Food systems can be considered complex socio-ecological systems. The comprise interactions between the social and biophysical world that determine a set of activities from production through to consumption, and outcomes such as food security, social welfare and environmental impacts. Food systems are dominated by human needs and priorities, with food security as the desired normative outcome. The combination of high socio-ecological vulnerability and high exposure to such hazards as El Niño droughts (e.g., 1971/2, 1982/3, 1997/8, 2015/16) and earthquakes (e.g., 2018), among many other smaller scale hazards, has over-time led to numerous collapses and the continued degradation of food systems throughout Bedamuni society, which is located in Nomad LLG, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The data collection, which is now complete, relied on a range of qualitative methods including: ethnographic fieldwork, community stories, group and individual interviews, and transect walks (e.g., garden visits, disaster zones). The research endeavours to understand the causal vulnerability of remote food systems to hazards and to examine how emergency food assistance has affected underlying vulnerability of these food systems to respond to future disaster events at different temporal and spatial scales.

Advisors:  Dr  Bradd Witt, Dr Karen McNamara

Project members

Guy Jackson


PhD candidate