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Expanding slash-and-burn agriculture
Community members’ fields are usually on land where almost all the trees are felled and the vegetation is burned. This slash-and-burn method of cultivation rapidly depletes the soil of nutrients, and is not guaranteed viable beyond two years. As local communities repeatedly clear a new fields, this unfortunately leads to deforestation and the premature desiccation of rivers. Original fields are abandoned and it takes several decades of fallowing for the land to be usable again. In the OKKPS landscape, as the need for fertile land increases with population expansion, farmers make illegal incursions into the Soyah and Penselli Classified Forests, and into the Sabouyah Reserve in search of new cropland. However, these communities then settle and hunt in these forests. This accelerates the degradation of natural habitats and the decrease in wildlife.