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Global Ideas

Simplicity is key to protecting Peruvian highland biodiversity

After hundreds of years living with nature, some indigenous communities in Peru are feeling the heat of climate change. They are using simple methods to continue their traditional existence and prevent biodiversity loss.

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Project Aim: To strengthen communities in mountain regions of Peru, Nepal and Uganda through ecosystem-based adaptation
Project partners: Nepal: Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST); Peru: Ministry of the Environment (MINAM); Uganda: Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE)
Project size: German Environment Ministry (BMUB) funding of 11.5 million euros for all three countries
Project duration: December 2010 to December 2015

Located some 3,500 meters above sea level, the indigenous population of the Peruvian village of Miraflores has lived in harmony with nature for centuries. Even today, they produce their food using traditional means, and barter with neighbors from other communities. They plant "papa nativas" - the so-called original potato - and keep llamas, sheep and cows. But erratic rainfall and harsh heat are making their lives difficult - and are testimony to just exactly how Peru is being affected by climate change. At the same time, their cattle are grazing on sensitive grass landscapes that traditionally serve as refuge for many bird species, which contributes to the fields drying out. The IUCN is helping them fence the cows off from the freshly planted fields, and create kilometer-long irrigation systems that are drawing threatened species back to the area.

A film by Holger Trzeczak

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