Sacred Himalayan Landscape (SHL)
Although SHL is presently sparsely populated with about 5 million people, its inhabitants face abject poverty. Forestry, agriculture and tourism are dominant livelihood strategies adopted by over 80% people in the SHL.
Degradation of large tracts of agriculture, forest and pasture lands in the hills and mountains of the SHL seem to have considerably increased in last 2-3 decades. The predominant agro-pastoralist livelihood such as slash and burn or shifting cultivation or ‘khoriya’ practices in the mountains are associated with land degradation. Croplands are characterized by increasing soil erosion, landslides, slope failure, poor fertility and reduced cropping intensity. The mountains in the Sacred Himalayan Landscape are prone to natural disasters due to unstable geology and extreme climate. Landslides are the most common natural disasters in this region, caused by intense seasonal precipitation during monsoons.