In the Trinidad area of Beni, Bolivia, traditional agriculture has resulted in the gradual disappearance of the rainforest.
However, this slash-and-burn approach, while it clears land for agriculture, also means that this land becomes unfertile within just a few years and has to be abandoned.
However, Oxfam is helping reintroduce a 3,000-year-old alternative called camellones which is good news for both farmers and the surrounding forest.
Camellones combines raised fields with canals. This protects crops during flooding by diverting the water, and helps ensure that crops can be irrigated during periods of drought (not to mention, that fish can be farmed in the canals as an additional benefit.)
This ancient technique also helps keep the land very fertile, so the raised fields can produce crops year after year, while the rainforest remains untouched. As Oscar Saavedra, from local Oxfam-partner, Kenneth Lee Foundation which is helping to pioneer this sustainable agricultural approach, points out: "it creates a balance between the dry and wet seasons, enabling people to live with the process of nature rather than challenging it."