Mountain Environments, People & Cultures
May 31, 2018

Our "Restoring Ancient Water Technologies"   Project won the 2018 St Andrews Prize for the Environment!

This project in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve of Peru integrates 2,000 years of indigenous knowledge of water management with contemporary science and technology. The result is a set of hybrid solutions designed by and for remote mountain communities to address specific, local needs--especially related to water.
High mountain wetland area near Miraflores, Peru. An important ecosystem for regulating the flow and quality of water. © E. Gleeson

Our Andes Program director,  Dr. Jorge Recharte said it best as he accepted the Prize in Edinburgh, Scotland: "This award is a recognition of how urgent it is to find solutions that secure mountain peoples' water and livelihoods while making sure these solutions are deeply rooted in local cultures." 

This year's Prize received 190 entries from around the world. W e are honored to have two of our projects (one from the Himalayas and one from the Andes)  make it all the way to the semi-final round of 10 finalists! Our Institute's winning project builds upon  the success of our  Ancestral Technologies and Climate Change  initiative. We will continue to partner with indigenous communities to  repair and restore reservoirs, irrigation canals and other systems originally built by these communties' ancestors as far back as 1,000 AD. 

The $100,000 St Andrews Prize will help fund TMI's ongoing work with mountain communities in the central Andes of Peru. We'll continue to collaborate with archeologists and wildlife experts to scale up the restoration of ancestral water technologies throughout Peru, with a goal of expanding to other Andean nations in the future.

The St Andrews Prize recognizes significant contributions to environmental issues and concerns with a focus on sustainability, conservation, biodiversity and community development. 

Check out this video clip of the Prize being announced plus a short interview with Dr. Recharte.

First Meeting in Peru of the Global Mountain EbA Team,

Global team meeting in Peru - Scaling Up Mountain EbA Program. © TMI

TMI and  IUCN  staff representing ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) projects in Peru, Colombia, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal and Bhutan met in Lima, Peru recently. This was the first global team meeting for the three-year Scaling Up Mountain EbA  Program. Highlights included a briefing and lunch with representatives from the Peruvian Ministry of Environment, Peru's  National Protected Areas Service,  and  Sierra Azul, Peru

From Lima the team traveled to  the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve to visit one of our remote work sites in the central Andes. "This face-to-face meeting was a rare opportunity for the whole team to learn from each other. Our hikes near Miraflores to see wetlands and irrigation systems restored using EbA measures were a fascinating way to share solutions from the Andes with experts from mountain regions across the globe," says Erin Gleeson, Associate Director and Global Team Leader for the Program. In Miraflores, the EbA team also participated as honored guests in the Reserve's 17th anniversary festival. Many  thanks to the Reserve and to the people of Miraflores for making us feel so welcome! 

Partnering with the Snow Leopard Conservancy in Nepal,
 Darwin Initiative grant

Photo courtesy of Steve Winter.

Our Himalayan Program is proud to partner with the  Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) on a project that was just awarded a Darwin Initiative grant.  According to Dr. Rodney Jackson, founder and director of SLC (and our Senior Fellow!), "Nepal is adopting the new Federal Constitution aimed at devolving more powers to the local municipality level, thereby giving local communities a greater role in biodiversity conservation. The Darwin Initiative support comes at the perfect time, enabling the Snow Leopard Conservancy and partners to greatly expand important grassroots, community-driven actions benefitting the snow leopards, known by some as the Ghost of the Mountains , in two of Nepal's most important mountain protected areas." Project details to come in next month's Peak News! 


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