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Dynamics of indigenous community’s food and culture in the time of climate change in the Himalayan region

Dynamics of indigenous community’s food and culture in the time of climate change in the... Global climate change has become the most significant challenge of modern times, confronting the lives and security of vulnerable societies around the world. The anticipated impact of climatic variability will be severe on local commu- nities, particularly those residing near high-risk prone zones such as coastal areas and mountain regions. The indig- enous knowledge and locally-held beliefs act as a refuge, which also prompt and prohibit the responsiveness towards climatic instabilities. Subsequently, ensuring food and nutritional security is the primary task of strategy makers. Hence, comprehensive knowledge of the indigenous traditional food habits and cultural values, beliefs, and gendered norms need to be explored on a priority basis to address the adverse impact of environmental changes, emphasizing the urgency of the Himalayan societies. Despite that, the integration of indigenous knowledge is not on the priority list of the researcher. Thus, this article reviews the existing literature on customary food habits to analyze the bidi- rectional association between climate change and the dietary practice of the indigenous communities for adapta- tion policy. PRISMA Statement technique is used for a systematic review of Scopus and Web of Science databases identified 24 related studies from 14 countries, with a specific focus on the Himalayan region, which resulted into four themes viz. impact of climatic variability of indigenous societies, the impact of climate change on community’s customary food beliefs, the impact of climate change on gender defined norms, climate change adaption strategies. The findings show that the current literature has failed to include the socio-ecological beliefs of traditional communi- ties associated with dietary habits. Thus, the focus should be given to integrate the locally held beliefs of customary societies for the successful adoption of climate change adaptation and food security programs. Keywords: Systematic review, Socio-cultural approach, Food practice and norms, Local communities, Qualitative approach Introduction are responsible for environmental change. Accordingly, Global climate change has become the most significant the anticipated impact of climatic variability will be challenge of modern times, confronting the lives of vul- severe for vulnerable communities such as those resid- nerable communities around the world. The indigenous ing near coastal areas and mountain regions [1]. Further, dietary habits of the Himalayan regions are changing due the severity of climate change on the natural ecosystem is to climate change, which is the new norm of the twenty- estimated to increase the possibility of higher incidence first century. Both anthropomorphic and natural factors of forest fires, infrequent rainfall, and unpredictable tem - perature change. Moreover, the environmental change for a more extended period of time would disturb the *Correspondence: sdas@hs.iitr.ac.in seasonal precipitation rates, affect the mountain ecosys - Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute tem, availability of water, and food security [2]. of Technology (IIT ) Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand 247667, India © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. 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Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 2 of 15 Furthermore, the ever-increasing importance and suggest climate change adaptation strategies for future global recognition of indigenous people’s knowledge, research focusing on the Himalayan region (Fig.  2). which suggests an alternative perspective about climate This section describes the motive of conducting a sys- change and nutritional security, is now a primary concern tematic review, whereas the second section explains of policymakers [3]. Besides that, the traditional knowl- the methodology and PRISMA Statement (Preferred edge of the local community acts as a refuge at the time Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta- of climate-induced emergency. Even the literatures have Analyses) approach. The third part systematically emphasized a significant connection between traditional reviews and synthesizes the empirical research work to dietary habits, climate change, and socio-cultural belief recognize, select and evaluate the existing studies on systems (Fig.  1); despite it, the integration of indigenous the importance of culturally-significant dietary beliefs knowledge is not on the priority list of the researcher. affecting the climate change adaptation and food secu- The impact of climatic variability varies among differ - rity of traditional communities, and discovers the per- ent social groups, and the underprivileged communities spectives for future research. The last section is the are the most vulnerable ones. Since most of the Himala- conclusion of this systematic review. yan population lives in rural areas, they lack the proper connectivity with the mainstream world. Hence, food Methodology security gets exacerbated at times of unfortunate climatic PRISMA Statement events. For that reason, comprehensive knowledge of the The current review has used the PRISMA statement. indigenous traditional food habits and cultural values, The PRISMA method is widely used in socio-ecological beliefs, and norms needs to explore on a priority basis studies [4–6]. This approach allows the researchers to to address the adverse impact of environmental changes, define the research objectives with substantial systematic emphasizing the urgency of the Himalayan societies. research. Also, it allows the identification of inclusion Subsequently, climatic variability has created wide- and exclusion criteria, which further aids in examining spread risks for indigenous people’s traditional dietary a larger database within a defined period [7]. Further, practices and food security in the Himalayan region. As a the PRISMA statement permits to search for literature result, local cultures have been forced to make significant related to multiple dimensions of climatic variabilities, adjustments in their traditional food choices. To make such as the impact on indigenous community’s dietary the policies sustainable and acceptable to the mountain- practices. ous people, they needed to be investigated, explored, and improved with suitable contributions from socio-cultural and scientific perspectives. Article collection Therefore, this study explores the piece of literature The present article is the systematic review of studies related to the dietary habits of traditional communities grounded on the analysis of the existing literature pre- during climate-induced emergencies. The systematic senting the effect of climate change on the traditional review aims to analyze the dynamic of socio-ecology dietary habits of the indigenous peoples in the traditional and culturally important indigenous eating practices communities. We collected the already published litera- for sustainable consumption patterns. Secondly, to ture in English only. Furthermore, primarily the Google Sociocultural Traditional dietary Norms habits Climate Change Dietary habits as Socicultural beliefs The reality of 21st way to explore the and norms are century associated norms signifcant in in the and beliefs in a Himalayan region tradtional society for dietary habits Fig. 1 Climate change, socio-cultural norms, and traditional dietary habits Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 3 of 15 Fig. 2 The Himalayan region of India Coding and theme generation scholar, Sciencedirect, Web of Science, and Scopus data- Thematic coding is a qualitative analysis that explores and bases were used for data mining, i.e., collecting relevant documents sentences or paragraphs having interlinkage articles and literature for analysis purposes. Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 4 of 15 Data abstraction and analysis through a common theme or idea. That allows the index - Initially, the data analysis was performed by scrutiniz- ing of the transcript into several groups and establishes ing the code frequency, prevalence, and co-occurrence a “framework of thematic ideas about it” [8]. Adapting employing the Atlas-ti 8 software to identify the inter- the thematic analysis approach of [9, 10], the subsequent linkage of codes and defined concepts at the prelimi - combinations of keywords or codes used are, i.e., cli- nary level. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate mate variability, OR environmental change, OR climate which codes are common and often occur together and change; AND food choice, OR food practice, OR dietary follow code prevalence across the articles [37]. Follow- habits, OR eating patterns, OR traditional food, OR tradi- ing a three-step thematic analysis, each secondary lit- tional diet, OR dietary shift, OR ethnic food; AND local erature was entered into qualitative data analysis tools culture, OR gendered norms, OR indigenous knowledge, [38]. Thematic analysis was conducted with the remain - OR traditional knowledge. ing literature on Atlas-ti version 8 software for qualita- tive data analysis [39]. The NCT (noticing, collecting, Criteria for inclusion and exclusion of articles and thinking) approach was employed for data analy- Since climate change started happening rapidly in recent sis. Consequently, the option of network-building fea- two decades [11], only those articles were selected, pub- ture, which is the major strength of Atlas-ti software, lished after 2000 for the current review article. Further, also aids in the examination of existing association and to be incorporated in this study, the article needed to correlation between the various studies incorporated report: the impact of climate change on the indigenous for the current article [40]. Finally, general themes and population and their perception, the socio-cultural sub-themes were defined. dynamics associated with the customary eating practice, and the gender dimension of dietary habits in traditional societies. Hence, studies published merely from quanti- Results tative or only from laboratory trials were not considered A total of 275 articles were collected during the initial for the analysis. The studies presenting only an indication search from different databases. Accordingly, after fol - in terms of significance or less significance of the social lowing the exclusion criteria, i.e., articles published and cultural aspects of food choices were also excluded. before 2000 (n = 22), lack of focus on socio-cultural The reports of the research projects focusing primarily dimension (n = 5), book chapters, book series, review on technological solutions were also omitted due to the articles, non-English articles (n = 12), technical reports, nature of the current analysis. lab and experimental reports (n = 14) (Fig .  