“We Don’t Need to Worry Because We Will Find Food Tomorrow”: Local Knowledge and Drivers of Mangroves as a Food System through a Gendered Lens in West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Lucinda Middleton, Puji Astuti, Benjamin M. Brown, Julie Brimblecombe, Natasha Stacey

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Abstract

Indonesia is home to the greatest area of mangroves globally, which provide an essential source of livelihoods and food for millions of people. Despite this, there is a gap in the empirical evidence on the role mangroves play as a food system and the diversity of species they provide. This study aimed to examine mangroves as a gendered food system through the knowledge of community mangrove resource users in West Kalimantan. The research applied a case study approach, using gendered focus group discussions and a participatory seasonal food mapping method in two villages. The research identified participants’ extensive local knowledge of 276 species across 12 food groups sourced seasonally from mangroves primarily for food and as a source of income. Barriers to utilizing mangroves for women were influenced by socio-cultural norms, including but not limited to gender roles and access to fishing infrastructure, while men alone faced political and institutional challenges to mangrove utilisation. This study found that mangroves are an important local food system in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and argues for greater consideration of the contribution mangroves make to local food and nutrition security. This study contributes to a growing global discourse of gendered food systems and inclusion of local knowledges in natural resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3229
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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