Talk:Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas
- 1 Ana Maria Ponce, Sep 21, 2013, First Week Program
- 2 Alejandro Camino, Sep 22, 2013, Foreword
- 3 Felipe Custer, Sep 23, 2013, Moderator's Note: Introduction to the case: Innovations on water management and knowledge sharing networks in the Andes and Himalayas
- 4 Felipe Custer, Sep 23, 2013, Case 1 by CONDESAN: Machangara River Basin Council, Azuay Province, Ecuador
- 5 Felipe Custer, Sep 24, 2013, Case 2 by CONDESAN: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro catchment, Tarma, Peru
- 6 Julian Goh on Sep 24,2013, Comment
- 7 Les Simm on Sep 24, 2013, Comment on Case 1
- 8 Alton Byers on Sep 24, 2013, Case 3:Climate Change, Tourism, and Freshwater Management in the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, Nepal
- 9 Guillermo Castro on Sep 25, 2013, Comment on Case 2
- 10 Felipe Custer on Sep 25, 2013, Question
- 11 Ana Maria Ponce on Sep 26, 2013, Case 3: Call for Action and community engagement
- 12 Ujol Sherchan <email@example.com> on Sep 26, 2013: ICIMOD 2013 Photo Contest Online Gallery on “Water” Themes
- 13 Jorge Recharte on Sep 26, 2013, Case 4: "Quillcay Watershed: innovating local governance for water resources management in the context of climate related hazards
- 14 Felipe Custer on Sep 27, 2013: Second Week Schedule
- 15 Alberto Zegarra <firstname.lastname@example.org> Comment on Week 1 Cases
- 16 Virginia Ponce <email@example.com> on Sep 27, 2013: Comments on Week 1
- 17 Felipe Custer <firstname.lastname@example.org> on Sep 27, 2013 Week 1 Summary
- 18 Ana Maria Ponce on Sep 30, 2013, Moderator's Note: Introduction to the Second Week
- 19 Paribesh Pradhan, Sep 30, 2013, Case 5: Innovations and challenges on water security and management across Nepal Himalayas in a changing climate
- 20 Guillermo Castro, Sep 30, 2013, "Comment about Case 6"
- 21 Guillermo Castro, Oct 1, 2013, Case 6: "The role of water sources in the Inca Road System (Qhapaq Ñan) and its successful management, in the region of Cajamarca, Peru, since pre-Hispanic times"
- 22 Paribesh Pradhan, Oct 2, 2013, "Reply to questions on my case"
- 23 Les Simm, Oct 2, 2013, "Question on Case 6 by G.Castro"
- 24 Kalyan Paul on Oct 2, 2013, Case 7: "Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain Ecosystems"
- 25 Guillermo Castro, Oct 2, 2013, Reply to Paribesh's comments about my case - Case 6"
- 26 Guillermo Castro, Oct 2, 2013, Reply to L.Simm's comments about my case - Case 6"
- 27 Ramiro Ortega on Oct 3, 2014 Case 8:"Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and strategies of adaptation to climate change in southern Peru"
- 28 Ana Maria Ponce on Oct 3, 2013, Moderator's Comments on Case 8
- 29 Ramiro Ortega, Oct 4, 2014, "Response to moderator's questions"
- 30 Ana Maria Ponce on Oct 4 2013: Summary of Week 2
- 31 Les Simm, Oct 6, 2013, "Introduction to Week 3"
- 32 Les Simm, Oct 6, 2013, Case 9 by Dirk Hoffmann: “Management of bofedales in the Bolivian Cordillera Real in the face of climate change”
- 33 Les Simm, Oct 7, 2013, "Case 10: “Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Development in Bhutan – Current Policies and Practices"
- 34 Alejandro Camino, Oct 7, 2013 "Comment about Case 8 by Ramiro Ortega:"Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and strategies of adaptation to climate change in southern Peru"
- 35 Lungten Norbu, Oct 8, 2013 "Comment about Case 8 by Ramiro Ortega"
- 36 Les Simm on Oct 8, 2013, "Introduction to Case 11 and summary of this week's debate"
- 37 Erg Rosenmann, Oct 9, 2013 "Case 11: Erg Rosenmann "Water Governance,small Hydro power plants and environmental services in the mountains of Chile: A Contribution for the HimalAndes Initiative"
- 38 Alejandro Camino on Oct 9, 2013 "A.Camino's comment on Case 7 by Kalyan Paul: "Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain Ecosystems”
- 39 Alejandro Camino on Oct 9, 2013 "A.Camino: Question on Case 10: "Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Development in the Bhutan"
- 40 Jorge Recharte on Oct 9, 2013 "Questions and Comment on the Quilcay Case"
- 41 Ramiro Ortega, Oct 10, 2013 "Comments and response to questions raised by Lungten Norbu"
- 42 Alejandro Camino, Oct 10, 2013 "Final overview and the way forward"
- 43 Ramiro Ortega, Oct 11, 2013 "Comments about the forum"
Ana Maria Ponce, Sep 21, 2013, First Week Program
Dear KM4Dev Colleagues,
I am pleased to share the first week program for the upcoming focused conversation “Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas” . The discussion will be moderated by our HimalAndes Core Team, Felipe Custer, Les Simm and myself during the next three weeks.