3). Thus, only 24 articles were considered for systematic analy- Selection of studies sis, which met the inclusion criteria. Furthermore, only Initially, articles were mined to apply the search filters those studies were incorporated, using the qualita- to the titles, keywords, and abstracts. After the search, a tive approach, i.e., interview schedule to describe the second manual filter of complete reading of the titles and respondent’s observation. Regarding, year of publica- abstracts was conducted to improve bibliographic mate- tion, only those papers were systematically reviewed rial selection on the returned documents for further sys- that were published between 2006 and 2021, viz. six tematic review [12]. studies between 2006 and 2010, eight studies between 2011 and 2015, eight studies between 2016 and 2020, and one study in 2021. Further, eighteen studies were Approach for systematic review conducted on local or indigenous people, three stud- The systematic review was conducted in four stages. The ies were a consumer survey, and one was based on an first one was the identification of keywords to be used opinion poll. for relevant literature searches. Based on earlier research The majority of the research were carried out in the studies, the keywords with relevance and similarity with Himalayan region viz. in India [36, 21, 25, 28, 32–35], climate change, indigenous community, and traditional Nepal [13, 20], India and Nepal [22], China [15, 16], Paki- belief system (Table  1), duplicate articles were removed stan [14], Bhutan [23], Myanmar [24], Canada [26, 27], accordingly. At the second phase, i.e., the screening stage, Spain [17], Europe [29], Portland [19], Mexico [30], Joint out of 275 articles initially found eligible to be reviewed, research in Sweden, US, UK, and Japan [18], Nigeria [31], 198 articles were removed. At the third phase, i.e., eligi- as shown in Table 1. Studies incorporated for the system- bility, 53 secondary pieces of literature were removed due atic analysis were based on the traditional community’s to the irrelevance of studies for the current article follow- traditional eating practices and the impact of climate ing exclusion criteria. Finally, 24 articles were used for change on indigenous people. qualitative analysis (Fig. 3). Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 5 of 15 Table 1 The findings Author(s) Country/city Sample size Methodology Key findings Bhattarai et al. [13] Nepal Local farmer (n = 91), Focus Group Discus- Case studies, in-depth interviews, FGD, and Gender inequality due to socio-structural sion (FGD) (n = 4, 10–12 participants) participant’s observation norms; undermines the climate change adaptation Khan et al. [14] Pakistan Local communities (n = 120, 87 male and 33 In-depth interviews Lack of awareness of ethnobotanical plants; female) results in the careless use of natural resources Salick et al. [15] Tibet, China Sample size (Not mentioned) Ethnobotanical method and qualitative in- The severe impact of climatic change on the depth interviews livelihood, lifestyle, and traditional Tibetan culture of herding of animals Byg and Salick [16] Tibet, China Indigenous communities (n = 90, 45 female Semi-structured interviews Localized meaning of climate change based and 45 male) on socio-cultural, spiritual, and moral factors Gómez-Baggethun et al. [17] Spain Local people (n = 33), FGD (n = 3, 4–6 Interviews, FGD, and systematic reviews of Traditional beliefs systems associated with individuals) historical archives socio-ecological knowledge are crucial for a sustainable long-term solution Von Borgstede et al. [18] Sweden, US, UK, and Japan Opinion poll (n = 1500) in 2005 (n = 742) The longitudinal survey, opinion poll, close- Climate change is the reality; sustainable and 2010 (n = 615) ended questionnaires environmental friendly consumption choices possible solution Semenza et al. [19] Portland and Houston Participants (n = 1202, female = 787 and Mixed methodology The negligence of socio-structural norms; bar- male = 415) riers in climate mitigation efforts Gentle and Maraseni [20] Nepal Local household (n = 485) In-depth interviews, FGD, key informants Social inequalities and inequity in resource interviews allocation due to climate change; affecting vulnerable communities Vedwan [21] Himachal Pradesh, India Apple growers (n = 58) Semi-structured interviews Shift in traditional cropping pattern due to climate change in the Himalayan region Chaudhary and Bawa [22] India and Nepal Households (n = 225) In-depth interviews, focus group discussion The shift in agricultural practices of indig- enous communities. For example, apple production has severely been affected Katwal et al. [23] Bhutan Indigenous farmers (n = 404, male = 237, Survey with close-ended questionnaires The loss of one-third of traditional agrobiodi- and female = 167) versity in the region; emphasis on adoption of crops according to different agro-ecological zones Oo et al. [24] Myanmar Local farmers (n = 178), FGD (n = 7) In-depth interviews, FGD Poor socio-economic status negatively affects the adaptation policies in society Bhadwal et al. [25] Sikkim, India Local communities FGD (n = 8) In-depth interviews, FGD Gender norms in traditional communities affect adaptation; due to lack of access to human, financial, and natural capitals Guyot et al. [26] Canada Aboriginal communities (n = 2) In-depth interviews, FGD Impact of climate change on traditional dietary practices and consumption Ford [27] Canada Nunavut community In-depth interviews, FGD Impact of climate change on traditional dietary practices Upadhaya et al. [28] Meghalaya, India Tribal community (n = 2) In-depth interviews, FGD Traditional agriculture practice could result in sustainable consumption and environment Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 6 of 15 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Country/city Sample size Methodology Key findings Pieniak et al. [29] Europe Consumer survey (n = 4828) Cross-sectional quantitative survey Traditional food consumption depends on familiarity, naturalness, and health benefits Rojas-Rivas et al. [30] Mexico City Consumer survey (n = 610) In-depth interviews The association of traditional norms positively influence the dietary habits Akintan et al. [31] Nigeria The household survey (n = 350) Household surveys, semi-structured inter- ‘Ethnic-specific’ traditional norms and taboos views crucial in food choices of traditional society Chakraborty et al. [32] Uttarakhand, India Local households (n = 62) Household surveys, semi-structured inter- Socio-cultural norms are significant sustain- views able environment and dietary choices Malhotra et al. [33] Himachal Pradesh, India Local people (n = 20), FGD (n = 3) In-depth interviews, FGD Socio-ecological changes and affected the cultural norms linked to eating practices Singh et al. [34] Kashmir, India Native people (n = 113) Household surveys, interviews, semi-struc- Ethnobotanical knowledge is crucial for novel tured interviews nutraceutical products Nautiyal and Kaechele [35] India Sample size (not mentioned) Household surveys, semi-structured inter- Traditional mountain farming is sustainable for views the environment and indigenous societies Negi and Maikhuri [36] Uttarakhand, India Local villages (n = 62, sample size not Household surveys, semi-structured inter- Traditional agro diversity is insurance against mentioned) views, in-depth interviews disease and extreme climatic fluctuations Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 7 of 15 Records searched through Records identified from Scopus manual searches from Web of (n = 250) Science database (n= 25) Number of records after removalof duplicate files (n= 275) Screened records by title and Removed records after title/abstract screening (n=198) abstract (n= 275) Reports excluded: Articles published before 2000 (n=22) Excluded due to no focus on Reports assessed based on sociocultural dimension(n =5) eligibilitycriteria Book chapters, book series, (n=77) review articles, non-English articles (n = 12) Technological reports, lab and experimental reports (n= 14) Studies included in the systematic review (n = 24) Fig. 3 Systematic analysis The present study has systematically reviewed existing climatic variability of indigenous societies, the impact of studies on climate change and the impact of traditional climate change on community’s customary food beliefs, society’s lifestyle and attached cultural beliefs through the impact of climate change on gender defined norms, dietary practices. Climate change is the reality of the climate change adaption strategies. twenty-firstst century, which requires an integrated and The first theme has recognized that the negative impact holistic approach to address its impact on vulnerable of environmental change can have severely affected the communities. Thus, a rigorous review of the select arti - indigenous lifestyle of native people with seven studies. cles retrieved from two databases resulted in 24 papers For example, ethnobotanical species’ declining knowl- related to the significance of socio-cultural practices of edge has resulted in reckless usage of natural resources traditional communities in climate change adaptation. [14]. Similarly, the climatic variabilities have also affected Accordingly, four themes were generated viz. impact of their traditional way of living, such as animal herding, a Eligibility Screening Identification Included Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 8 of 15 significant customary practice of herding community resources in the Himalayan regions gets severely affected for their very existence in the mountain regions [15, 16]. due to climatic variability [41]. Therefore, examining Also, climate change affects the local biodiversity of the and measuring the depth of the awareness and percep- regions and impacts the local adaptation strategies [23]. tion related to climate change and its impact on local and uTh s, the traditional ethnobotanical knowledge [34], indigenous dietary habits are urgent for inclusive and indigenous method of farming [35], local agrobiodiver- comprehensive strategies. Climate change is anticipated sity act as insurance against climate-induced emergencies to raise temperatures and precipitation in the Himalayan [36]. region, putting pressure on traditional eating practices The second theme emphasizes the impact of environ - due to change in agrobiodiversity and cropping patterns. mental change on traditional dietary habits and attached However, the traditional diet is one of the local commu- customary practices of the local communities with ten nities’ solutions for adapting to climate change [42]. studies. For example, the shift in cropping patterns has For example, the early budburst is a recent phenom- led to a dietary shift in recent years, i.e., the productiv- enon in the mountainous regions due to rapid envi- ity of apples has been decreasing due to early budding ronmental changes, which have further forced the [21, 22]. Similarly, the shift in customary eating practice indigenous communities to change the agriculture pat- has also been observed due to climate change [26, 27]. tern. For example, apple production has severely been Further, in a traditional society, dietary habits depend affected. Also, change in temperature is highly felt at high on the familiarity and naturalness of food [29], custom- altitudes compared to lower altitudes [22]. Similarly, the ary norms [30], and taboos in indigenous communities lack of adaptive capacity makes the farmers more vulner- [31]. Thus, the socio-cultural norms and beliefs system is able to climate change, and the issue gets exacerbated imperative for environmentally sustainable practice [28, due to poor socio-economic status in society [24]. Fur- 32, 33]. thermore, the higher dependence of indigenous commu- The third theme explores the impact of changing cli - nities on forest and forest resources, i.e., about 1.6 billion mate on gender-associated norms on a traditional com- people rely on natural and forest resources, makes the munity, including three studies. Climate change is local perspective inevitable for sustainable solutions [43]. already widening inequality in society because it affects u Th s, local people’s and