Sayan Hazra is an independent documentary storyteller based in India. So far Sayan has been focusing on personal projects because this is the only way he can work on subjects he deeply cares about. He believes in producing work that pushes...
While humans across the world seem to be working towards the extinction of their environment, Khonoma, a village of north-eastern India, has woken up to the cries of nature. Khonoma demonstrated a resolute will to conserve biodiversity and wildlife. By establishing and strengthening systems of natural resource management and conflict resolution, including through the development of the 'Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary', the village exemplifies a search for appropriate and sustainable development. All this is embedded in the traditional ethos of the village, coupled with an openness to experiment with new technologies and ideas from outside the village. In 1998, the Khonoma village council declared its intention to protect about 2,000 ha (20 sq.km.) of the forest as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary. They have banned hunting, logging, jungle burning besides banning abstraction of natural resources like dzükou lily, orchid, and other wildflowers in order to protect the rich biodiversity of the village. This conservation depicts a remarkable transition in a state where animals are not just killed for sustenance but as a centuries-old tradition. Khonoma is probably the only place in Nagaland, India where hunting was banned in the entire village throughout the year. Khonoma is known not only for being the last frontier the British could never conquer but also for its environmentally-conscious Angami community and distinct farming practices in India. Khonoma has been practicing the traditional alder (Alnus nepalensis ) based agroforestry system which is an age-old ecological farming practice. Nagaland, which falls under the Eastern Himalayan zone, is home to this species. Agroforestry not only helps in climate change mitigation but also climate change adaptation. The Angami community also maintains a 600 years old ‘terraced field’ at the foothills where paddy and other crops are cultivated. These farmers do not use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Even at a height of 1,621 meters water is in more than abundance due to Khonoma’s age-old water harvesting technique which is connected with 3 rivers namely Dzudza, Khuru and Dzulerudi. These paddy fields are irrigated through streams. The community works together to create channels that lead the water up to the fields.
Note: This gallery does not include all images from this project.