We appreciate the contribution from those experts who submitted valuable case studies for the discussion. We encourage our member's participation to enrich the debate.
Dr. Ana Maria Ponce
KM4Dev Core Group Member
Imágenes integradas 2
KM4Dev Focused Conversation:
“Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas”
Sep 23 – Oct 10, 2013
Week 1 Program : Sep 23 – 27
· Introductory Statement by Dr. Alejandro Camino, HimalAndes Initiative Founder
· Introduction to the first week’s topic: Innovations on water management and knowledge sharing networks in the Andes and Himalayas by Felipe Custer, CEO Equilibra Consultants
· Andes: Innovation on Water Management in the Andes (Case 1: Machangara River Basin Council, Azuay Province, Ecuador) by CONDESAN
· Andes: Innovation on Water Management in the Andes (Case 2: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro catchment, Tarma, Peru), by CONDESAN
· Himalayas: Climate Change, Tourism and Freshwater Management in the Sagarmantha (Everest) National Park, Nepal, by Alton Byers, Director of Science and Exploration, The Mountain Institute
· Andes: "Quillcay Watershed: innovating local governance for water resources management in the context of climate related hazards" by Jorge Recharte, Director of South America Programs, The Mountain Institute
· Weekly Summary No. 1 by Felipe Custer
Alejandro Camino, Sep 22, 2013, Foreword
"Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and the Himalaya“Italic text
It has been slightly over a decade since a group of academics from the natural and social sciences, with experience in both the Andes and the Himalaya launched the “HimalAndes Initiative”, aimed at promoting information exchange and cooperation in science and technology between two of the largest mountain ranges in the world.
From its inception the HimalAndes Initiative explored areas were information exchange and project cooperation could bear fruitful outcomes for conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of both regions, sharing innovative experiences, and focusing on the potential for the improvement in the livelihood of their mountain inhabitants.
In addition to some initial exchanges and small scale projects in the areas of agriculture, traditional crafts production for income generation, and community-based-tourism; the HimalAndes Initiative organized two inter-regional cooperation workshops. The first, held in Kathmandu in 1993, brought together colleagues from both regions and was an initial attempt to explore potential areas of cooperation. Several opportunities were highlighted. The second, an electronic conference managed by the Mountain Forum in 2006, dealt with the sustainable use of biodiversity, including genetic resources, in the Andes and the Himalayas.
The launching of this KMDev focused discussion on water management in mountain areas in the context of climate change hopes to build on the previous discussions, demonstrate the benefits of information exchange between our mountain regions, and our sustained commitment to strengthen awareness of the importance and potential for cooperation between the Andean and Himalayan region. Water management in changing environmental conditions will need to merge both the ancient technologies that dealt with similar situations, and innovative alternatives of today.
It is time for mountain countries to recognize the dynamic nature of their mountain environments and traditions and thus, despite differences, learn from each other. It is likely that Commonalities will become more and more evident, and initiatives identified that could harmonize exchanges between mountain regions and the adjacent lowlands. In addition, international agreements of co-responsibility on the utilization of global natural resources, such as water, will most likely evolve into international, inter-regional, and national treaties.
It is our aspiration that this third HimalAndes exchange opens up a wider view of the benefits of information exchange and potential for future practical mountain to mountain cooperation.
Alejandro Camino D.C.
HimalAndes Initiave, founder
Felipe Custer, Sep 23, 2013, Moderator's Note: Introduction to the case: Innovations on water management and knowledge sharing networks in the Andes and Himalayas
Dear KM4Dev Members,
It is my distinct pleasure to moderate the first week of the 3 week focused conversation on "Knowledge sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas". We have had the good fortune of receiving many excellent case studies from a wide variety of experts, with every day offering a new case study, so please consider offering prompt feedback.
By way of introduction:
Networks are an essential part of adapting and finding solutions to the many changes our world is currently undergoing. Each of the four case studies presented this week, during Week 1 of the “Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas” electronic forum, describes the power of networks in addressing a variety of challenges around water management in the Andean and Himalayan mountain ranges. All of the authors are highly specialized and experienced in their disciplines.
The first and second case studies under discussion this week are provided by CONDESAN. CONDESAN was founded in 1993 and has since consolidated its position as an important platform for issues related to natural resource management and sustainable development in the Andean region, particularly in water and watershed management. CONDESAN generates and shares information and knowledge about natural resource management in Andean rural societies to promote policy dialogues with local actors, national governments and regional organisms. The organization seeks to strengthen Andean human and institutional capital in order to promote new leaders for sustainable development in the Andes.
Our third case study this week is written by Alton C. Byers, Ph.D., who is a mountain geographer, conservationist and mountaineer specializing in applied research, high altitude ecosystems, climate change, and integrated conservation and development programs. He joined The Mountain Institute (TMI) in 1990 as Environmental Advisor, and has since worked as Co-Manager of the Makalu-Barun National Park (Nepal Programs), founder and Director of Andean Programs, Director of Appalachian Programs, and, since 2004, as Director of Science and Exploration. Since March, 2012 he has worked as Co-Manager of the USAID-funded High Mountains Adaptation Partnership project (HiMAP) that is implementing climate change adaptation and glacial lake risk reduction projects in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal and Cordillera Blanca region of Peru.
