Journal of Agriculture & Life Sciences

ISSN 2375-4214 (Print), 2375-4222 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jals

Integrated Watershed Management: An Alternative Approach for Sustainable Development in Nagaland
M. S. Rawat

The Indian State of Nagaland is characterized by a great degree of inaccessibility, fragility, marginality, diversity, specific niche opportunities and a unique human ecology. These biophysical characteristics also give rise to interlinkages that create objective circumstances influencing the use and patterns of natural resources and ultimately affecting the mountain environment. Degradation of watershed resources threatens the livelihood of tribal people of Nagaland. This distress migration from the Naga hills of active population affecting development potential in terms of resources and talents. The environmental degradation and development experience over the last fifty years indicates that the existing development planning is urgently to be modified to ensure the wise use of natural resources and their conservation, environment and development. Environmental degradation is often associated with shifting cultivation (Jhum) which is a traditional farming system of more than 80 per cent of the Naga people who are subsistence farmers. Actions urgently need to be taken by the political leaders, policy and decision makers at the highest level of government to implement the alternative approach of integrated watershed management for sustainable development of Nagaland. This holistic approach provides an ecologically sound economic base for the watersheds and its people which is now widely recognized as an important tool for vitalizing rural economies through simultaneously rehabilitating degraded ecosystems. The aim of this paper is to highlight the urgent need of the implementation of massive watershed management activities in Nagaland where environment and development are not yet in a satisfactory level after spending huge grants and a big span of time.

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