August 10, 2012

Tradition for Water in Peru's Highlands

Yesterday the world celebrated the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Many of the Indigenous communities around the globe rely upon agriculture, livestock, or forests for their livelihoods. As such, drought, water scarcity, and climate change are also critical issues these communities face. In Peru’s Altiplano region, rains are coming later and for less time. Non-profit organization, Asociacion Savia Andina Pucara (ASAP), is working to improve water security for the Indigenous people in the area. Farmers are returning to traditional practices of cooperative farming and water harvesting, such as through the use of cochas – trenches that help recharge groundwater and serve as reservoirs. Ancient practices of cooperation between households, dating back to Incan times, include reciprocal assistance with agricultural work or construction projects (ayni) or helping with the harvest (minka) in exchange for a share. Read more on Reuter’s Alertnet and Conservation International’s Blog yesterday.

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