SLASH & BURN
Slash & burn agriculture is a farming method that is used to create a field called a swidden. The usual method is to cut down all trees and woody plants in an area. This downed vegetation, or “slash”, is then left to dry. Usually this is done right before the rainiest part of the year. Then, the biomass is burned, resulting in a nutrient-rich layer of ash which makes the soil fertile, as well as temporarily eliminating weed and pest species.
First rain flushes away big parts of this ash, ‘washing out’ the swidden and oversaturating rivers and the sea, especially harming and killing the coral reefs.
After about three to five years, the plot’s productivity significantly decreases due to depletion of nutrients along with weed and pest invasion. This causes the farmers to use chemical treatment and finally abandon the field and move over to a new area. After that the soil is left bare and with no protection against erosion. The time it takes for a swidden to recover depends on the location and can be as little as five years to more than twenty years, after which the plot will be slashed and burned again, repeating the cycle.
An additional burden for humans and the environment through this method is the enormous smoke development. In some cases, this is so strong that it still has harmful effects on health in neighboring countries and also creates political tensions.
Bomb fishing, also known as dynamite fishing, is a highly destructive, largely illegal method of catching fish by using dynamite or other types of explosives to send shock-waves through the water, stunning or killing fish which are then collected afterwards.
This method is highly destructive to the ecosystem as it kills all organisms surrounding the Impact Zone, while only a small percentage of killed fish is used by the fisherman. Furthermore it damages the physical structure of corals along the reefs which are vital to the coastal ecosystem.