Accepted Paper:

Environmental changes in a floodplain of the Brazilian Amazon  


Esther Katz (IRD)
Annamaria Lammel (Université Paris 8)

Paper short abstract:

In a multidisciplinary project on environmental changes in a floodplain of the Brazilian Amazon, anthropologists study its knowledge and perception by the local populations.

Paper long abstract:

The floodplains of the Amazon river are rich and diversified ecosystems, but they are also vulnerable. The inhabitants of the floodplain of Curaí, near Santarem (Brazil), in the lower Amazon live according to the seasonal fluctuations of the water level. Their activities (centered on agriculture, fishing, cattle-raising) follow the rythm of the seasons. Strong floods used to happen about every 20 years, but recently they have been occuring every 3 years, reaching water levels previously unrecorded. In recent years, dry seasons have also been drier. Within a multidisciplinary project composed of hydrological, biological and social scientists, the anthropological research is focused on the knowledge, perception and use of the environment by the local populations, their observation and interpretation of the environmental changes, their adaptation strategies and their view of the future. The anthropologists also intend to play a part in the dialogue between scientists who study the environment and the local populations, in the restitution of the results and the elaboration of future scenarios.

Panel P039
Anthropological perspectives on environmental change and sustainable futures (Commission on Anthropology and the Environment)