This week’s fourth case study is provided by Jorge Recharte, Ph.D., Director of South America Programs, who is based in Huaraz and Lima, Peru. Jorge joined TMI in 1997 after spending three years in Ecuador (1994-1996) working for the Latin American Social Science Faculty (FLACSO), designing and heading the graduate education and research program in Mountain Societies and Sustainable Development. Between 1980-1981 and 1990-1993, Dr. Recharte was an associate researcher at the International Potato Center, where he worked developing participatory research methodologies in agriculture. He currently serves on the Board of The Common Good Institute and is a member of the Andes Chapter of the International Mountain Society (IMS).
With distinguished expertise, all of this week’s authors provide highly relevant and thought-provoking perspectives. They invite us to consider the strength in forming Communities of Practice, along with some of the challenges and special considerations inherent in doing so. They encourage us to ask: What are the most effective ways to promote stakeholder engagement in a sustainable way? What strategies should we replicate to help other communities confront similar challenges? How do we best communicate these new approaches? There are many more questions and surely more will surface through this week’s discussions. We hope for a lively discussion with lots of participation!
Felipe Custer, Sep 23, 2013, Case 1 by CONDESAN: Machangara River Basin Council, Azuay Province, Ecuador
Case available here: 
Case 1: Machangara River Basin Council, Azuay Province, Ecuador
Felipe Custer, Sep 24, 2013, Case 2 by CONDESAN: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro catchment, Tarma, Peru
[Case available here: http://www.km4dev.org/profiles/blogs/himalandes-focused-conversation-case-2-integrated-water]
Julian Goh on Sep 24,2013, Comment
Very interesting development. Perhaps, other focus groups can be proposed here.
Les Simm on Sep 24, 2013, Comment on Case 1
After reading the excellent case study submitted by CONDESAN, I believe it would be interesting to have more information about the genesis of the project, and the role of CONDESAN and other key players in the development of the Machangara River Basin Council. Furthermore, I would like to raise the following questions for the authors, but also for wider reflection:
- How did the Basin Council overcome the practical communications problems? How is the Knowledge Management structured? What infrastructure was it necessary to develop to support the initiative(Internet/radio/publications, etc.) and how was it achieved?
- On the Basin Council itself; what resources does it require to be sustainable? For instance, how many people participate and how does it operate? How are they funded? What skills are required in the Council Members?
- How is the Basin Council perceived by the local population?
- On the paragraph related to Replication Possibilities: -- In the region there are several basins with conflicts among users of water for irrigation and hydroelectricity generation companies. The causes vary, but all of them have to do with access to water, adequate management of flows and the impacts of the construction of storage dams. Machángara has developed different negotiation mechanisms that have made it possible to reach agreements on harmonious use of water in the basin.—
- It is mentioned in the paragraph highlighted above that the Basin Council has developed different negotiation mechanisms. What are the mechanisms and how could they be applied elsewhere?
- In the case of conflict involving legal or other issues between members of the user groups, how does this affect the management of the Basin Council?
- Would it help to have a legal basis for future Basin Councils, or would they be better off without it?
Looking forward to hear some ideas and comments on the above, receive my best regards,
Alton Byers on Sep 24, 2013, Case 3:Climate Change, Tourism, and Freshwater Management in the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, Nepal
Climate Change, Tourism, and Freshwater Management in the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, Nepal
Alton C. Byers, Ph.D.
The Mountain Institute
High Mountain Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP)
Case Available Here: 
Guillermo Castro on Sep 25, 2013, Comment on Case 2
Dear KM4Dev Members, friends and colleagues, congratulations for the excellent idea of organizing the HimalAndes Initiative electronic forum "Knowledge sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas", which started last Monday and which will last the next three weeks. I found it very significant, useful and motivating.
As the Field Coordinator of the “Touristic Use of the Qhapaq Ñan and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of Tarmatambo” project, based at the pre-Inca site of Tarmatambo, an ancient Andean community located some seven kilometers from Tarma City, I found very interesting the case from CONDESAN titled "Case 2: Integrated Water Management of Muylo Mullucro Catchment, Tarma, Peru", which shows an example about how exchanges of experience and training and awareness methodologies allow participants to network and share practical experiences, encourages participants to replicate work in other areas".
I have some questions as regards this case that I would like to share with you,
- How is this achieved?
- Are periodic workshops organized?
- What is the role of CONDESAN in this project?
Thank you in advance.
Guillermo Castro email@example.com
Felipe Custer on Sep 25, 2013, Question
We are now approaching the end of Day 3 of our focused discussion on key issues regarding water management in two of the world's most important mountain ranges: The Andes and the Himalayas.
We appreciate the two comments provided so far, by Les and Guillermo, who both raise very pertinent questions.
I'd like to introduce another question for your consideration: How do you incentive participation in online forums around development issues?
Ana Maria Ponce on Sep 26, 2013, Case 3: Call for Action and community engagement
The case study submitted by Dr Alton Byers (TMI) describes the efforts on international collaboration and knowledge sharing between experts from different mountain regions, including Himalayas, Andes, Central Asia, European Alps.
