Mountain Environments, People & Culture
August, 2017

Securing Mountain Water and Livelihoods Project  
Local strategies for adapting to climate change really work when combined with organization, determination and teamwork among communities, local governments, and institutions.  TMI-Andes recently held an Open House in Huaraz, (Ancash region) Peru that celebrated successful adaptations, showcased mountain community members trained as citizen scientists,  and shared lessons learned with partners and the public. The photo below is from one of our meetings with more than 130 community participants from the Sierra de Ancash.  Many thanks to  USAID Peru  for their partnership and support! 

Open House Huaraz

Help Wanted: Mountains Need More Champions!
Our thanks to Nirmal Gosh, U.S. Bureau Chief of The Straits Times (Singapore) for his recent article on the plight of mountain communities worldwide. "Unlike oceans or islands threatened by rising seas, mountains lack prominent champions and struggle to get attention at international forums even though they are equally vulnerable to environmental stresses including global warming." A concise summary of key issues and an insightful perspective! Article here.

Inauguration Ceremony - Bioremediation System
We're celebrating our partnership with mountain communities in Campanayoc, (Ancash region) Peru, by inaugurating the bioremediation system built to purify water flowing through the Shallap-Huapish-Toclla canal. An unexpected side effect of melting glaciers in this region is water pollution from exposed rocks. Meltwater carries metals, such as lead and iron, from the rocks into area waterways.  Built by locals using mostly local materials, this efficient system of ponds and artificial wetlands combines the best of traditional knowledge and modern science to greatly reduce levels of minerals in the water. This TMI-Andes pilot project  will benefit over 2,000 people who use the canal water for drinking and irrigating crops in Campanayoc, Macashca, Quinchu, Pukaventana, Queral, Rataquenua and Los Pinos, among other sectors. Thanks to all who helped make this dream a reality! More pics on TMI Facebook.
Breaking the "cántaros" (pitchers) to inaugurate the new system.

Pragatishil Pahad Project (PPP) Update
The PPP is also known as the "Progressive Mountains Project." And we have indeed made lots of progress lately in post-earthquake recovery, habitat restoration, and livelihoods improvements. Recent trainings have focused on community-based ecotourism and medicinal and aromatic plant (MAPs) cultivation and sales. We've completed a  "Small Lodge and Home-Stay Management" course for tourism entrepreneurs (3/4 of attendees were women) in Dhading and a workshop focused on "Home Gardening for Eco-Tourism, Nutrition and Income." In Rasuwa, MAPs farmers received advanced training and learned about several different plant species to diversify their valuable crops. More about the Pragatishil Pahad Project here. Eco-tourism training video here.

Planning Workshop - Snow Leopard Proposal
We've just finished hosting a special Planning Workshop in our Kathmandu, Nepal office. TMI and several partners met to develop a proposal to the  Darwin Initiative  on "Sustaining Snow Leopard Conservation through Strengthened Local Enterprises and Institutions." TMI-Himalayas is honored to work with  Snow Leopard Conservancy , Mountain Spirit, the Conservation Area Management Committee of Manang, Global Primate Network-Nepal and three, women-led savings and credit groups from Solukhumbu. Our lively discussions focused on best ways to conserve and restore snow leopard habitats and populations, while engaging communities and stakeholders in improving livelihood opportunities. Special thanks to workshop facilitators: Brian J. Peniston and Dr. Rodney Jackson. More pics on TMI Facebook.

Planning workshop participants near TMI Kathmandu office.

Regional Award for our EbA Project 
We're proud that our Ancestral Technologies and Climate Change project was selected as "One of the 10 Best Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Practices in the Latin American and Caribbean Region." This recognition is the result of a contest convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - Regatta. Our project is a partnership with the communities of Miraflores and Canchayllo in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve, Peruvian Andes. Their successful adaptation  to climate change involved restoring pre-Inca water management systems to help revive degraded, mountain ecosystems. The award includes publication of our project case study in an upcoming book, a bi-lingual webinar showcasing EbA regional projects and formal recognition from UNEP  - Regatta .

Punas-Agua Project
The TMI-Andes team has been working on high mountain peatlands ( punas) conservation and recently hosted a group of 11 researchers from Colorado State University, University of Texas at Austin and Michigan Technological University. With funding from a National Science Foundation Grant our team will study "human-nature coupled systems" in the alpine territories of Huascar├ín National Park and its buffer zone. This group spent a week in the alpine grazing lands of the Community of Cordillera Blanca and three days in the alpine valley of Ulta. Our goal is to understand how best to conserve peatlands because they are critical to water security in these mountains. Peatlands retain water like a sponge and are particularly important as Andean glaciers continue to disappear. 

Researchers in alpine grazing lands of Cordillera Blanca.

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