Background A sustainable planet for everyone requires improving the nutrition of minorities and historically excluded populations. Indigenous people in South America are among those more affected by multiple forms of malnutrition, and the Amazon ecosystem is increasingly experiencing dramatic changes including more frequent and intense extreme weather events. In the context of a research project aimed to investigate the potential of food biodiversity to protect Amazon Indigenous people nutrition in the light of more intense and severe flooding, we have created a Community Advisor Board (CAB) to increase the impact of the project, and to provide with advice to conduct a meaningful and cultural adequate implementation of the project.
Methods One climatologist, two senior nutritionists (male and female) and two women Indigenous leaders, were invited to participated in the CAB through official letters by email. All except the climatologist, replied positively. As part of the first year we have developed three online working meetings (1 to 2 hrs each). The CAB have provided advice to adapt an online dietary assessment tool (myfood24), to perform a pilot study for creating a photo album of Indigenous food portions, and to advise on how to approach Indigenous communities nutritional needs during the still on going COVID-19 pandemic in the Peruvian Amazon.
Results Four critical points were highlighted by the CAB for increasing the impact of the project: 1) to seek to increase the resilience of Indigenous food diets to climate change for example by identifying what crops were ’climate resistant’ according to Indigenous knowledge, 2) It was recommended to collect recipes that have protected indigenous communities during COVID-19 since ‘food’ was also used as ’medicine’ among Indigenous people, 3) the investigation of food biodiversity informs Indigenous food resilience this was mentioned as being highly important to protect indigenous nutrition during extreme weather events and even during COVID-19, and 4) It was recognized that gender differences were important to consider because of biological differences between male and female, for food consumption (e.g. portion sizes and food distribution within households vary between sexes) and because women were the protectors and safeguarders of knowledge to produce and collect plants from the forest
Conclusion The CAB was stablished with two Indigenous and two non-Indigenous members. The CAB encouraged the researchers to share the data collected with other indigenous groups in the Amazon to increase their resilience to climate change and to inform peruvian authorities about the nutrition content of Indigenous foods
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