Problem DescriptionPeru has one of the largest concentrations in the world of tropical glaciers. Most of these are located in the Cordillera Blanca in Ancash, in northern central Peru. These high mountain ecosystems have always been prone to major geophysical events, such as the 1970 Ancash earthquake, which triggered a glacial lake outburst flood and debris flow that destroyed the town of Yungay, leaving 20,000 dead. With climate change, many of these glaciers are retreating fast and the glacial lakes they leave behind are highly unstable and constitute a growing threat to populations in the valleys below.
An interesting thing to note about the project is its integrative approach when it comes to addressing vulnerability. Even know the heart of this project is about address the risk of a geophysical disaster, it doesn't stop there. Under the concept of treating resiliency as a multifold issue, the project also looked at other ways this could be accomplished. For example, the project has also sought to address the drivers of differential vulnerability, particularly from a gender perspective, confronting and transforming power relations, and encouraging balanced gender participation in planning committees.
The project hopes that improved monitoring of glacial retreat rates and applied modelling of debris flows, together with capacity-building activities, will improve the effectiveness of early warning systems and reduce risk in communities already affected by climate change.
Social Progress Index
- Living and dying with glaciers: people's historical vulnerability to avalanches and outburst floods in Peru
A academic journal article developed from the International Young Scientists' Global Change Conference 2003
- Glacial lake outburst floods database
An excellent source of background information on glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).
- Glacier Hazards
Information from University of Oregon regarding hazards surrounding glaciers and their history in the Andes
- [VIDEO] Glacier Hazards - Glaciers, Climate, and Society
Mark Carey of the University of Oregon explains glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) at 4,000 meters above sea level in the Quebrada Honda of Peru's Cordillera Blanca mountains.
- Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook
The Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) methodology helps us to understand the implications of climate change for the lives and livelihoods of the people we serve. By combining local knowledge with scientific data, the process builds people’s understanding about climate risks and adaptation strategies. It provides a framework for dialogue within communities, as well as between communities and other stakeholders. The results provide a solid foundation for the identification of practical strategies to facilitate community-based adaptation to climate change.
- Milo Stanojevich, CARE Peru
- Jay Goulden, CARE Peru