4 themes

• Jhum (shifting) cultivators conserve forests and make it productive at the same time. Said researcher Drupad Choudhury of the G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, " Jhumia s nurse and nurture forests back into their jhum fields, while conventional farmers banish the forest from their fields'. He felt it was also a way of forest management at the landscape level. V T Darlong, senior scientist at the Union ministry of environment and forests, forcefully argued that "the basic philosophy of shifting cultivation has been to create forests and not to destroy forests, for without forests the next jhum cannot be cultivated.'

• Jhum cultivation conserves biodiversity

• Jhum cultivation systems are a storehouse of innovative organic farming practices and crop species of commercial value, such as the method of pollarding alders in Khonoma, Nagaland, a innovated tree management system

• Jhum cultivation supports the continuity of social institutions in hill societies, as also traditional institutions, customs and tenure systems.