ABSTRACT The present study focuses on the impacts of extreme drought and flooding situations in Amazonia, using level/discharge data from some rivers in the Amazon region as indicators of impacts. The last 10 years have featured various “once in a century” droughts and floods in the Amazon basin, which have affected human and natural systems in the region. We assess a history of such hazards based on river data, and discuss some of the observed impacts in terms of vulnerability of human and natural systems, as well as some of adaptation strategies implemented by regional and local governments to cope with them. A critical perspective of mitigation of drought and flood policies in Amazonia suggests that they have been mostly ineffective in reducing vulnerability for the majority of the population, constituting, perhaps, examples of maladaptation via the undermining of resilience.
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