples_Pact, (AIPP) International_Work_Group_for_Indigenous_Affairs, (IWGIA)
Corporate Author(s): 

The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) is a regional organization founded in 1988 by indigenous peoples' movements. AIPP is committed to the cause of promoting and defending indigenous peoples' rights and human rights and articulating issues of relevance to indigenous peoples. At present, AIPP has 47 members from 14 countries in Asia with 14 National Formations, 15 Sub-national Formations and 18 Local Formations. Of this number, 6 are Indigenous Women's Organizations and 4 are Indigenous Youth Organizations.

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