Rob Finlayson

Robert Finlayson is the Southeast Asia program's regional communications specialist. As well as writing stories for the Centre's website, he devises and supervises strategies for projects and the countries in the Southeast Asia region, including scripting and producing videos, supervising editors and translators and also assisting with resource mobilization.

Seeing swidden

Swidden aka shifting cultivation has long been criticised as an unsustainable agricultural practice in Southeast Asia. Research is revealing its complexities and benefits   Swiddening, that is, the practice of clearing forest for annual crops and then managing...

Myanmar looks to agroforestry for its uplands

A new project promoting agroforestry as a sustainable alternative to shifting cultivation in the uplands of Myanmar has been received with enthusiasm. His Excellency U Win Tun, the Minister of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, officially launched the project, which will run until 2018, last Tuesday.

swidden, landscape

Key lessons for REDD+ schemes in swidden landscapes

Most forests are rich in ‘natural’ resources but they are also rich because local people have enriched forests through their knowledge and practice, such as in shifting cultivation, or swidden. Understanding how this works is critical for any...

Dr Rob Cramb, SEARCA, Agriculture and Development Seminar

The past, present and future of swidden agriculture

Swidden practices have often been viewed as highly destructive and only used by poor, upland farmers. However, that perception is changing as the practice itself changes.   Part 2 of the changing story of swidden agriculture. Read parts...

swidden, Philippines

Less swidden agriculture in Southeast Asia: effects on livelihoods and ecosystems

Scientists are analysing the transition from swidden agriculture to other land uses and how this affects farmers’ livelihoods and services provided by ecosystems   Part 1 of the changing story of swidden agriculture. Read parts 2 and 3...

New agroforestry horizons in Myanmar: the challenge of slash and burn

Myanmar is opening to the world and its agricultural systems are beginning to feel the pressure. World Agroforestry Centre scientists will soon start helping farmers with agroforestry, says Cathy Watson   Helping farmers to find alternatives to shifting...