Examining how long fallow swidden systems impact upon livelihood and ecosystem services outcomes compared with alternative land-uses in the uplands of Southeast Asia

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Swidden agriculture or shifting cultivation has been practised in the uplands of Southeast Asia for centuries and is estimated to support up to 500 million people - most of whom are poor, natural resource reliant uplanders. Recently, however, dramatic land-use transformations have generated social, economic and ecological impacts that have affected the extent, practice and outcomes of swidden in the region. While certain socio-ecological trends are clear, how these broader land-use changes impact upon local livelihoods and ecosystem services remains uncertain. This systematic review protocol therefore proposes a methodological approach to analysing the evidence on the range of possible outcomes such land-use changes have on swidden and associated livelihood and ecosystem services over time and space.

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