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.
This publication was first published as Dressler et al. 2015 Journal of Development Effectiveness 3:15; http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19439342.2014.991799