farming communities’ under - the vulnerable community the most, but women suffer standing of rural landscape management and sustain- the most due to defined gender roles. Further, gender dis - able bioresource use is an effective strategy for dealing parity leads to inequality in terms of access to financial with climate change. Hence, local people’s indigenous and natural resources, affecting their food and nutritional knowledge and climate change perspectives are crucial security [13, 20]. Thus, the inclusion of gender-defined for adaption strategies at the local level in the western norms of the traditional society is imperative for an Himalayan mountain ecosystem [44]. Also, the phenom- inclusive policy [25]. ena of environmental change will have an impact on ecol- The last theme documents the policy dynamics with ogy as well as on societal belief systems. Even one of the a focus on four studies. Climate change is the reality primary agenda of the sustainable development goals for of modern times. Therefore, sustainable consumption adaptation measures is to address the issue of food and choices must be integrated for a long-term solution [18] nutritional insecurity faced by vulnerable local commu- since traditional dietary habits are eco-friendly, which nities [45]. have lesser carbon footprints in the environment. There - Besides, the success of any policy directly depends on fore, the ignorance of socio-cultural and socio-ecological the acceptance of the same among the local and regional dimensions can result in policy failure and hamper cli- communities, which is only possible if the indigenous mate change adaptation [17]. Hence, besides reducing community’s perspective is integrated into policy docu- the economic disparities [24], the urgency of intergenera- ments to address the meaningful context-specific and tion of culturally-significant traditional dietary practices geography-specific issue [46]. Since the Himalayan arises for viable and inclusive climate change policies region is the typical example of a highly dynamic socio- [19]. ecological landscape [47], a comprehensive understand- ing of traditional society’s insights on climate change can Discussion be employed in policy formation for ensuring food secu- Impact of climatic variability of indigenous societies rity and reducing the risk of the Himalayan communities The degree of livelihood and climate change vulnerabil - in the western Himalayan regions. ity differed according to the community’s geographical, In addition, anthropogenic activities play a decisive financial, and social status in a traditional society. Thus, role in the severe deterioration of the Himalayan regions, the heavy reliance of indigenous communities on natural which further increases the vulnerability of locals Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 9 of 15 towards climatic variabilities [48]. Thus, it is evident for of reality, i.e., the subjective meaning and choices are inclusive and responsive climate change actions to under- influenced by the cultural and historical experiences of stand local socio-cultural beliefs attached to food choices the individual [54]. comprehensively. Society’s response to every dimension The social and cultural norms are an integral part of tra - of global climate change is mediated by culture. Thus, the ditional society. Several studies have reported the impor- response to climate variabilities is noticed in both physi- tance of socio-cultural beliefs in the Himalayan regions. cal and natural ecosystems. Still, adaptive and mitigat- In terms of biodiversity conservation, sacred groves are ing strategies are developed considering the availability well-known around the world. In recognition of its role in of natural resources on unique and societal scales [49]. biodiversity protection, the study recommended the con- The linkage between crop and climate shapes the percep - servation and integration in the strategies to deal with tion of climate change. Hence, due to climate change, the climate change [55]. However, the change in traditional crop pattern has also shifted from a diversified cropping values and norms instigated by environmental change pattern to a mono-cropping pattern in the Himalayan among the indigenous community is still unknown, region, as the study indicates [21]. despite much significance of the traditional beliefs in the The local community’s livelihoods are impacted by cli - western Himalayan mountain regions. For example, as mate change in a variety of ways. Their traditional wis - noted by [23] in Bhutan, a study of 404 indigenous farm- dom influences society’s perceptions of climate-related ers found that the loss of one-third of traditional agro- challenges. The study demonstrated a strong association biodiversity in the region. More than ninety percent of between communities’ perceptions of climate change farmers agreed that climate change had affected the local and traditional norms [50]. The participation of the com - agrobiodiversity. Finally, it emphasized the adaptation of munity is crucial for the sustainable development and crops according to different agro-ecological zones con - management of natural resources, which have a special sidering the agro-ecological heterogeneity. place in local societies important due to the indigenous People in the Himalayan region have maintained a community’s dependence on a favorable climate for their reasonable living standard despite physiography, cli- livelihood and financial needs through tourism. The Van matic, and resource availability challenges. However, the Panchayat (Forest Councils) and Village Forest Com- study noted that the climatic change had prompted the mittees have always been important in making adaptive local community to shift their traditional dietary habits and mitigative strategies due to their significance in local as a successful adaptation strategy. Hence, indigenous societies. But, due to globalization and market forces, the food habits need to be integrated for inclusive adapta- importance attached to local councils has deteriorated tion measures [56], Climatic variability has caused broad in the mountain regions. Therefore, the urgent need for threats to indigenous communities’ food and nutritional traditional community integration arises for constructive security in the Himalaya region. However, because of the and better resilience policy measures [51]. wide range of demographic, social, and economic vari- ables, the extent of the consequences experienced and Impact of climate change on community’s customary food perceived by local people differs [57]. beliefs For example, it was observed in a qualitative and ethn- The environmental change poses an unusual threat to obotanical study in Tibet that the Alpine trees are highly societal imagination. Thus, applying sociological imagi - diverse and crucial plants most susceptible to environ- nation as defined by C.W. Mills, i.e., the ability to shift mental change [15]. But, due to the climatic changes, the from one viewpoint to another rational approach, is vital livelihood, lifestyle, and traditional Tibetan culture of to genuinely recognize the interrelationships between herding of animals have been vitally affected. Similarly, environment and social structure [52]. He reiterated another study in Tibet, with 90 indigenous people, con- that the scientific community had made a great stride in cluded that climate change significantly varied with geo - understanding the climatic variabilities, but the response graphical factors and livelihood activities [16]. Further, to changing climate is inadequate despite the remarkable the phenomena of climate change not only depend upon socio-political efforts. Since human beings live in har - economic factors but also on socio-cultural, spiritual, and mony with nature, therefore, acknowledging the relation- moral factors. ships between a community’s actions, cultural norms, Consequently, the area under traditional crops is rap- and their impact on the ecological system or vice-versa idly shrinking in the region for various reasons. How- is inevitable [53]. Further, despite similar physiological ever, many crop varieties are still protected due to their needs in humans, food habits are not universal. In the socio-cultural and religious values. For example, the words of sociologists Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luck - practice of Jhum farming in the northeastern moun- man (1966), dietary practices are the social construction tain regions of India plays a vital role in ensuring the Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 10 of 15 traditional communities’ food security and nutritional hardly taken into account until some unfortunate natu- security. Besides, the practice of Jhum cultivation is a ral calamities and anthropogenic incidents happen. For ritually sanctioned lifestyle of ethnic communities, which example, the associated benefit of the oak leaf is crucial is also a measure of ethnic identity due to associated for the communities because the oak forest is an excel- socio-religious beliefs of the local people. Therefore, inte - lent source of organic farming practice. Still, the local grating traditional knowledge is essential for balancing authorities have not recognized or acknowledged the food security and the conservation of natural resources same practice in the mountain regions [61]. because indigenous practices lead to high yields without Additionally, the indigenous ecological knowledge damaging the ecosystem [58]. Additionally, in a longitu- aids in the cultivation and conservation of soils fertility, dinal opinion poll, which was jointly conducted in Swe- helps control pest infestation, maintenance of sustainable den, the US, UK, and Japan with 1500 participants, where biodiversity in the region. For example, “tinni” is a local the respondents significantly agreed that climate change variety of wild red rice, primarily conserved in the Bhar is the reality and nodded that sustainable environmental community by the females in the Northwestern state of friendly consumption choices could be the possible solu- Uttar Pradesh, India. The community has created toler - tion to environmental change [18]. ant rice varieties through the above local practice and The local and cultural festivals also contribute to safe - maintained the aquatic fish biodiversity in the complex guarding the important crop varieties. For example, one aquaculture region [62]. Further, few studies have been of the farm festival celebrations called Harela in Uttara- mentioned in the table, which interlinks climate change khand urges people to preserve their indigenous dietary and its impact on traditional dietary habits and socio- habits [50]. Also, the concept of sacred landscape is rec- cultural practices, as shown in Table 2. ognized by many traditional societies and frequently pre- served by cultural and religious values as a manifestation Impact of climate change on gender defined norms of this relationship. Thus, the Himalayas has a long his - The notion of food choices and dietary habits has always tory of conserving ecological resources through religion been associated with gender norms, i.e., societal and cul- and belief and plays an integral part in protecting biodi- tural principles based on gender identity—for example, versity in the Himalayan region [59]. Therefore, explor - the women of the family cook due to defined gender roles. ing and documenting the degree of the possible change in Hence, societal beliefs are prominent in defining the food customary beliefs associated with dietary habits among choices in a traditional community. Thus, the integration