Natural Hazards

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 2049–2079

Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of community food systems in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from Panaillo

  • Mya Sherman
  • James Ford
  • Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas
  • María José Valdivia
  • Alejandra Bussalleu
  • Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) Research Group
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11069-015-1690-1

Cite this article as:
Sherman, M., Ford, J., Llanos-Cuentas, A. et al. Nat Hazards (2015) 77: 2049. doi:10.1007/s11069-015-1690-1

Abstract

Rainfall variability and related hydrological disasters are serious threats to agricultural production in developing countries. Since projections of climate change indicate an increase in the frequency and intensity of climatic hazards such as flooding and droughts, it is important to understand communities’ adaptive capacity to extreme hydrological events. This research uses a case study approach to characterize the current vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the food system to hydrological hazards in Panaillo, a flood-prone indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon. Participatory methods were utilized to examine how biophysical and socioeconomic factors constrain or enable local adaptive capacity to climatic hazards over time. Seasonal flooding was shown to strongly influence agriculture and fishing cycles. Panaillo residents have developed several adaptive strategies to adjust to hydrological extremes, such as food-sharing and the cultivation of fast-growing crops on riverbeds. However, Panaillo residents generally lack the necessary human, physical, social, and natural resources to effectively employ their adaptive mechanisms as a result of major social and environmental changes in the area. Economic development, low institutional capacity, climate variability, and the assimilation social model in Peru all have profound effects on the food system and health by affecting the ways in which adaptive strategies and traditional livelihoods are practiced. Climate change has the potential to exacerbate these socioeconomic and biophysical drivers and further compromise community food systems in the Peruvian Amazon in the future.

Keywords

Climate change Adaptation Vulnerability, flood Food security Peru Amazon Food system Indigenous 

Supplementary material

11069_2015_1690_MOESM1_ESM.docx (101 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 100 kb)
11069_2015_1690_MOESM2_ESM.docx (132 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 131 kb)
11069_2015_1690_MOESM3_ESM.docx (130 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 129 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mya Sherman
    • 1
  • James Ford
    • 1
  • Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas
    • 2
  • María José Valdivia
    • 2
  • Alejandra Bussalleu
    • 2
  • Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) Research Group
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Fundación Cayetano HerediaUniversidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaLimaPeru

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