By way of summary; in September 2011, an Andean-Asian Glacial Lake Expedition was conducted to Imja glacial lake in Mt. Everest region of Nepal, to share experiences in control and management of dangerous glacial lakes.
In July 2013, more than 60 experts spent 10 days in Cordillera Blanca (Peru) at the HiMAP Glacial Flooding and Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Exchange and Field Training workshop. The group spent three days trekking to Lake Palcacocha, Peru's most dangerous and unstable glacial lake.
I would like to comment that I feel the author is raising the attention of the international community on the need to promote further practical engagement between existing networks and Communities of Practice in mountain regions.
The paper also highlights the key points that communities themselves should be engaged as they are under direct threat. Communities of Practice (CoP) should work together to find practical solutions to these issues which will also have obvious benefits for communities facing similar issues in all mountain areas. All those involved in HiMAP should be congratulated and supported in this important initiative.
Dr. Ana Maria Ponce
KM4Dev Core Group
Suggested links and resources:
Skyship Films (videos of the September 2011 Andean-Asian Glacial Lake Expedition to Nepal, and July 2013) [www.skyshipfilms.com]
Ujol Sherchan <firstname.lastname@example.org> on Sep 26, 2013: ICIMOD 2013 Photo Contest Online Gallery on “Water” Themes
Subject: Resource: ICIMOD 2013 Photo Contest Online Gallery on “Water” Themes
The International Centre for Integrate Mountain Development (ICIMOD) 2013 Photo Contest Online Gallery (http://www.icimod.org/photocontest/2013/page/gallery) showcases about 2,900 entries (digital images) taken in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and submitted under the following thematic categories:
1) Uses or benefits of water or related resources; 2) Hazards, conflicts, or issues related to water (or lack thereof); and
3) Good practices in water or related risk management. As “seeing is believing”, browsing the online photo gallery will, I think, give the viewer a good understanding of diverse aspects of water or related resources in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region in terms of their uses and benefits; various ways they interact with society and ecosystems; and associated hazards and issues, not to mention good practices in water or related risk management.
Ujol Sherchan Email: email@example.com
Case 4 available here: 
Felipe Custer on Sep 27, 2013: Second Week Schedule
Dear KM4Dev Members,
We're wrapping up Week 1 of our 3-week Focused Conversation. Toward the end of the day we will circulate a brief summary of the week. For now, it is my pleasure to send you the agenda for Week 2: a week that features a great variety of inspiring and thought-provoking case studies!
We are very grateful to those who have participated in the conversation thus far and we look forward to a livelier discussion next week.
Sincerely, Felipe Custer
Week 2 Program: Sep 30 – Oct 4
- Introduction to Week 2: Traditional Knowledge Sharing on Water
management in the Andes and Himalayas by Dr. Ana Maria Ponce, KM4Dev Core Group Member
- Himalayas: Innovations and challenges on water security and
management across Nepal , by Paribesh Pradhan, Founder of Annapurna Foundation
- Andes: The importance and the role of water sources in the Inca
Road System (Qhapaq Ñan) and its successful management, in the region of Cajamarca, Peru, since pre-Hispanic times, by Guillermo Castro, Founder of the Qhapac Nan Patronage****
- Himalayas: Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain
Ecosystems, by Kalyan Paul, co-founder Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation
- Andes: Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and
strategies of adaptation to climate change in Southern Peru, by Ramiro Ortega, Executive Director, Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo Sustentable de los Agro ecosistemas Andinos , Antarki.****
- Weekly Summary No. 2, by Dr. Ana Maria Ponce
Alberto Zegarra <firstname.lastname@example.org> Comment on Week 1 Cases
Dear Felipe and HimalAndes Colleagues,
Thank you for sharing these excellent case studies. I enjoyed reading them, specially the cases submitted by A.Byers and J.Recharte (The Mountain Institute) about parallel activities in Nepal and Peru.As a Peruvian, I believe there is big potential for initiatives to promote south-south collaboration among mountain regions.
The cross-mountain knowledge exchange networks are focusing on the implications of the effect of climate changes in Peru and Nepal, monitoring the rapid recession of glaciers and the threats that mountain communities could face in seismic zones such as Ancash in Peru.
Congratulations for this excellent effort of inter-regional learning and collaboration!
Virginia Ponce <email@example.com> on Sep 27, 2013: Comments on Week 1
I have been reading the articles sent, specially those of Alton Byers, on efforts on international collaboration and knowledge sharing between experts of different mountain regions, and lake expeditions. Also the case of J. Recharte, and the respective comments.
I think it is an issue of great importance for the world to take into account the cases of water risk, in the case of lake investigations, but also to know what to do in these cases, so the Communities of Practice have a very important rol.
As a peruvian who lives near the sea, we live in other kind of risk, like sunamis, earthquakes, but I think it is very important to engage the population on what to do in case of disaster, specially in water risk in the case of lake floods and its respective threats.
Interesting also the kind of "energy" in these discussions. Very interesting to have cases in regions that have common hazards, like
Peru, Nepal, and other mountain regions.
I think that the population who lives in these regions must be "enseigned" about what to do and to be prepared, and also prepare the next generations of the world for any kind of risk, specially water risk.