the local communities is inevitable. of gender dynamics becomes crucial for forming gender- In the Himalayan region, agro diversity is a safeguard sensitive food policies in the face of climate change [67]. against illness and extreme climate variations as an adap- Climate change has a considerable impact on particular tive measure at times of climatic uncertainties. Many demography and communities. For example, in the Him- vulnerable crops have been preserved due to various alayan region of Pakistan, in a qualitative study with 120 traditional food as well as socio-cultural and religious local farmers, the local communities are well aware of rituals. However, these systems and practices in hill agri- the traditional ethnobotanical knowledge of the species culture policy are blatantly neglected, emphasizing plain and habitat conservation. Still, due to climate change and lands [36]. Participation of people has always been a part scarcity, people unwisely utilize natural resources, fur- of development philosophy. However, village communi- ther deteriorating the ecosystem [14]. Similarly, climate ties’ control of local natural resources is now universally change has contributed significantly to social inequali - regarded as an institutional requirement. As a result, it’s ties and inequity in resource allocation due to degrading critical to look at how these institutions function, par- natural resources, which further affects the marginal like ticularly from the perspective of the poor. Nonetheless, women, children, and poor communities the most [20]. the socio-cultural factors and related changes in norms Further, gender norms are significant in indigenous of the indigenous people are frequently lacking. There - mountainous communities. The irregular rainfall and fore, the fundamental reasons linked to traditional eat- unpredictable seasonal variations have affected the acces - ing practices and possible change in societal beliefs due sibility and availability of natural resources, water, food, to climatic variabilities need to be explored sensibly for and forest produce. For example, the existing socio- evidence-based policymaking [60]. structural norms strengthen gender inequality, further The specific indigenous crops are considered suitable undermining the adaptation process to the climatic vari- to particular agro-climatic regions due to their decades- ability [13]. Furthermore, the environmental change has long evolution. They share a significant portion of sub - affected the socio-cultural aspects of the local communi - sistence farming, food, and the lifestyle of the household ties in India’s western Himalayas due to their significant and communities. But, such indigenous varieties are dependence on nature and natural resources for food and Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 11 of 15 Table 2 Climatic variabilities and cultural changes Climatic risks Impact on diets Cultural impacts Drought The practice of rotational cropping and the cultivation of various types of livestock The indigenous nomadic communities consider pastoralism was an integral part for maintaining the different grazing habits that reduce the chances of disease to of their socio-cultural norms. Since climate change makes it difficult to follow the cattle are under threat [36] traditional way of cattle rearing, the cultural concept of pastoralism is vanishing due to shifts in social structures as the younger generation exit from shepherding Rising temperature The shift in the apple belt towards higher elevations results from global climatic The psychological and spiritual emotions attached to the fruits have significantly change and local environmental change in the Himalayan regions [63] affected Erratic rainfall Erratic rainfall patterns have affected the fish spawn availability in river Ganga [64] The climatic variability impacts fish availability, which has led to a decline of ecologi- cal and socio-cultural importance attached to local fisheries in the Gangetic plains Melting of ice Narwhal, ringed seals, arctic char, and caribou are the mainstays of the wildlife The difficulty of inaccessibility has resulted in modifying the consumption of harvest in Arctic Bay, but climate change has affected the consumption and avail- traditionally significant food among the indigenous community. Since local food ability of traditional food [65] has importance in socio-cultural and economic activities in a traditional society thus, hunting seals is not only the means of food but also a way of life. Therefore, the change in seal-hunting has an impact on the culture of the traditional Inuit com- munities Extreme climatic conditions The traditional dietary practices have changed, such as consumptions of locally On special occasions like marriage and birth ceremonies, rituals are followed, where produce pluses like Madua and Kala bhatt have shifted in the Himalayan region unique cuisines are prepared. Still, the ritual ceremonies and festival ceremonies [66] have also been affected due to the lesser availability of traditional food Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 12 of 15 other basic needs such as water, wood, etc. Also, climate due to climate change is limited in numbers [71]. change is threatening the dietary habits of local commu- us Th , the local community’s participation is inevi - nities in gender-specific ways [68]. table, besides technological and scientific solutions Similarly, environmental change has a differential for conserving natural resources in addressing the impact on men and women regarding their respective impact of climate change. vulnerability factors. Hence, gender perspective should 2. Integration of gender-targeted policies: the influence be integrated to adapt against changing climate [69]. of societal and cultural factors is evident for gender- However, only a few studies have been emphasized the defined roles in decision-making regarding food role of gender and the impact of natural calamities on habits in traditional communities related to adaptive nutritional security in a customary society. But, the focus measures to tackle the climate change dietary habits. is on food security from the lens of gender approach, us Th , based on the observations in the Himalayan without exploring the potential change in gender and regions and northern part of India, the study empha- cultural norms of dietary practices due to climatic vari- sized the certainty of gender-sensitive policy for abilities [70]. adaptive policies against changing climate. The current paper has focussed on the comprehensive 3. Inclusion of customary practices: traditional agricul- understanding of the significance of the traditional com - tural practices, identification of indigenous sustain - munity’s perspective and knowledge in tackling climate able biodiversity for their nutritional value should change through the lens of dietary habits. It recognized be given due importance to ensure and food and the studies and local models where the customary knowl- nutritional security during climatic instabilities in the edge of the indigenous societies was critical during natu- local communities. ral calamities and unfortunate climatic variabilities. The analysis showed a greater sense of awareness about the environment among the indigenous communities, which Conclusion further assisted in creating resilience against unforeseen This article has reviewed the existing literature on cus - situations in a traditional society. tomary food habits to analyze the bidirectional asso- ciation between climate change and the dietary practice Climate change adaption strategies of the indigenous communities for adaptation policy. Ensuring the accessibility and affordability of food with PRISMA Statement technique is used for the systematic the changing climate requires inclusive climate action. review of Scopus and Web of Science databases identi- Since the eating habits and food choices of society and fied 24 related studies from 14 countries, with a specific individuals are affected by various factors, the socio-cul - focus on the Himalayan region, which resulted into four tural and socio-structural norms and values are the most themes viz. impact of climatic variability of indigenous influential in traditional indigenous communities of the societies, the impact of climate change on community’s Himalayan regions. Further, climate change has altered customary food beliefs, the impact of climate change on the ecosystem, not in India and neighbouring countries gender defined norms, climate change adaption strate - like China, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Myanmar but gies. The findings show that the current literature has also worldwide. The thematic analysis with the help of failed to include the socio-ecological beliefs of traditional Atlas-ti version 8 software shows that climate change is communities associated with dietary habits. Climate the reality of the twenty-first century. Interestingly, due change is heavily mediated by anthropogenic activity, to the shift in traditional dietary habits, the socio-cultural where cultural beliefs are paramount. Still, at the same norms associated with food practices also change due to time, there is marginal research, which has incorporated climate change. the cultural aspect of the community and its influence Further, the food and nutritional security of the in the development of climate change adaptation strate- women get severely affected during natural calamities gies. The exploration socio-cultural dimension would aid and extreme weather conditions. In addition, the issue in a comprehensive knowledge of the underlying issues gets exacerbated due to the prevalent social and cultural such as customary norms, gender-defines roles, and norms of the communities. Therefore, following the is the understanding the indigenous context of climate change. direction for future research and climate change adapta- Further, the insights generated from this study will help tion policies: better understand the response of customary societies to environmental change and formulate sustainable adapta- 1. Significance of traditional beliefs: globally, the tion policy. research on indigenous knowledge related to ecology, The indigenous practices acquired and approved by social and cultural factors affecting the food change the traditional communities are competent to respond Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 13 of 15 4. Scott S, Elamin W, Giles EL, Hillier-Brown F, Byrnes K, Connor N, et al. against climatic variabilities. The traditional knowledge Socio-ecological influences on adolescent (aged 10–17) alcohol use is inclusive, i.e., among the traditional communities, and unhealthy eating behaviours: a systematic review and synthesis of the family and societies’ social structure is prominent qualitative studies. Nutrients. 2019;11:1914. 5. John JM, Haug V, Thiel A. Physical activity behavior from a transdis- besides socio-political development. Thus, the experi - ciplinary biopsychosocial perspective: a scoping review. Sport Med. ence of traditional societies could be the starting point 2020;6:1–13. for the successful adaptive measure, but at the same, 6. Shaffril HAM, Krauss SE, Samsuddin SF. A systematic review on Asian’s farmers’ adaptation practices towards climate change. Sci Total Environ. i.e., the socio-cultural dynamic of indigenous knowledge 2018;644:683–95. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. scito tenv. 2018. 06. 349. rarely gets recognized at the times of policy formation. 7. 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Dynamics of indigenous community’s food and culture in the time of climate change in the Himalayan region

