Out with the Old, in with the New

January 30, 2019
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reduction in deforestation in Makira

Slash-and-burn agriculture is a primary cause of rainforest destruction. And slash and burn doesn’t even work that well. It’s old tech. It only supports crops for a harvest or two, after which the soil is depleted and the plot must be abandoned. Move on to the next plot of rainforest; slash, burn, repeat. The rate of destruction far outpaces natural regeneration. Over half of Earth’s rainforests have been destroyed.

In the Makira National Rainforest, a spectacular expanse of nearly one million acres works toward abolishing slash-and-burn methods every day. The project works with local communities to develop more modern ways to grow food and maintain their livelihoods while promoting sustainability.

  • On land outside the forest, they are using soil and crop management instead of slash and burn, which has increased crop productivity by more than 100%.
  • More high-value, low-impact crops such as a clove, cocoa, and vanilla are being grown. This creates a higher income and breaks the reliance on rainforest resources and the cycle of sustenance poverty.
  • They are developing poultry and aquaculture as alternative sources of food and income, protecting endangered species from overhunting.
  • By educating hundreds of local teachers and environmental professionals to continually help the Makira, they are creating a culture of sustainability.

Local communities are thriving. The results are amazing. This project, with your support, has reduced deforestation in Makira by over 90% and carbon emissions by a million tonnes a year. By helping to put slash and burn into our past, you’re helping to keep rainforests and a healthier climate in our future.

Thank you for supporting this project, and Earth, in 2018.