Mountain Environments, People & Cultures
We are a finalist for the 2018 St Andrews Prize!
TMI's Andes Program, "Instituto de Montaña" received wonderful news this week. Our Institute's "Restoring Ancient Water Technologies" project has been selected as one of three finalists for the prestigious St Andrews Prize for the Environment.
This year, 190 entries were received from around the world. Two of our projects (one from the Himalayas Program and one from the Andes Program) made it to the semi-final round of 6-10 finalists with "Restoring Ancient Water Technologies" making it all the way to the last round! The winner will be awarded $100,000 and the two runners up will each receive $25,000. More info here.
The St Andrews Prize recognizes significant contributions to environmental issues and concerns with a focus on sustainability, conservation, biodiversity and community development.
Women from Canchayllo, Peru stand by a pond restored using ancient techniques. These ponds feed puna grasslands, creating healthier pastures for livestock and wildlife. © A. Gomez.
Adapting to climate change by combining indigenous knowledge with science and technology
Our "Restoring Ancient Water Technologies" project integrates 2,000 years of indigenous knowledge of water management in the Andes with contemporary science and technology. This project will create hybrid solutions that improve water security, support livelihoods and increase ecosystem-wide resilience in mountain communities. It is based on the experience and evidence gained during our
Ancestral Technologies and Climate Change
initiative in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve of Peru.
In 2013, our
began working with the mountain communities of Canchayllo and Miraflores to address increasing water scarcity. Working together, they discovered the extent of a vast, complex and partially abandoned water management system in the alpine high-plateau, or
. Initiated as early as 100 BC, these systems were used extensively by mountain people until about 1532. Through a complex of dams and open-earth canals, this infrastructure recharged ground water reserves, increased water retained in the soil and improved water supplies to irrigation systems. These water systems fed native pastures for wild vicuñas and guanacos along with their domesticated relatives--alpacas and llamas.
Many wetlands in Nor Yauyos Cochas were developed and maintained by indigenous irrigation systems developed long before the Spanish conquest of Peru. © E. Segura
As climate change continues to hit the Andes and glaciers keep melting, The Mountain Institute's new project aims to restore ancestral water management systems and principles to make mountain communities less vulnerable to shrinking water supplies.
TMI is in excellent company!
Over the past 20 years, the Prize has supported a wide range of projects from around the world, addressing sustainable development, food security, urban re-generation, recycling, health, water and waste issues, renewable energy, community education and more. Ideas submitted have been global, local and/or scalable and they outline how they will socially and economically impact the communities where projects are based. Meet other finalists and winners of the St Andrews Prize!
The winner will be announced April 26th. Stay tuned!
According to TMI Executive Director, Andrew Taber, "
We were thrilled when our two submissions to the St. Andrews Prize from our Himalayas and Andes Programs made it to the semi-finalist stage. And when our Andes entry was named a finalist, we felt so honored to join with some of the most creative environmental organizations on our planet.
But above all else, we see being named a finalist as invaluable recognition of the creativity and resilience of the specific mountain communities we are working with, and of remote and neglected mountain communities around the world."
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