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Abstract

Global climate change has become the most significant challenge of modern times, confronting the lives and security of vulnerable societies around the world. The anticipated impact of climatic variability will be severe on local commu- nities, particularly those residing near high-risk prone zones such as coastal areas and mountain regions. The indig- enous knowledge and locally-held beliefs act as a refuge, which also prompt and prohibit the responsiveness towards climatic instabilities. Subsequently, ensuring food and nutritional security is the primary task of strategy makers. Hence, comprehensive knowledge of the indigenous traditional food habits and cultural values, beliefs, and gendered norms need to be explored on a priority basis to address the adverse impact of environmental changes, emphasizing the urgency of the Himalayan societies. Despite that, the integration of indigenous knowledge is not on the priority list of the researcher. Thus, this article reviews the existing literature on customary food habits to analyze the bidi- rectional association between climate change and the dietary practice of the indigenous communities for adapta- tion policy. PRISMA Statement technique is used for a systematic review of Scopus and Web of Science databases identified 24 related studies from 14 countries, with a specific focus on the Himalayan region, which resulted into four themes viz. impact of climatic variability of indigenous societies, the impact of climate change on community’s customary food beliefs, the impact of climate change on gender defined norms, climate change adaption strategies. The findings show that the current literature has failed to include the socio-ecological beliefs of traditional communi- ties associated with dietary habits. Thus, the focus should be given to integrate the locally held beliefs of customary societies for the successful adoption of climate change adaptation and food security programs. Keywords: Systematic review, Socio-cultural approach, Food practice and norms, Local communities, Qualitative approach Introduction are responsible for environmental change. Accordingly, Global climate change has become the most significant the anticipated impact of climatic variability will be challenge of modern times, confronting the lives of vul- severe for vulnerable communities such as those resid- nerable communities around the world. The indigenous ing near coastal areas and mountain regions [1]. Further, dietary habits of the Himalayan regions are changing due the severity of climate change on the natural ecosystem is to climate change, which is the new norm of the twenty- estimated to increase the possibility of higher incidence first century. Both anthropomorphic and natural factors of forest fires, infrequent rainfall, and unpredictable tem - perature change. Moreover, the environmental change for a more extended period of time would disturb the *Correspondence: sdas@hs.iitr.ac.in seasonal precipitation rates, affect the mountain ecosys - Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute tem, availability of water, and food security [2]. of Technology (IIT ) Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand 247667, India © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/. Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 2 of 15 Furthermore, the ever-increasing importance and suggest climate change adaptation strategies for future global recognition of indigenous people’s knowledge, research focusing on the Himalayan region (Fig.  2). which suggests an alternative perspective about climate This section describes the motive of conducting a sys- change and nutritional security, is now a primary concern tematic review, whereas the second section explains of policymakers [3]. Besides that, the traditional knowl- the methodology and PRISMA Statement (Preferred edge of the local community acts as a refuge at the time Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta- of climate-induced emergency. Even the literatures have Analyses) approach. The third part systematically emphasized a significant connection between traditional reviews and synthesizes the empirical research work to dietary habits, climate change, and socio-cultural belief recognize, select and evaluate the existing studies on systems (Fig.  1); despite it, the integration of indigenous the importance of culturally-significant dietary beliefs knowledge is not on the priority list of the researcher. affecting the climate change adaptation and food secu- The impact of climatic variability varies among differ - rity of traditional communities, and discovers the per- ent social groups, and the underprivileged communities spectives for future research. The last section is the are the most vulnerable ones. Since most of the Himala- conclusion of this systematic review. yan population lives in rural areas, they lack the proper connectivity with the mainstream world. Hence, food Methodology security gets exacerbated at times of unfortunate climatic PRISMA Statement events. For that reason, comprehensive knowledge of the The current review has used the PRISMA statement. indigenous traditional food habits and cultural values, The PRISMA method is widely used in socio-ecological beliefs, and norms needs to explore on a priority basis studies [4–6]. This approach allows the researchers to to address the adverse impact of environmental changes, define the research objectives with substantial systematic emphasizing the urgency of the Himalayan societies. research. Also, it allows the identification of inclusion Subsequently, climatic variability has created wide- and exclusion criteria, which further aids in examining spread risks for indigenous people’s traditional dietary a larger database within a defined period [7]. Further, practices and food security in the Himalayan region. As a the PRISMA statement permits to search for literature result, local cultures have been forced to make significant related to multiple dimensions of climatic variabilities, adjustments in their traditional food choices. To make such as the impact on indigenous community’s dietary the policies sustainable and acceptable to the mountain- practices. ous people, they needed to be investigated, explored, and improved with suitable contributions from socio-cultural and scientific perspectives. Article collection Therefore, this study explores the piece of literature The present article is the systematic review of studies related to the dietary habits of traditional communities grounded on the analysis of the existing literature pre- during climate-induced emergencies. The systematic senting the effect of climate change on the traditional review aims to analyze the dynamic of socio-ecology dietary habits of the indigenous peoples in the traditional and culturally important indigenous eating practices communities. We collected the already published litera- for sustainable consumption patterns. Secondly, to ture in English only. Furthermore, primarily the Google Sociocultural Traditional dietary Norms habits Climate Change Dietary habits as Socicultural beliefs The reality of 21st way to explore the and norms are century associated norms signifcant in in the and beliefs in a Himalayan region tradtional society for dietary habits Fig. 1 Climate change, socio-cultural norms, and traditional dietary habits Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 3 of 15 Fig. 2 The Himalayan region of India Coding and theme generation scholar, Sciencedirect, Web of Science, and Scopus data- Thematic coding is a qualitative analysis that explores and bases were used for data mining, i.e., collecting relevant documents sentences or paragraphs having interlinkage articles and literature for analysis purposes. Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 4 of 15 Data abstraction and analysis through a common theme or idea. That allows the index - Initially, the data analysis was performed by scrutiniz- ing of the transcript into several groups and establishes ing the code frequency, prevalence, and co-occurrence a “framework of thematic ideas about it” [8]. Adapting employing the Atlas-ti 8 software to identify the inter- the thematic analysis approach of [9, 10], the subsequent linkage of codes and defined concepts at the prelimi - combinations of keywords or codes used are, i.e., cli- nary level. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate mate variability, OR environmental change, OR climate which codes are common and often occur together and change; AND food choice, OR food practice, OR dietary follow code prevalence across the articles [37]. Follow- habits, OR eating patterns, OR traditional food, OR tradi- ing a three-step thematic analysis, each secondary lit- tional diet, OR dietary shift, OR ethnic food; AND local erature was entered into qualitative data analysis tools culture, OR gendered norms, OR indigenous knowledge, [38]. Thematic analysis was conducted with the remain - OR traditional knowledge. ing literature on Atlas-ti version 8 software for qualita- tive data analysis [39]. The NCT (noticing, collecting, Criteria for inclusion and exclusion of articles and thinking) approach was employed for data analy- Since climate change started happening rapidly in recent sis. Consequently, the option of network-building fea- two decades [11], only those articles were selected, pub- ture, which is the major strength of Atlas-ti software, lished after 2000 for the current review article. Further, also aids in the examination of existing association and to be incorporated in this study, the article needed to correlation between the various studies incorporated report: the impact of climate change on the indigenous for the current article [40]. Finally, general themes and population and their perception, the socio-cultural sub-themes were defined. dynamics associated with the customary eating practice, and the gender dimension of dietary habits in traditional societies. Hence, studies published merely from quanti- Results tative or only from laboratory trials were not considered A total of 275 articles were collected during the initial for the analysis. The studies presenting only an indication search from different databases. Accordingly, after fol - in terms of significance or less significance of the social lowing the exclusion criteria, i.e., articles published and cultural aspects of food choices were also excluded. before 2000 (n = 22), lack of focus on socio-cultural The reports of the research projects focusing primarily dimension (n = 5), book chapters, book series, review on technological solutions were also omitted due to the articles, non-English articles (n = 12), technical reports, nature of the current analysis. lab and experimental reports (n = 14) (Fig .  