Mountain Environments, People & Cultures
Updates, January 2018

Villagers from Miraflores, Peru prepare for a ceremony to clean and repair the "acacias" (irrigation ditches) built by their ancestors. © A. Gomez

An article published by Thomson Reuters Foundation profiles our award-winning  Ancestral Technologies and Climate Change initiative in the Central Andes of Peru. As alpine grasslands kept shrinking due to erratic rainfall and glacier retreat, the indigenous communities of Miraflores and Canchayllo decided their future depended on reviving ancient, water management infrastructures built by their ancestors. 
Our work in partnership with these amazingly resilient communities has helped revive grasslands and wetlands in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve of Peru. The project's success has raised hopes for thousands of mountain communities across the Andes who face similar pressures from climate change.

Walk This Way on the Great Inca Trail

Women of the Raices Inkas Association of Raqchi, Peru created a new eco-tourism/ trekking option for their home-stay program. © G. Longoria.

Andes Program staff has just completed a project that brought TMI back to the Qhapaq Ñan or Great Inca Trail. Working closely with Raices Inkas (Inca Roots)--the local grassroots tourism group in the community of Raqchi--we helped develop a new option for tourists as part of a home-stay program. Now tourists can walk a four-hour trek accompanied by local women who work as guides. They help visitors understand and appreciate the surrounding ecosystem, the rich cultural heritage of the Raqchi area and their communities' Inca ancestry. Highlights of this trek include  the Inca temple in Raqchi and the Inca Bath archeological sites.  TMI's partner in this project is kmcero, a Peruvian eco-tourism group, that is promoting this new trekking option. Our goal is to boost community resilience by improving livelihoods and increasing economic benefits for locals. This initiative was supported by Tourism Cares' "American Icons" grant program.

Nepal Critical Transitions Project (NCTP)
Sharing Research Findings to Help Shape Policy and Reconstruction

A representative from a displacement camp speaks during the NCTP National Workshop in Kathmandu. © J. Spoon

The NCTP focused on understanding the recovery strategies of households in the Gorkha and Rasuwa districts of Nepal after the April/May 2015 earthquakes, along with the social and ecological transitions following the quakes. Research conducted in four hard-hit villages was based on household surveys, focus group discussions and in-person interviews. At a recent workshop in Kathmandu, the research team shared their preliminary findings with communities, municipalities, local and central government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Each rural municipality and ward representative had the opportunity to tell their own stories. Research results and comments were shared in both English and Nepali. The goal of this information exchange was to help shape policy and reconstruction programs both in-country and internationally. TMI's S enior Fellow, Dr. Jeremy Spoon is the Principal Investigator for the NCTP--a collaborative project of  Portland State University (USA) Tribhuvan University (Nepal), and The Mountain Institute. Check out this photo-story for background on the project. 

Mountain Ecosystem-based Adaptation Project in Nepal

Participatory community consultations are key to assessing local vulnerabilities. Seen here, our meeting in Goljung Village. © I. Thapa

Our Mountain Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Project in Nepal is now underway at the  field level. Working with the Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University (Nepal), we developed a methodology and framework to conduct Climate Change Participatory Vulnerability Assessments. These studies serve as the basis for identifying which EbA measures are most appropriate to address local needs. Consultative meetings with communities are at the very core of our EbA work. We are happy to report that we recently completed meetings with communities of the Chilime watershed in Rasuwa district. And we've  selected a local partner for our EbA project in this district--Manekor Society Nepal which was established over 20 years ago in Rasuwa. TMI will also partner with academic institutions and  other organizations with technical expertise needed for the project. More about our Mountain EbA Project in Nepal here.


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