• DJ

    Part (but not all) of this problem stems from poverty and overpopulation. There are slash-and-burn farmers who have been using these methods for generations (sometimes centuries). But as population grows, the impact of the forests is greatly increased. And the farmers have no money to try (or in some cases even learn) new agriculture practices.

    In Sri Lanka, not far from the Sinharaja rainforest, I met a Buddhist monk who, with funds donated from the UK, was helping some of these farmers convert to sustainable practices, thereby saving hundreds of acres of rainforest.

    However to be accurate, in some countries there are also unscrupulous loggers who have no excuse except their own greed.

  • It’s not just small farmers. Slash and burn is done on an industrial scale in Indonesia. Huge fires. Big money.

  • Joe Hartley

    Are there any data on the mix between big and small farmers using slash and burn? I would think that larger outfits would be more likely to harvest whatever timber is available rather than incinerating it.

    It is important to note that most of the forest fires in Indonesia are man-made. Much of these fires have been and continue to be set to expand its palm oil, wood pulp and other rubber industry.
    Forest fires are burning out of control in forest, plantations and scrub-land chiefly in Sumatra and Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of Borneo); it is now estimated that up to 1 million ha is burning. The fires have originated from timber and plantation companies burning land (often illegally)

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