3). Thus, only 24 articles were considered for systematic analy- Selection of studies sis, which met the inclusion criteria. Furthermore, only Initially, articles were mined to apply the search filters those studies were incorporated, using the qualita- to the titles, keywords, and abstracts. After the search, a tive approach, i.e., interview schedule to describe the second manual filter of complete reading of the titles and respondent’s observation. Regarding, year of publica- abstracts was conducted to improve bibliographic mate- tion, only those papers were systematically reviewed rial selection on the returned documents for further sys- that were published between 2006 and 2021, viz. six tematic review [12]. studies between 2006 and 2010, eight studies between 2011 and 2015, eight studies between 2016 and 2020, and one study in 2021. Further, eighteen studies were Approach for systematic review conducted on local or indigenous people, three stud- The systematic review was conducted in four stages. The ies were a consumer survey, and one was based on an first one was the identification of keywords to be used opinion poll. for relevant literature searches. Based on earlier research The majority of the research were carried out in the studies, the keywords with relevance and similarity with Himalayan region viz. in India [36, 21, 25, 28, 32–35], climate change, indigenous community, and traditional Nepal [13, 20], India and Nepal [22], China [15, 16], Paki- belief system (Table  1), duplicate articles were removed stan [14], Bhutan [23], Myanmar [24], Canada [26, 27], accordingly. At the second phase, i.e., the screening stage, Spain [17], Europe [29], Portland [19], Mexico [30], Joint out of 275 articles initially found eligible to be reviewed, research in Sweden, US, UK, and Japan [18], Nigeria [31], 198 articles were removed. At the third phase, i.e., eligi- as shown in Table 1. Studies incorporated for the system- bility, 53 secondary pieces of literature were removed due atic analysis were based on the traditional community’s to the irrelevance of studies for the current article follow- traditional eating practices and the impact of climate ing exclusion criteria. Finally, 24 articles were used for change on indigenous people. qualitative analysis (Fig. 3). Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 5 of 15 Table 1 The findings Author(s) Country/city Sample size Methodology Key findings Bhattarai et al. [13] Nepal Local farmer (n = 91), Focus Group Discus- Case studies, in-depth interviews, FGD, and Gender inequality due to socio-structural sion (FGD) (n = 4, 10–12 participants) participant’s observation norms; undermines the climate change adaptation Khan et al. [14] Pakistan Local communities (n = 120, 87 male and 33 In-depth interviews Lack of awareness of ethnobotanical plants; female) results in the careless use of natural resources Salick et al. [15] Tibet, China Sample size (Not mentioned) Ethnobotanical method and qualitative in- The severe impact of climatic change on the depth interviews livelihood, lifestyle, and traditional Tibetan culture of herding of animals Byg and Salick [16] Tibet, China Indigenous communities (n = 90, 45 female Semi-structured interviews Localized meaning of climate change based and 45 male) on socio-cultural, spiritual, and moral factors Gómez-Baggethun et al. [17] Spain Local people (n = 33), FGD (n = 3, 4–6 Interviews, FGD, and systematic reviews of Traditional beliefs systems associated with individuals) historical archives socio-ecological knowledge are crucial for a sustainable long-term solution Von Borgstede et al. [18] Sweden, US, UK, and Japan Opinion poll (n = 1500) in 2005 (n = 742) The longitudinal survey, opinion poll, close- Climate change is the reality; sustainable and 2010 (n = 615) ended questionnaires environmental friendly consumption choices possible solution Semenza et al. [19] Portland and Houston Participants (n = 1202, female = 787 and Mixed methodology The negligence of socio-structural norms; bar- male = 415) riers in climate mitigation efforts Gentle and Maraseni [20] Nepal Local household (n = 485) In-depth interviews, FGD, key informants Social inequalities and inequity in resource interviews allocation due to climate change; affecting vulnerable communities Vedwan [21] Himachal Pradesh, India Apple growers (n = 58) Semi-structured interviews Shift in traditional cropping pattern due to climate change in the Himalayan region Chaudhary and Bawa [22] India and Nepal Households (n = 225) In-depth interviews, focus group discussion The shift in agricultural practices of indig- enous communities. For example, apple production has severely been affected Katwal et al. [23] Bhutan Indigenous farmers (n = 404, male = 237, Survey with close-ended questionnaires The loss of one-third of traditional agrobiodi- and female = 167) versity in the region; emphasis on adoption of crops according to different agro-ecological zones Oo et al. [24] Myanmar Local farmers (n = 178), FGD (n = 7) In-depth interviews, FGD Poor socio-economic status negatively affects the adaptation policies in society Bhadwal et al. [25] Sikkim, India Local communities FGD (n = 8) In-depth interviews, FGD Gender norms in traditional communities affect adaptation; due to lack of access to human, financial, and natural capitals Guyot et al. [26] Canada Aboriginal communities (n = 2) In-depth interviews, FGD Impact of climate change on traditional dietary practices and consumption Ford [27] Canada Nunavut community In-depth interviews, FGD Impact of climate change on traditional dietary practices Upadhaya et al. [28] Meghalaya, India Tribal community (n = 2) In-depth interviews, FGD Traditional agriculture practice could result in sustainable consumption and environment Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 6 of 15 Table 1 (continued) Author(s) Country/city Sample size Methodology Key findings Pieniak et al. [29] Europe Consumer survey (n = 4828) Cross-sectional quantitative survey Traditional food consumption depends on familiarity, naturalness, and health benefits Rojas-Rivas et al. [30] Mexico City Consumer survey (n = 610) In-depth interviews The association of traditional norms positively influence the dietary habits Akintan et al. [31] Nigeria The household survey (n = 350) Household surveys, semi-structured inter- ‘Ethnic-specific’ traditional norms and taboos views crucial in food choices of traditional society Chakraborty et al. [32] Uttarakhand, India Local households (n = 62) Household surveys, semi-structured inter- Socio-cultural norms are significant sustain- views able environment and dietary choices Malhotra et al. [33] Himachal Pradesh, India Local people (n = 20), FGD (n = 3) In-depth interviews, FGD Socio-ecological changes and affected the cultural norms linked to eating practices Singh et al. [34] Kashmir, India Native people (n = 113) Household surveys, interviews, semi-struc- Ethnobotanical knowledge is crucial for novel tured interviews nutraceutical products Nautiyal and Kaechele [35] India Sample size (not mentioned) Household surveys, semi-structured inter- Traditional mountain farming is sustainable for views the environment and indigenous societies Negi and Maikhuri [36] Uttarakhand, India Local villages (n = 62, sample size not Household surveys, semi-structured inter- Traditional agro diversity is insurance against mentioned) views, in-depth interviews disease and extreme climatic fluctuations Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 7 of 15 Records searched through Records identified from Scopus manual searches from Web of (n = 250) Science database (n= 25) Number of records after removalof duplicate files (n= 275) Screened records by title and Removed records after title/abstract screening (n=198) abstract (n= 275) Reports excluded: Articles published before 2000 (n=22) Excluded due to no focus on Reports assessed based on sociocultural dimension(n =5) eligibilitycriteria Book chapters, book series, (n=77) review articles, non-English articles (n = 12) Technological reports, lab and experimental reports (n= 14) Studies included in the systematic review (n = 24) Fig. 3 Systematic analysis The present study has systematically reviewed existing climatic variability of indigenous societies, the impact of studies on climate change and the impact of traditional climate change on community’s customary food beliefs, society’s lifestyle and attached cultural beliefs through the impact of climate change on gender defined norms, dietary practices. Climate change is the reality of the climate change adaption strategies. twenty-firstst century, which requires an integrated and The first theme has recognized that the negative impact holistic approach to address its impact on vulnerable of environmental change can have severely affected the communities. Thus, a rigorous review of the select arti - indigenous lifestyle of native people with seven studies. cles retrieved from two databases resulted in 24 papers For example, ethnobotanical species’ declining knowl- related to the significance of socio-cultural practices of edge has resulted in reckless usage of natural resources traditional communities in climate change adaptation. [14]. Similarly, the climatic variabilities have also affected Accordingly, four themes were generated viz. impact of their traditional way of living, such as animal herding, a Eligibility Screening Identification Included Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 8 of 15 significant customary practice of herding community resources in the Himalayan regions gets severely affected for their very existence in the mountain regions [15, 16]. due to climatic variability [41]. Therefore, examining Also, climate change affects the local biodiversity of the and measuring the depth of the awareness and percep- regions and impacts the local adaptation strategies [23]. tion related to climate change and its impact on local and uTh s, the traditional ethnobotanical knowledge [34], indigenous dietary habits are urgent for inclusive and indigenous method of farming [35], local agrobiodiver- comprehensive strategies. Climate change is anticipated sity act as insurance against climate-induced emergencies to raise temperatures and precipitation in the Himalayan [36]. region, putting pressure on traditional eating practices The second theme emphasizes the impact of environ - due to change in agrobiodiversity and cropping patterns. mental change on traditional dietary habits and attached However, the traditional diet is one of the local commu- customary practices of the local communities with ten nities’ solutions for adapting to climate change [42]. studies. For example, the shift in cropping patterns has For example, the early budburst is a recent phenom- led to a dietary shift in recent years, i.e., the productiv- enon in the mountainous regions due to rapid envi- ity of apples has been decreasing due to early budding ronmental changes, which have further forced the [21, 22]. Similarly, the shift in customary eating practice indigenous communities to change the agriculture pat- has also been observed due to climate change [26, 27]. tern. For example, apple production has severely been Further, in a traditional society, dietary habits depend affected. Also, change in temperature is highly felt at high on the familiarity and naturalness of food [29], custom- altitudes compared to lower altitudes [22]. Similarly, the ary norms [30], and taboos in indigenous communities lack of adaptive capacity makes the farmers more vulner- [31]. Thus, the socio-cultural norms and beliefs system is able to climate change, and the issue gets exacerbated imperative for environmentally sustainable practice [28, due to poor socio-economic status in society [24]. Fur- 32, 33]. thermore, the higher dependence of indigenous commu- The third theme explores the impact of changing cli - nities on forest and forest resources, i.e., about 1.6 billion mate on gender-associated norms on a traditional com- people rely on natural and forest resources, makes the munity, including three studies. Climate change is local perspective inevitable for sustainable solutions [43]. already widening inequality in society because it affects u Th s, local people’s and farming communities’ under - the vulnerable community the most, but women suffer standing of rural landscape management and sustain- the most due to defined gender roles. Further, gender dis - able bioresource use is an