Global Warming Scapegoat: A New Punishment Measure Imposed on Indigenous Peoples for Practicing their Sustainable Traditional Livelihood Activities

In a dramatic incident, the Government of Thailand arrested and penalized villagers in Northern Thailand with up to THB 3,181,500 (USD 96,409) and imprisonment for “causing deforestation and rise in temperature”. The villagers were clearing the fallow-fields in their traditional shifting cultivation area for their livelihood.

They were penalized ignoring all scientific evidences that shifting cultivation does not make any significant contribution to global warming. In fact, recent studies show that fallow forest of shifting cultivation has a high capacity for carbon sequestration apart from contributing to diversity of forest types at the landscape level and thus overall biodiversity.

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