Felipe Custer <firstname.lastname@example.org> on Sep 27, 2013 Week 1 Summary
Week 1 Summary
Focused Conversation subject: “Knowledge sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas”Week 1 Topic: Knowledge Sharing Networks
This week’s authors offered a variety of perspectives on related issues with a common thread: the successful management of water-related challenges in mountain regions introduces a new level of complexity. The complex nature of these solutions makes networks an essential element of success, but there are many factors to consider in order to achieve desired results in a sustainable way.
At the outset of the week we asked: What are the most effective ways to promote stakeholder engagement in a sustainable way? CONDESAN - a multinational organization that aims to strengthen new local leaders and establish multi-sectoral partnerships around development projects – offered some answers through the case studies they presented. In particular, they prioritize partnership building, and training children and youth through youth leadership programs.
At the same time, CONDESAN raises the issue of poor coordination among stakeholders. Some of the key questions asked by participants with regard to this issue include: How did the Basin Council overcome the practical communications problems? How is the Knowledge Management structured? What infrastructure was it necessary to develop to support the initiative (Internet/radio/publications, etc.) and how was it achieved? These questions are key for any project that relies on a networked approach, and it would be very interesting to read about how others have dealt with this issue.
Jorge Recharte and Alton Byers offered us cutting-edge perspectives on their work managing the risk of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods, or GLOFs. Both authors highlight the importance of international knowledge exchange, which they have seen first-hand between the Himalayan and Andean mountain communities. One result of this exchange has been the development of Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPAs) in both Nepal and Peru. Coordination and awareness-raising programs were implemented at a local and municipal level, as well as internationally.
To achieve this, Jorge Recharte reminds us that it is necessary to embrace complexity. This certainly seems true as we read these case studies and the many layers of coordination they describe. They raise numerous issues, requiring a very focused and strategic approach. As one person commented with regard to Dr. Byers’ case: “I feel the author is raising the attention of the international community on the need to promote further practical engagement between existing networks and Communities of Practice in mountain regions.” Another reader commented along this same line, “Very interesting development. Perhaps, other focus groups can be proposed here.”
Perhaps that is one answer we can glean from this week’s many questions: focus groups can help us avoid information overload and encourage participation. Even within this focused conversation we would benefit from targeting specific issues within each case study to entice further participation and achieve more concrete results.
We are grateful to each of those who have commented this week, and a special thank you to Ujol Sherchan of ICIMOD, who shared with us the value of visual story-telling through the ICIMOD Photo Contest on Water and Livelihoods. Images, and especially beautiful images, certainly help put these issues into context and inspire further action.
It has been a week filled with learning, both from a moderator’s and a practitioner’s perspectives. We look forward to much more (and more focused) learning in the weeks to come!
All the best,
Ana Maria Ponce on Sep 30, 2013, Moderator's Note: Introduction to the Second Week
It gives me great pleasure to begin my task as moderator of this second week of the focused conversation on "Knowledge sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalayas".
This week we will share four excellent case studies which will allow us find a common base to bridge the Andes and the Himalayas, two distant mountain ecosystems populated by ancient cultures who have found fascinating ways to manage the challenges they face to preserve their natural resources through innovative means.
The first two cases cover aspects related to water management in both the ancient Qapa Nam ( Inka Trail) and the newly developed Great Himalayan trail. Both trails cover several thousand kilometers in the Andes and the Himalayas. Both the ancient and new trail are still in use by communities to facilitate commerce and communication sharing along their routes which cross existing international boundaries. Important aspects of the survivability of the communities along both routes are the water channels, reservoirs and other ancient and modern methods of water management on the routes. In addition the community’s share a common need for effective measures to cope with potential water related natural disasters. The Qapac Nam, covering 6 countries and 30,000km in the Andes), is being proposed by UNESCO for the World Heritage List status, while the Great Himalayan Trail is under development with only Nepal and Bhutan having defined and documented routes so far..
Both cases were written by two experts who have never met, however both have walked thousands of kilometers along these routes to learn more about them, their origins, their communities and the messages they have for us. Both cases stand by their own, but they are deeply inter-related and share similar approaches. This is the beauty of these forums; facilitating virtual discussions and twining initiatives from distant regions
The first case is titled “*Himalayas: Innovations and challenges on water security and management across Nepal”*. The author (Paribesh Pradhan) from kathmandu is an electronics and communication engineer with a diploma in social sciences.He is a specialist in development and knowledge management focused on environment and climate change issues. Paribesh was recently engaged in a project walking from east to west of Nepal, a distance of 1555 KM, in 98 days along the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT). The aim was to document communities’ perception of change and stories of sustainable adaptation practices, vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change. The case provides a brief overview on physical geography and demography of Nepal and familiarizes the readers with the Nepal Himalayas. The available data on water security paints a picture of how the changing climate would impact irrigation systems, agro-processing mills, hydroelectricity plants and drinking water supply; and, therefore, have socio-economic consequences bring more developmental challenges. However, despite such consequences and challenges, Nepal can still offer the World some examples of good practices and local innovations. Two such innovative case studies on water management are presented here, based upon the observation during the author’s project, ‘The Great Himalaya Trail – My Climate Initiative’.