effective strategy for dealing parity leads to inequality in terms of access to financial with climate change. Hence, local people’s indigenous and natural resources, affecting their food and nutritional knowledge and climate change perspectives are crucial security [13, 20]. Thus, the inclusion of gender-defined for adaption strategies at the local level in the western norms of the traditional society is imperative for an Himalayan mountain ecosystem [44]. Also, the phenom- inclusive policy [25]. ena of environmental change will have an impact on ecol- The last theme documents the policy dynamics with ogy as well as on societal belief systems. Even one of the a focus on four studies. Climate change is the reality primary agenda of the sustainable development goals for of modern times. Therefore, sustainable consumption adaptation measures is to address the issue of food and choices must be integrated for a long-term solution [18] nutritional insecurity faced by vulnerable local commu- since traditional dietary habits are eco-friendly, which nities [45]. have lesser carbon footprints in the environment. There - Besides, the success of any policy directly depends on fore, the ignorance of socio-cultural and socio-ecological the acceptance of the same among the local and regional dimensions can result in policy failure and hamper cli- communities, which is only possible if the indigenous mate change adaptation [17]. Hence, besides reducing community’s perspective is integrated into policy docu- the economic disparities [24], the urgency of intergenera- ments to address the meaningful context-specific and tion of culturally-significant traditional dietary practices geography-specific issue [46]. Since the Himalayan arises for viable and inclusive climate change policies region is the typical example of a highly dynamic socio- [19]. ecological landscape [47], a comprehensive understand- ing of traditional society’s insights on climate change can Discussion be employed in policy formation for ensuring food secu- Impact of climatic variability of indigenous societies rity and reducing the risk of the Himalayan communities The degree of livelihood and climate change vulnerabil - in the western Himalayan regions. ity differed according to the community’s geographical, In addition, anthropogenic activities play a decisive financial, and social status in a traditional society. Thus, role in the severe deterioration of the Himalayan regions, the heavy reliance of indigenous communities on natural which further increases the vulnerability of locals Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 9 of 15 towards climatic variabilities [48]. Thus, it is evident for of reality, i.e., the subjective meaning and choices are inclusive and responsive climate change actions to under- influenced by the cultural and historical experiences of stand local socio-cultural beliefs attached to food choices the individual [54]. comprehensively. Society’s response to every dimension The social and cultural norms are an integral part of tra - of global climate change is mediated by culture. Thus, the ditional society. Several studies have reported the impor- response to climate variabilities is noticed in both physi- tance of socio-cultural beliefs in the Himalayan regions. cal and natural ecosystems. Still, adaptive and mitigat- In terms of biodiversity conservation, sacred groves are ing strategies are developed considering the availability well-known around the world. In recognition of its role in of natural resources on unique and societal scales [49]. biodiversity protection, the study recommended the con- The linkage between crop and climate shapes the percep - servation and integration in the strategies to deal with tion of climate change. Hence, due to climate change, the climate change [55]. However, the change in traditional crop pattern has also shifted from a diversified cropping values and norms instigated by environmental change pattern to a mono-cropping pattern in the Himalayan among the indigenous community is still unknown, region, as the study indicates [21]. despite much significance of the traditional beliefs in the The local community’s livelihoods are impacted by cli - western Himalayan mountain regions. For example, as mate change in a variety of ways. Their traditional wis - noted by [23] in Bhutan, a study of 404 indigenous farm- dom influences society’s perceptions of climate-related ers found that the loss of one-third of traditional agro- challenges. The study demonstrated a strong association biodiversity in the region. More than ninety percent of between communities’ perceptions of climate change farmers agreed that climate change had affected the local and traditional norms [50]. The participation of the com - agrobiodiversity. Finally, it emphasized the adaptation of munity is crucial for the sustainable development and crops according to different agro-ecological zones con - management of natural resources, which have a special sidering the agro-ecological heterogeneity. place in local societies important due to the indigenous People in the Himalayan region have maintained a community’s dependence on a favorable climate for their reasonable living standard despite physiography, cli- livelihood and financial needs through tourism. The Van matic, and resource availability challenges. However, the Panchayat (Forest Councils) and Village Forest Com- study noted that the climatic change had prompted the mittees have always been important in making adaptive local community to shift their traditional dietary habits and mitigative strategies due to their significance in local as a successful adaptation strategy. Hence, indigenous societies. But, due to globalization and market forces, the food habits need to be integrated for inclusive adapta- importance attached to local councils has deteriorated tion measures [56], Climatic variability has caused broad in the mountain regions. Therefore, the urgent need for threats to indigenous communities’ food and nutritional traditional community integration arises for constructive security in the Himalaya region. However, because of the and better resilience policy measures [51]. wide range of demographic, social, and economic vari- ables, the extent of the consequences experienced and Impact of climate change on community’s customary food perceived by local people differs [57]. beliefs For example, it was observed in a qualitative and ethn- The environmental change poses an unusual threat to obotanical study in Tibet that the Alpine trees are highly societal imagination. Thus, applying sociological imagi - diverse and crucial plants most susceptible to environ- nation as defined by C.W. Mills, i.e., the ability to shift mental change [15]. But, due to the climatic changes, the from one viewpoint to another rational approach, is vital livelihood, lifestyle, and traditional Tibetan culture of to genuinely recognize the interrelationships between herding of animals have been vitally affected. Similarly, environment and social structure [52]. He reiterated another study in Tibet, with 90 indigenous people, con- that the scientific community had made a great stride in cluded that climate change significantly varied with geo - understanding the climatic variabilities, but the response graphical factors and livelihood activities [16]. Further, to changing climate is inadequate despite the remarkable the phenomena of climate change not only depend upon socio-political efforts. Since human beings live in har - economic factors but also on socio-cultural, spiritual, and mony with nature, therefore, acknowledging the relation- moral factors. ships between a community’s actions, cultural norms, Consequently, the area under traditional crops is rap- and their impact on the ecological system or vice-versa idly shrinking in the region for various reasons. How- is inevitable [53]. Further, despite similar physiological ever, many crop varieties are still protected due to their needs in humans, food habits are not universal. In the socio-cultural and religious values. For example, the words of sociologists Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luck - practice of Jhum farming in the northeastern moun- man (1966), dietary practices are the social construction tain regions of India plays a vital role in ensuring the Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 10 of 15 traditional communities’ food security and nutritional hardly taken into account until some unfortunate natu- security. Besides, the practice of Jhum cultivation is a ral calamities and anthropogenic incidents happen. For ritually sanctioned lifestyle of ethnic communities, which example, the associated benefit of the oak leaf is crucial is also a measure of ethnic identity due to associated for the communities because the oak forest is an excel- socio-religious beliefs of the local people. Therefore, inte - lent source of organic farming practice. Still, the local grating traditional knowledge is essential for balancing authorities have not recognized or acknowledged the food security and the conservation of natural resources same practice in the mountain regions [61]. because indigenous practices lead to high yields without Additionally, the indigenous ecological knowledge damaging the ecosystem [58]. Additionally, in a longitu- aids in the cultivation and conservation of soils fertility, dinal opinion poll, which was jointly conducted in Swe- helps control pest infestation, maintenance of sustainable den, the US, UK, and Japan with 1500 participants, where biodiversity in the region. For example, “tinni” is a local the respondents significantly agreed that climate change variety of wild red rice, primarily conserved in the Bhar is the reality and nodded that sustainable environmental community by the females in the Northwestern state of friendly consumption choices could be the possible solu- Uttar Pradesh, India. The community has created toler - tion to environmental change [18]. ant rice varieties through the above local practice and The local and cultural festivals also contribute to safe - maintained the aquatic fish biodiversity in the complex guarding the important crop varieties. For example, one aquaculture region [62]. Further, few studies have been of the farm festival celebrations called Harela in Uttara- mentioned in the table, which interlinks climate change khand urges people to preserve their indigenous dietary and its impact on traditional dietary habits and socio- habits [50]. Also, the concept of sacred landscape is rec- cultural practices, as shown in Table 2. ognized by many traditional societies and frequently pre- served by cultural and religious values as a manifestation Impact of climate change on gender defined norms of this relationship. Thus, the Himalayas has a long his - The notion of food choices and dietary habits has always tory of conserving ecological resources through religion been associated with gender norms, i.e., societal and cul- and belief and plays an integral part in protecting biodi- tural principles based on gender identity—for example, versity in the Himalayan region [59]. Therefore, explor - the women of the family cook due to defined gender roles. ing and documenting the degree of the possible change in Hence, societal beliefs are prominent in defining the food customary beliefs associated with dietary habits among choices in a traditional community. Thus, the integration the local communities is inevitable. of gender dynamics becomes crucial for forming gender- In the Himalayan region, agro diversity is a safeguard sensitive food policies in the face of climate change [67]. against illness