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Soil aspects of the lndonesian benchmark area of the global project on alternatives to slash and burn

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The global project on 'Alternatives to Slash and Burn' agriculture was ,initiated by a consortium of international and national research institutes to speed up intensification of the use of convened forest land, in order to help protect the f;"remairling forest areas for their biodiversity values as well as role vis-a-visgreenhouse gas emissions. In the first phase of the project, benchmark areaswere chosen and fun her (:;haracterized in Brazil, Camerbon and Indonesia. Datafor the Indonesian t)enchmark areas on Sumatera are discussed here in the lightof the hypothesis that '1ntensifying land use as alterrlative to slash-and-burnfarming can help to reduce deforestation, conserve biodiversity, reduce netemission of greenhouse gasses and alleviate poverty', We conclude that thist1ypothesis indicates only one of three necessary conditions. Apart from farmeradaptabletechnologies, effective protection of the remaining forests is needed aswell as a reduction of other driving forces of deforestation.

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