Impact of Shifting Cultivation on Green Infrastructure: A Remote Sensing Perspective

Amit Kumar


The study deals with the spatio-temporal dynamics with special reference to shifting cultivation in Nagaland, Northeast India using multi-temporal satellite observation during the last three decades (1987-2017). The study exhibited a significant change in green infrastructure over the temporal scales and highlights the influence of shifting cultivation in the region as evident in the initial decade of observation (1987, 1991, 1996) compared to recent decades barring 2013. The principal component analysis of major vegetation indices highlights a decrease in very high green infrastructure while an increase in very low, moderate, and moderately high green infrastructure (by 69.25%) during 2005-2020 in Nagaland. Although green infrastructure is the most dominant land surface feature (74.25%) in Tuensang district, the large parts were significantly affected due to shifting cultivation (9-17%) and footprint of shifting cultivation as fallow land (29.79% to 30.15%) during 1987-2017. The topographical control was observed on hills with gentle slopes (>15%) with southeastern, south, and southwest aspects for shifting cultivation while an increase was observed in the higher relief. The reduction in the cycle of shifting cultivation and its transformation to permanent intensive agriculture will have a far more negative repercussion on the ecosystem. The study necessitates the incorporation of sustainably managed methods in conjugation with the traditional customs and practices to maintain environmental boundary conditions by means of promotion of agroforestry and tree-based land uses to reshape the adversities of shifting cultivation.


Vegetation Indices, Jhum Cultivation, North East India, Geoinformatics


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