and extreme climate variations as an adap- Climate change has a considerable impact on particular tive measure at times of climatic uncertainties. Many demography and communities. For example, in the Him- vulnerable crops have been preserved due to various alayan region of Pakistan, in a qualitative study with 120 traditional food as well as socio-cultural and religious local farmers, the local communities are well aware of rituals. However, these systems and practices in hill agri- the traditional ethnobotanical knowledge of the species culture policy are blatantly neglected, emphasizing plain and habitat conservation. Still, due to climate change and lands [36]. Participation of people has always been a part scarcity, people unwisely utilize natural resources, fur- of development philosophy. However, village communi- ther deteriorating the ecosystem [14]. Similarly, climate ties’ control of local natural resources is now universally change has contributed significantly to social inequali - regarded as an institutional requirement. As a result, it’s ties and inequity in resource allocation due to degrading critical to look at how these institutions function, par- natural resources, which further affects the marginal like ticularly from the perspective of the poor. Nonetheless, women, children, and poor communities the most [20]. the socio-cultural factors and related changes in norms Further, gender norms are significant in indigenous of the indigenous people are frequently lacking. There - mountainous communities. The irregular rainfall and fore, the fundamental reasons linked to traditional eat- unpredictable seasonal variations have affected the acces - ing practices and possible change in societal beliefs due sibility and availability of natural resources, water, food, to climatic variabilities need to be explored sensibly for and forest produce. For example, the existing socio- evidence-based policymaking [60]. structural norms strengthen gender inequality, further The specific indigenous crops are considered suitable undermining the adaptation process to the climatic vari- to particular agro-climatic regions due to their decades- ability [13]. Furthermore, the environmental change has long evolution. They share a significant portion of sub - affected the socio-cultural aspects of the local communi - sistence farming, food, and the lifestyle of the household ties in India’s western Himalayas due to their significant and communities. But, such indigenous varieties are dependence on nature and natural resources for food and Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 11 of 15 Table 2 Climatic variabilities and cultural changes Climatic risks Impact on diets Cultural impacts Drought The practice of rotational cropping and the cultivation of various types of livestock The indigenous nomadic communities consider pastoralism was an integral part for maintaining the different grazing habits that reduce the chances of disease to of their socio-cultural norms. Since climate change makes it difficult to follow the cattle are under threat [36] traditional way of cattle rearing, the cultural concept of pastoralism is vanishing due to shifts in social structures as the younger generation exit from shepherding Rising temperature The shift in the apple belt towards higher elevations results from global climatic The psychological and spiritual emotions attached to the fruits have significantly change and local environmental change in the Himalayan regions [63] affected Erratic rainfall Erratic rainfall patterns have affected the fish spawn availability in river Ganga [64] The climatic variability impacts fish availability, which has led to a decline of ecologi- cal and socio-cultural importance attached to local fisheries in the Gangetic plains Melting of ice Narwhal, ringed seals, arctic char, and caribou are the mainstays of the wildlife The difficulty of inaccessibility has resulted in modifying the consumption of harvest in Arctic Bay, but climate change has affected the consumption and avail- traditionally significant food among the indigenous community. Since local food ability of traditional food [65] has importance in socio-cultural and economic activities in a traditional society thus, hunting seals is not only the means of food but also a way of life. Therefore, the change in seal-hunting has an impact on the culture of the traditional Inuit com- munities Extreme climatic conditions The traditional dietary practices have changed, such as consumptions of locally On special occasions like marriage and birth ceremonies, rituals are followed, where produce pluses like Madua and Kala bhatt have shifted in the Himalayan region unique cuisines are prepared. Still, the ritual ceremonies and festival ceremonies [66] have also been affected due to the lesser availability of traditional food Das and Mishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 12 of 15 other basic needs such as water, wood, etc. Also, climate due to climate change is limited in numbers [71]. change is threatening the dietary habits of local commu- us Th , the local community’s participation is inevi - nities in gender-specific ways [68]. table, besides technological and scientific solutions Similarly, environmental change has a differential for conserving natural resources in addressing the impact on men and women regarding their respective impact of climate change. vulnerability factors. Hence, gender perspective should 2. Integration of gender-targeted policies: the influence be integrated to adapt against changing climate [69]. of societal and cultural factors is evident for gender- However, only a few studies have been emphasized the defined roles in decision-making regarding food role of gender and the impact of natural calamities on habits in traditional communities related to adaptive nutritional security in a customary society. But, the focus measures to tackle the climate change dietary habits. is on food security from the lens of gender approach, us Th , based on the observations in the Himalayan without exploring the potential change in gender and regions and northern part of India, the study empha- cultural norms of dietary practices due to climatic vari- sized the certainty of gender-sensitive policy for abilities [70]. adaptive policies against changing climate. The current paper has focussed on the comprehensive 3. Inclusion of customary practices: traditional agricul- understanding of the significance of the traditional com - tural practices, identification of indigenous sustain - munity’s perspective and knowledge in tackling climate able biodiversity for their nutritional value should change through the lens of dietary habits. It recognized be given due importance to ensure and food and the studies and local models where the customary knowl- nutritional security during climatic instabilities in the edge of the indigenous societies was critical during natu- local communities. ral calamities and unfortunate climatic variabilities. The analysis showed a greater sense of awareness about the environment among the indigenous communities, which Conclusion further assisted in creating resilience against unforeseen This article has reviewed the existing literature on cus - situations in a traditional society. tomary food habits to analyze the bidirectional asso- ciation between climate change and the dietary practice Climate change adaption strategies of the indigenous communities for adaptation policy. Ensuring the accessibility and affordability of food with PRISMA Statement technique is used for the systematic the changing climate requires inclusive climate action. review of Scopus and Web of Science databases identi- Since the eating habits and food choices of society and fied 24 related studies from 14 countries, with a specific individuals are affected by various factors, the socio-cul - focus on the Himalayan region, which resulted into four tural and socio-structural norms and values are the most themes viz. impact of climatic variability of indigenous influential in traditional indigenous communities of the societies, the impact of climate change on community’s Himalayan regions. Further, climate change has altered customary food beliefs, the impact of climate change on the ecosystem, not in India and neighbouring countries gender defined norms, climate change adaption strate - like China, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Myanmar but gies. The findings show that the current literature has also worldwide. The thematic analysis with the help of failed to include the socio-ecological beliefs of traditional Atlas-ti version 8 software shows that climate change is communities associated with dietary habits. Climate the reality of the twenty-first century. Interestingly, due change is heavily mediated by anthropogenic activity, to the shift in traditional dietary habits, the socio-cultural where cultural beliefs are paramount. Still, at the same norms associated with food practices also change due to time, there is marginal research, which has incorporated climate change. the cultural aspect of the community and its influence Further, the food and nutritional security of the in the development of climate change adaptation strate- women get severely affected during natural calamities gies. The exploration socio-cultural dimension would aid and extreme weather conditions. In addition, the issue in a comprehensive knowledge of the underlying issues gets exacerbated due to the prevalent social and cultural such as customary norms, gender-defines roles, and norms of the communities. Therefore, following the is the understanding the indigenous context of climate change. direction for future research and climate change adapta- Further, the insights generated from this study will help tion policies: better understand the response of customary societies to environmental change and formulate sustainable adapta- 1. Significance of traditional beliefs: globally, the tion policy. research on indigenous knowledge related to ecology, The indigenous practices acquired and approved by social and cultural factors affecting the food change the traditional communities are competent to respond Das and M ishra Journal of Ethnic Foods (2022) 9:1 Page 13 of 15 4. Scott S, Elamin W, Giles EL, Hillier-Brown F, Byrnes K, Connor N, et al. against climatic variabilities. The traditional knowledge Socio-ecological influences on adolescent (aged 10–17) alcohol use is inclusive, i.e., among the traditional communities, and unhealthy eating behaviours: a systematic review and synthesis of the family and societies’ social structure is prominent qualitative studies. Nutrients. 2019;11:1914. 5. John JM, Haug V, Thiel A. Physical activity behavior from a transdis- besides socio-political development. Thus, the experi - ciplinary biopsychosocial perspective: a scoping review. Sport Med. ence of traditional societies could be the starting point 2020;6:1–13. for the successful adaptive measure, but at the same, 6. Shaffril HAM, Krauss SE, Samsuddin SF. A systematic review on Asian’s farmers’ adaptation practices towards climate change. Sci Total Environ. i.e., the socio-cultural dynamic of indigenous knowledge 2018;644:683–95. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. scito tenv. 2018. 06. 349. rarely gets recognized at the times of policy formation. 7. 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Journal

Journal of Ethnic FoodsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 6, 2022

Keywords: Systematic review; Socio-cultural approach; Food practice and norms; Local communities; Qualitative approach

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