Slash-and-burn cultivation is the traditional way of producing rice in the hills. There are still slash-and-burn cultivation practices in use, even inside Bokeo Nature Reserve. In the south of the reserve, these practices take place in a buffer zone between the main road and the primary forest further into the reserve.
In the old forest, most biodiversity lies in the canopy and could not be replaced if destroyed. In the young forest, biodiversity lies on the ground and is activated by forest fires.