CHARACTERISING INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT IN INDIAN HIMALAYAN SLOPING LANDS
D. C. SHARMA
Viewing environmental perspectives and growing concerns related to ecological balance in nature together with social, agricultural, industrial and economic developments, sustainable development of ecosystems has become a crucial issue with a particularity to hill and mountain regions around the world. Out of a vast coverage on sustainable development, SLM (Sustainable Land Management) is one important ecosystem module that itself has a wider expansion and is construed of several folds and dimensions which have been standardised well by an international working group consisted of Agriculture Canada, IBSRAM (now merged with IWMI), FAO, TROPSOIL, USDA-SCS, IFDC and others in the form of a standardised guideline, i.e., FESLM (Framework for Evaluating Sustainable Land Management). In view of a comprehensive account on SLM, indicators of sustainability of land management have been characterised on the basis of five pillars viz. productivity, security, protection, economic viability and acceptability in the hill areas covering a long stretch of western, eastern and entire north-eastern Himalayas encompassing the states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Assam Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur etc. in the present study. Various parameters have been chosen to carve out indicators satisfying each basic five pillar of the FESLM standard. Also, the efficacy of these indicators has been observed on some of the important agricultural systems being used in practice in different sloping lands in India; thus, it has been concluded that the sustainability needs to be enhanced in north-eastern Himalayan farming systems.
FESLM, sustainable land management, indicators, himalayan, sloping lands
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