Slash-and-burn agricultureW is a type of subsistence agriculture that involves cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create fields.

Overview[edit | edit source]

It is characteristic feature of shifting cultivatorsW and often cited as inherently destructive. However, slash-and-burn cultivation has been practiced in the Amazon for at least 6000 years;[1] serious deforestation did not begin until the 1970s, largely as the result of Brazilian government programs and policies.[2] However, in this period, it may not have been slash-and-burn agriculture that was practiced, rather slash-and-charW, which with the addition of organic matter produces terra pretaW, one of the richest soils on Earth and the only one that regenerates itself.

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Published 2012
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  1. Sponsel, Leslie E. (1986) Amazon ecology and adaptation. Annual Review of Anthropology 15: 67-97.
  2. Hecht, Susanna and Alexander Cockburn (1989) The Fate of the Forest: developers, destroyers and defenders of the Amazon. New York: Verso.
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