- You can read this case from the following link to KM4Dev Wiki: *
The second case comes from Peru. The author (Guillermo Castro) was Born in Lima and was the Founder and first Executive Director of the Patronato Qhapaq Ñan (Inka Trail Patronage) and a member at the National Working Group on Mountain Ecosystems of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is currently working as a professional guide, specialist in ecotourism,rural and community-based tourism, as well as sustainable development and conservation in mountain areas. Guillermo is author of the book “Guarco & Chincha, Settlements and Trails in Ancient Peru”
The third case comes from India, the author (Kalyan Paul) introduces how economic growth at the cost of ecological security has led to the impoverishment of marginal mountain farmers dependent upon forests for sustainable livelihoods. He co-founded Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, a voluntary organisation which promotes holistic river basin restoration through active engagement of communities in the central and western Himalayan regions of India. Kalyan was selected as a Ashoka Fellow in the same year due to his role as a prime change maker. He continues to live and work from a tiny hamlet at 6,000 feet in the central Himalaya; focused about bringing forth sustainable change and development at the grassroots, through active engagement of communities.
The fourth case comes from Southern Peru. The author (Ramiro Ortega) presents how Andean farmer are expert decoders of codes that Nature itself is responsible for sending as true preventive "warnings". His case introduces the amazing ability of the Andean farmer to read and interpret the Signs or "Messages", and applying this traditional knowledge to face issues affecting them, such as: drought, frost, hail, floods, and other natural phenomena
Let me encourage this week’s discussion by asking the audience to read the articles and try to respond the following simple questions:
- How could we help mountain communities to preserve traditional knowledge on water management issues ?
- How could we assist them to collect, improve and apply this knowledge on their daily work?
- How could we transfer this knowledge among different mountain regions?Italic text
Finally, let me express my gratitude to the authors of the excellent case studies for their valuable contribution to this KM4Dev Focused Conversation, and look forward for a second week debate with an active discussion,
Dr. Ana Maria Ponce
KM4Dev Core Group Member
Paribesh Pradhan, Sep 30, 2013, Case 5: Innovations and challenges on water security and management across Nepal Himalayas in a changing climate
Case available here: 
Guillermo Castro, Sep 30, 2013, "Comment about Case 6"
Dear KM4Dev Members, friends and colleagues, I am enjoying very much this Electronic Forum of the HimalAndes Initiative and I find it very interesting, useful and motivating.
I have some questions as regards the Case 5 by Paribesh Pradhan: "Innovations and challenges on water security and management across Nepal Himalayas in a changing climate", that I would like to share with you.
How do you envision the application of the innovations from the Himalayas in the Andes? For example, could we imagine a way to use the solar cookers described in your case in the Andean villages? Thank you in advance.
Guillermo Castro, Oct 1, 2013, Case 6: "The role of water sources in the Inca Road System (Qhapaq Ñan) and its successful management, in the region of Cajamarca, Peru, since pre-Hispanic times"
Case available here: 
Paribesh Pradhan, Oct 2, 2013, "Reply to questions on my case"
Thank you for your question and for showing interest in my case study. I presented the case study specifically after visiting Peru this year. I believe that solar cookers have great potential in the Peruvian Andes, specially in places around Huaraz, areas around Machu Picchu, Salcantay mountain and small islands in lake Titicaca. These were the places I visited during my travel. Of course, they could be implemented around other Andean mountainous communities too but this could be a start because they are popular tourist destinations - a common denominator between my case study in Nepal and my travel in Peru.
In Nepal Himalayas, I noticed that the new alternative technologies like solar cookers were more visible in tourism based communities like Annapurna and Everest regions. I believe that tourism entrepreneurship encourages communities to adopt and try out these new technologies. It may well be the driver for bringing change in communities; about doing things differently rather than following conventional practices.
In Nepal, there are tea houses available throughout all popular trekking routes, and the travel companies do not need to use tents during their trekking. It is more cost effective for them and also good for the local communities. Only on few occasions that they run camp based trekking groups. So having tea house lodges all over the trekking routes makes it easier to introduce technologies like solar cooker in Nepal. First, it saves a lot of energy, time and money for the lodge owners which otherwise they would have to get from fodder/wood or other fossil fuels like LPG gas or kerosene. Secondly, with government subsidy in these kind of technology, the lodge owners are encouraged to buy them.
Although in Peru, as I experienced, trekking is predominantly camp based (with tents), introducing solar cookers in tourism based communities might be challenging but not impossible. I believe that Peru will soon follow tea house based trekking in future. And yet, there are also places like Amantani Island in lake Titicaca where there are home-stay services. I am sure such technologies could be successfully introduced in those communities first, and slowly replicated to other areas depending upon its response.
I hope I have answered your question.
Les Simm, Oct 2, 2013, "Question on Case 6 by G.Castro"
I read with great interest your case study based on your wide knowledge of the Qapac Nan and the Cajamarca region in particular. Thank you for sharing your observations with us.
