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Towards a Practical Classification of Slash-and-Burn Agricultural Systems

Research reports

This paper proposed a simple working scheme to distinguish different types of slash-and-burn agriculture. The authors reviewed previous systems of classification and then divided 136 reported cases of slash-and-burn into nine groups, described by initial vegetation cover, resource users, final vegetation cover and length of fallow. The most commonly reported type was secondary forest cleared by indigenous people with a medium to long fallow (more than three years) leading to natural regeneration of the forest. The authors hoped that their system struck a useful balance between purpose-specific single-variable classifications and unwieldy multivariate classifications.

German Escobar, Sam Fujisaka