Shawi food systems, security, and safety

Indigenous Shawi live in remote communities located on an Amazonian river, dependent on agro-fishing livelihoods. Traditional spiritual cosmology plays a key role in Shawi understanding of and relationship with the environment. Women and men are responsible for agriculture, whereas only men hunt and fish. The high prevalence of anemia (65%) and stunting (39%) we have measured among children identify food insecurity as a significant challenge facing Shawi communities.

Climate Change & Food

Agro-fishing livelihoods are strongly linked to a flood-pulse system, which triggers ecological processes and influences the timing of socioeconomic activities. Climate change is projected to increase hydrological extremes (i.e., droughts and flooding) and double extreme El Nino episodes, which will affect the way the flood-pulse system works and the Shawi people’s ability to access food.

While Amazonian ecosystems and traditional practices (e.g. food-sharing) are adapted to seasonal variability, communities are concerned that climate change will reduce resilience.

Relevant Publications

Sherman, M., Ford, J., Llanos-Cuentas, A., Valdivia, M.J., Bussalleu, A., IHACC Research Group. (2015).Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of community food systems in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from Panaillo. Natural Hazards.

Sherman, M., and Ford., J. (2013). Market engagement and food insecurity after a climatic hazard. Global Food Security, 2(3): 144-155.

Sherman, M., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., et al. (2012). Balancing Indigenous Principles and Institutional Research Guidelines for Informed Consent: A case study from the Peruvian Amazon. American Journal of Bioethics: Primary Research, 3(4): 1–16.

Hofmeijer I, Ford JD, Berrang-Ford L, Zavaleta C, Carcamo C, Llanos E, Carhuaz C, Edge V, Lwasa S, and Namanya D (2012). Community vulnerability to the health effects of climate change among Indigenous populations in the Peruvian Amazon: A case study of from Panaillo and Nuevo Progreso.Mitigation and Adpatation Strategies for Global Change.

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