I was particularly interested in your comments on the Inca use and current development of the Thermal Springs for the benefit of both the mountain communities themselves, and to stimulate responsible tourism with all the benefits that brings. In Nepal there are natural hot springs called Tato Pani, which simply means hot water. With a few exceptions these locations have not been fully developed to provide better facilities for the local communities or tourists. Unlike the Qapac Nan, the Great Himalayan Trail is not an ancient trade and communication route, but was almost specifically developed with trekkers and tourism in mind as a means to hopefully provide better livelihoods for communities along the route. Realising that you have a very wide knowledge of the Qapac Nan I have the following questions which I think will be of value for the Himalaya region as well:
1. In addition to the points in your case study are there any other ways you perhaps suggest that may improve the benefit to local communities in a more sustainable way?
2. From your observations what do you consider to be crucial points to balance the water resource usage issue between, mountain communities and other potential users such as tourist and commercial entities?
Thank you again for sharing your case study with us and I look forward to your response. With kind regards.
HimalAndes Core Group
Kalyan Paul on Oct 2, 2013, Case 7: "Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain Ecosystems"
Full Case is available here: 
I am happy to share today the excellent case study from the Himalaya, written by Mr. Kalyan Paul, co-founder of Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, and Ms. Anita Paul, Director of Community Initiatives. The case title is: "*Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain Ecosystems".
Born in September 1957, Mr. Kalyan Paul completed a Masters in Economics at BITS, Pilani followed by a Masters in Social Work from Delhi University, India in 1979. He has been directly involved with community development programs since 1980 when he joined the National Dairy Development Board at Anand to organise a three-tier cooperative infrastructure for procurement, processing and marketing of milk for small and marginal farmers in Operation Flood, the largest anti-poverty program in the world. He was also involved with conceptualising and preparation of crucial sector reforms in irrigation, salt and wastelands development.
In 1992, he co-founded Pan Himalayan *Grassroots *Development Foundation, a voluntary organisation which promotes holistic river basin restoration through active engagement of communities in the central and western Himalayan regions of India. Kalyan was selected as a Ashoka Fellow in the same year due to his role as a prime change maker. He holds the portfolio of Executive Director in Grassroots besides being the chief promoter of Guilds of *Barefoot Engineers* involved with spreading the benefits of appropriate technologies in various cross-cutting sectors like community-managed drinking water, environmental sanitation, rainwater harvesting and renewable energy. His major responsibility is to organise communities across the Gagas river basin for renewal of hydrology through adoption and adaption of appropriate technologies in soil and moisture conservation.
Kalyan has been honoured with the Jamnalal Bajaj award for Application of Science & Technology for Rural Development in 2012 besides being featured as an outstanding social entrepreneur in other forums. He continues to live and work from a tiny hamlet at 6,000 feet in the central Himalaya; focused about bringing forth sustainable change and development at the grassroots, through active engagement of communities. The introduction to the case is attached below. The full case including beautiful pictures, maps and charts, is available at the KM4Dev Wiki: 
Finally, let me express our sincere compliments to the Decentralized Hub for Central Asia of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat for facilitating this contribution and their valuable support to enrich the debate.
Dr. Ana Maria Ponce KM4Dev Core Group
Guillermo Castro, Oct 2, 2013, Reply to Paribesh's comments about my case - Case 6"
Dear Paribesh Pradhan, thank you for your e-mail and for your prompt reply about my inquires on the solar cookers item. Very interesting to hear from you the successful experience in Nepal with that effective and necessary technology in the Tea Houses, basically at the Annapurna Region.
Well, I am very interesting in that special subject as we are developing a project here in Peru (both in Laraos and Tarmatambo Andean communities located East of Lima), that will include the building and implementation of modern tambos, or Andean lodges (or rest places for trekkers in the mountains) that are actually a family-run ventures which provide basic accommodation, food, and of course hot drinks, for the weary travellers. So our tambos in the Andes will be like the Nepali Tea Houses on the route,especially at the Qhapaq Ñan Inca Road System.
And we are now, by small coincidence, developing a similar technology that we call in Spanish Cocinas Mejoradas (Improved Cookers) for this modern tambos. The use of this new kitchens allow to eliminate the smoke to the interior of the House through a chimney; increases the quality of life of families; avoided exposure to the pollutants that are generated by the wood-burning; 50% of the consumption is reduced and accelerates the cooking time, leaving more free time for mothers to do other domestic work.
In Peru, before the Cocinas Mejoradas, 2,000,000 families used to cook with solid fuel inside the House and in many cases, not well aired or ventilated. This makes that the families are exposed to smoke, dust and toxic gases generated by the combustion, whose rate is 10 to 40 times higher than recommended by the World Health Organization. This indoor air pollution explains the significant incidence of acute respiratory and pulmonary diseases in high Andean rural families.
So I think we can learn enormously from the successful Nepali Tea Houses experiences for our Andean Tambos at the Qhapaq Ñan. And I am in agree with you that such technologies (solar cookers) could be successfully introduced in those communities first, and slowly replicated to other areas depending upon its response.
Thanks again Paribesh Pradhan.
Best regards from Lima, Peru,
Guillermo Castro, Oct 2, 2013, Reply to L.Simm's comments about my case - Case 6"
Thank you for your questions and for showing interest in my case study.
Very interesting to learn that In Nepal there are natural hot springs called Tato Pani (which simply means hot water in Nepali language). I hope in the near future these locations can be fully developed to provide better facilities for the local communities and/ or tourists, as we normally do here in the Andes. As regards your first question, I think there are also others ways that may improve the benefit to local communities in a more sustainable way.
