This article by Emily Kirkland, Brown University,  focuses on efforts to adapt to climate change in Peru. In Huaraz, she sat down with government officials and local farmers to talk about what glacial retreat will mean for the region.
Published in Adaptation
Thursday, 30 June 2011 11:38

Prizes, Pastures and Adaptation

The following interview was conducted by Emily Kirkland, Brown University, who is currently in Peru researching adaptation to climate change in local communities as part of the Watson Institute’s AT&T New Media Fellowship Program. Emily spoke with Willem van Immerzeel, who runs a Cuzco based NGO called Pachamama Raymi (“Mother Earth Festival” in Quechua), which uses contests, prizes, and peer-to-peer education to encourage positive change in Andean communities. The theme of adaptation to climate change fits neatly into its existing work, which focuses on reforestation and pasture management.
Published in Adaptation
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:16

Peru's Green Agenda

Published in youtube @en
By Victoria Elmore* and Guy Edwards Over the course of 2013 & 2014 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).  In 2007 the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Although there has been some recent controversy surrounding the IPCC, it remains the most authoritative and trusted international scientific body on climate change. The following list, which is based on information available on the IPCC’s site, profiles all the Latin American and Caribbean scientists involved in the AR5. It is divided up into the three Working Groups and includes the name, country and institution of each scientist from the region. This list raises a number of interesting questions on the current state of investigation on climate change in the region, which we will try and address in another post soon.
This paper, published by the Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL) at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC), was written by the Director of National Security Issues Group, Operations and Gaming Division at CSL/USAWC, Dr. Ken Butts, in collaboration with Marcela Ramirez, an Environmental Security Consultant for Latin America and the Caribbean for CSL/USAWC.  It calls for military support to civilian authority in matters of climate change adaptation "roles and missions," highlighting the need for regional militaries to help their countries deal with climate change effects that threaten their security. It details climate change events held in Colombia and Peru calling for increased military capacity at a national and international level to address climate change issues.
Published in Reading List
This article was first published in LINKS (Jan 2011, No. 37), the magazine of the Chamber of Industry & Commerce Ecuador & Great Britain.

Climate change could cost the Ecuadorian economy billions of dollars. By 2025, the economic losses caused by global warming in countries which make up the Andean Community - Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia - could reach approximately $30 billion annually. The predicted impacts of global warming in Latin America are likely to be harsh. From decreasing agricultural yields and melting glaciers threatening water supplies to job losses and higher incidences of vector borne diseases, climate change has the potential to transform Latin America’s economy, ecosystems and society.
Published in Civil Society
By Adam Kotin and Emily Kirkland, Brown University Climate change presents unique challenges in mountainous regions, especially the Andean regions of Chile and Peru. Retreating glaciers threaten mountain peoples’ water supplies and biodiversity loss is a very real threat as temperatures rise. Research in these areas is complicated by the difficult topography and significant historical gaps in scientific knowledge. For that reason, new approaches to development planning are now underway, incorporating diverse stakeholders from government agencies, NGOs, private companies, and local communities. We caught up with Carmenza Robledo of Intercooperation to talk about the project 'Adaptation to Climate Change' (PACC) Peru, an exciting new initiative that seeks to combine scientific expertise with local knowledge for new development.
Published in Adaptation
Sunday, 26 December 2010 11:11

An Incredible Gift

By Kelly Rogers* Global natural gas supply provides incredible potential for a transportation revolution in Latin America, a message highlighted at an event in Cancun, co-hosted by the Worldwatch Institute and the International Gas Union. According to BP, Latin America provides some 5.5% of the world’s natural gas and is estimated to hold at least 6% of its natural gas reserves.
The World Bank considers mountain ecosystems in the Andes to be one of four climate hotspots in Latin America alongside the coral biome in the Caribbean, wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Amazon basin. These hotspots are comprised of ecosystems that are severely affected by the impacts of climate change. They are considered crucial areas for adaptation and remind us why reducing global emissions is so important. They also carry significant economic costs ensuring that policy-makers will do everybody an incredible injustice if they fail to act now. The following video in Spanish with English subtitles, highlight show a disappearing glacier in the Peruvian Andes affects rural communities: [youtube][/youtube]
Published in Regional Organisations
Monday, 20 October 2008 11:55

Andes face glacial meltdown

This article was first posted on the Guardian's Comment is free Glaciers in Peru are melting so quickly that by 2015 almost all of them may have disappeared. This is not just a problem for Peru but for the whole Andean Community of Nations, including Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador. These countries generate around 73% of their electricity from hydro energy. Ironically, this renewable source of energy risks disappearing because of melting glaciers caused by climate change. The report, Climate change knows no borders, provides a chilling reminder of the catastrophic impacts of climate change on the Andean region. The evidence predicting the rapid loss of glaciers and a fiercer, more frequent El Niño effect, where ocean temperatures rise along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru, causing droughts and floods, reveals an uncertain and potentially destructive future for the region. The El Niño of 1997/8 had a devastating impact, leaving thousands dead or homeless, crops ruined, roads and bridges left smashed. The bill ran into billions of dollars. If this wasn't enough, climate change could lead to further losses of up to $30 billion a year by 2025 in the Andean region while the effect of melting glaciers could place 40 million people at risk of losing their water supply. It seems ironic that the highest number of the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism projects in the Andean Community relate to the resource facing the greatest threat – water. The climatic stresses causing the loss of glaciers, and in turn jeopardising what many regard as a key constituent of rural development through electrification, may result in a vicious cycle. The loss of this vital resource, combined with high prices and scant political enthusiasm for other renewable options – geothermal, wind and solar – may result in countries resorting to an increase in the use of fossil fuels. Considering the region's minor contribution to the world's greenhouse gas emissions this would be extremely counter-productive. It might also run the risk of undermining what has so far been a progressive stance on climate change at the international policy level. In 1993, Ecuador became the first developing country to ratify the climate convention. Although scientific evidence and past experience of extreme weather conditions have provided grounds for a strong rhetorical stand on climate change at the international level, Andean governments have been reluctant to integrate climate change strategies into the fabric of development policy. Peru did not establish a ministry for the environment until May 2008, exposing a pattern played out regionally of weak state institutions, unequal access to natural resources, a lack of political will, non-existent funding, insufficient information and deficient infrastructure. The challenge of integrating development and climate change agendas is, therefore, critical. The Andean Community is skating on thin ice as the longevity of one of its most important sources of renewable energy is thrown into doubt. The question remains whether or not the world will act, and if the ice will remain thick enough to support Andean sustainable development for the future.
Published in Adaptation
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