How can we ensure that partnerships are transformative?

Securing and enhancing access to land for smallholders in shifting cultivation systems

Basement Room A-122 September 8, 2017 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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Andreas Heinimann1, Athong Makury2, Joan Bastide3

1University of Bern, CDE, Switzerland; 2Chairman of Council of Naga Affairs, Myanmar; 3Onemap Myanmar, University of Bern, CDE country office Myanmar


For decades, shifting cultivation has been a widespread land use system in the uplands to the humid tropics especially in southeast Asia, securing the livelihoods of millions. Despite the pull factor of economic integration, which favours other forms of land use, and frequent push factor of government policies aiming to eradicate the practice, shifting cultivation remains widespread in many upland regions today. Based on a largely flawed policy makers and political elites ’ general perception of shifting cultivation as a backward and underdeveloped form of land use, representing a poverty trap, and mainly responsible for the continuing deforestation and forest degradation, shifting cultivators in many countries have no formal land rights for their fields and fallow system. Increasing claims on land, be it through commercialization of agriculture, large scale land acquisitions or conservation, have led to the loss of access to land, frequently with no or inadequate compensations, of many shifting cultivation community.

The objective of this session is to bring together different perspectives and approaches on how the security of access to land of shifting cultivation communities can be enhanced. Thereby the sessions aims at fostering exchange and joint learning between researcher, practitioners and representative of affected indigenous people (e.g. .Naga). Inputs may e.g. include different customary land use mapping approaches, advocacy measures, or examples of science-CSO-policy dialogues employed towards enhanced security of access to land.