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MacArthur Foundation and UNESCO undertook a research program in north east India

MacArthur Foundation and UNESCO undertook a research program in north east India

From January 2001 to December 2005, assisted through a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, UNESCO implemented a research project in two study sites, namely, Namdapha and West Kemeng area of Arunachal Pradesh.

Hotspot of biodiversity
With over 100 culturally distinct ethnic societies and hosting a wide range of forest types as well as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the region is considered a “hotspot” of global biodiversity.

MacArthur Foundation and UNESCO undertook a research program in north east India

The damage
The rapid decline in the forest cover called for an urgent need to reverse the damage. Hence a research team of scientists initiated a five year-long research.

The achievements
By the end of the program a network of over thirty scientists from six different institutions located within and outside Arunchal Pradesh had worked together and, in summary, achieved the following:

  • Promotion of the Apatani landscape and adjoining areas as a natural cultural world heritage site under the UNESCO’s World Heritage;
  • A research based synthesis volume entitled “Shifting Agriculture and Sustainable Development: Tradition in Transition”;
  • A policy document which is relevant to the north-east of India in general and for the state of Arunachal Pradesh in particular;
  • An audio-visual documentary on the Apatani cultural landscape entitled “When the Mist is Lifted”;
  • UNESCO-CEE (Center for Environment Education) outreach publication, “One Sun two Worlds – An Ecological Journey”.
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