Integrated and adaptive management of environmental resources and climatic risks in High Andean micro-watersheds

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The Peruvian Andean territory is characterized by its high vulnerability to climate change, the increasing exploitation of natural resources, especially mineral deposits, and the impacts caused by these activities on the water sources and the environment including its natural resources and the local wildlife.


The scope of the United Nations Joint Programme included nine districts of both the Cusco and Apurímac Andean micro- watersheds with the aim to strengthen the capacities of the local and regional governments, communal authorities, private institutions, and the general population in the comprehensive and adaptive management of environmental resources in order to minimize vulnerabilities to climate change in the watersheds.

The Programme contributed to the current process of decentralized public management and strengthened the opportunities for civil society cooperation and participation in rural areas that are characterized by extreme poverty, weakened social capital, environmental degradation, and vulnerability to extreme climatic events.

Tools were developed to guide and facilitate the adaptation and mitigation actions at the policy level. Climate change issues were also mainstreamed into relevant policies and in the design of a Monitoring Climate System, Early Warning System, and Geo-referenced Information System to monitor soil, water and health indicators.

In addition, steps were taken to increase the levels of local participation and build awareness in the highland communities as well as the capacity of the population and local authorities for practicing the integrated management of resources, such as using mitigation and adaptation measures.

There was identification of alternative funding sources to support action in the management of natural resources and there was promotion, coordination and agreement by the Joint Programme to strengthen national and local capacities.


  • Different levels of government have now increased their capacity for sustainable management of environmental resources and associated services and have integrated climate change adaptation in their tools and regulatory frameworks.
  • There is strengthened capacity of the local population to develop, access, and apply production practices aimed at sustainable management of natural resources and associated services that meet their needs and respond to changing climatic conditions.
  • Models of competitive production systems based on the sustainable management of natural resources to harness local capacity have been established resulting in increased income and an improved quality of life.


  • Government ownership was not adequate.
  • The inter-agency coordination had weaknesses which were compounded by the departure of the Joint Programme coordinator half way through the initiative. r􏰀 Measurement of progress achieved was difficult because the reporting was not done based on the outcomes or products.

Way Forward

The field schools established by the UN Joint Programme which provides training activities will continue to be used because they are one of the activities most valued by the local population.

The Programme will also develop a Communications and Impact Strategy and there will be follow-up on the proposals that emerged from the UN initiative, especially from the Office of the Regional Coordinator.

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