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Transforming the Human Complex of Biodiversity, Agriculture, and Food: New Coupled Social-Agroecologies of Adaptation and Resilience amid Mountain Hazards and Global Change (2016-2020)

Authors: Karl Zimmerer*, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Mountain Environments, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: Mountains, Food Security, Telecoupling, Coupled Human-Natural Systems, Agrobiodiversity, Agroecology
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Agrobiodiversity and its role in food production as well as food security, sovereignty, and nutrition are changing rapidly. In the Andean countries and elsewhere in Latin America and globally, the combination of agricultural, food system, and climate changes with other large-scale forces are propelling major transformations. These pose particularly formidable obstacles and potential opportunities among indigenous smallholders in mountainous areas. Multi-method research utilizing quantitative and qualitative data analysis is presented. Human-environment interactions and nature-society relations involving agrobiodiversity are subject to multi-scale transformations. This paper integrates a novel conceptual model and integrated analysis using new empirical data based on recent field studies in Peru together with governance recommendations regarding agrobiodiversity in relation to food security, food sovereignty, and nutritional health in both the Global South and Global North. The paper’s framework develops a model of household and community decision-making about agrobiodiversity amid telecoupled food-system and global change transformations. Estimated adaptation/resilience addresses capacities and limits by combining the above results with a region-scale approach that incorporates perspectives from the coupled-system and complexity sciences with feminist political ecology. These perspectives examine the fused roles of emergent human-environment interactions and affect in relations to agrobiodiversity.

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