The inclusion of women and indigenous groups could be the key to the implementation of a regional strategy that allows adaptation to climate change in the tropical Andes, according to a new report released in the Peruvian capital.
The publication Perspectives of adaptation to climate change in the tropical Andes (see Spanish version) analyzes the situation of the mountains of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela and warns that by the end of the century the area could suffer high temperatures at which human beings have never faced.
The tropical Andes are home to many diverse communities, from remote agricultural villages to large urban centers and capitals, such as Mérida, Bogotá, Quito, Cusco, El Alto and La Paz. Some 60 million people live in the area between 1,000 and 4,500 meters high.
The report, published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), GRID-Arendal and the Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN), indicates that including traditional knowledge in the design and implementation of Policies on adaptation to climate change in mountainous areas has proven to be successful.
The communities of the Andes have undergone environmental changes for 10,000 years, their inhabitants have experiences that complement the research and that can be used for local adaptation actions, the report says.
Likewise, the document maintains that women have a deep knowledge of their environment and are more directly involved than men in the management of natural resources.
The publication was presented during a meeting of experts from seven Andean countries, who discussed the risks of climate change in the Andes in Lima.
The document calls for adopting a long-term perspective that includes the protection of the ecosystem services that mountains provide. It recommends addressing the threats that climate change poses to water, soil, biodiversity, food security and health management. Governments must also expand their prevention measures for disasters associated with climate change, as well as share data and improve climate monitoring systems, the report notes.
This publication is part of a series that includes information on the South Caucasus and Western Balkans, East Africa, Central Asia, the Carpathians, the Hindu Kush Himalayas, and the tropical Andes. The reports apply the same methodology for all regions, which facilitates the comparison and exchange of knowledge between countries interested in the mountain ranges of the world.