For instance, the possibility of starting projects promoting the touristic use of the cultural heritage could be very helpful and valuable for the development of the rural and mountain communities. In our case, here in Peru, we have many examples in which the development of the community on the basis of their cultural heritage has been very successful. In the specific case of the Qhapaq Ñan Inca route there are many cultural heritages related to the road system and they are very interesting and remarkable touristic attractions.
I can mention for example, the "Andenes" or the ancient pre-Hispanic Andean terraces for agriculture that are always quite close to the Inca pathways and trails. Also the "Colcas" or warehouses close to the "tambos" where the Incas used to store food and seeds for possible future difficult times.
The Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites in Peru are innumerable and you find them everywhere along the country, always related to the Qhapaq Ñan Inca Road System. Peruvian archaeologist Dr. Elías Mujica, who is devoted much of his life promoting public-private alliances and partnerships for research, conservation and social use of the cultural heritage, is convinced that this can be the key to promote the sustainable development of Andean communities.
The touristic use of the cultural heritage can also improve the income of the people and the quality of life in many Andean communities. The cultural heritage is not just the "memories of the past", but also opportunities for the development of local communities today.
As regards your second question, I think some of the natural springs of fresh and crystal-clear water in particular remote Andean areas can be in the future the solution for the everyday more demanding consumption of pure and clean drinking waters in the big cities. One good example of this successful enterprising is the famous "Agua Mineral San Mateo", which is located very near the Andean town of San Mateo (some 75 kilometers East of Lima) which is now a prosperous industry of fresh mineral water from the mountains that is bottled and commercialized all along the country.
Thank you again for showing interest in my case study.
Ramiro Ortega on Oct 3, 2014 Case 8:"Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and strategies of adaptation to climate change in southern Peru"
INDIGENOUS SYSTEMS FOR LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST AND STRATEGIES OF ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHERN PERU
Ramiro Ortega Dueñas* email@example.com
[Full case Available here: http://www.km4dev.org/profiles/blogs/himalandes-focused-conersation-case-8-by-r-ortega-indigenous]
Indigenous Knowledge has been defined in a multitude of studies and in a variety of contexts for a wide range of purposes. Indigenous knowledge is understood as a form of circumscribed Local Knowledge in Communities and their lifestyles.
The way of transmitting this knowledge is orally and its origins may be due to signals or previous experiences. In any case, they are collective, and are built over time and generations. Indigenous knowledge is developed through the transmitting, and probable adaptation of existing knowledge, which in turn are created, developed and transformed collectively. This knowledge has been the basis for agriculture and for the many other activities that supported and still support societies in many parts of the world.
In this context, current climate crisis offers a unique opportunity for indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems to be considered and valued within the discourse on climate change.
In the Andes, the man among many of his skills has a great ability, perceptual acuity and Behavioral interpretation of Climate Time, this ability allows them to find answers to the uncertainty of the weather, and also insure their crops and their survival through time.
The Andean farmer is an expert decoder of Codes that Nature itself is responsible for sending as a true preventive "warnings". The amazing ability of the Andean farmer to read and interpret and the Signs or "Messages", help them to apply this knowledge to face issues such as: drought, frost, hail, floods, etc.; caused by weather, no doubt this is one of the greatest contributions of the Andean Agriculture.
With the understanding above, only after patiently observing the behavior of the “Signs” (the very own Nature components and their behavior) we can see its value for climate change forecast. The signs are manifestations of Nature and then “Señaleros” (in the local language these are the Andean messengers , sign decoders); the Astros : the sun, the moon, the stars; the meteorological features: lightning, clouds, rainbows, cloudscapes and winds; Animals: birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects; Plants: wild and cultivated;, and finally their “Dreams”, are defined and implemented in different strategies such as: seed exchange, vertical ecological monitoring, use of interspecific and intraspecific variability, sowing and harvesting season, and additionally in the process of decision making when it comes to cultivating systems.
This article is a summary of a research performed in Highland Communities in Cusco, Puno and Arequipa during 2011 and 2012.
- Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo Sustentable de los Agroecosistemas Andinos Antarki: IDSA-ANTARKI, CUSCO-PERU
I just shared the article sent by Prof. Ramiro Ortega, titled: "Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and strategies of adaptation to climate change in southern Peru" . 
Ana Maria Ponce on Oct 3, 2013, Moderator's Comments on Case 8
According to Prof. Ortega, Indigenous Knowledge has been defined in a multitude of studies and in a variety of contexts for a wide range of purposes. Indigenous knowledge is understood as a form of circumscribed Local Knowledge in Communities and their lifestyles. The way of transmitting this knowledge is orally and its origins may be due to signals or previous experiences. In any case, they are collective, and are built over time and generations.
Indigenous knowledge is developed through the transmitting, and probable adaptation of existing knowledge, which in turn are created, developed and transformed collectively. This knowledge has been the basis for agriculture and for the many other activities that supported and still support societies in many parts of the world.
As a conclusion, Prof. Ortega says:
- The ancestral farmer’s knowledge and local technologies vary significantly with the cosmology interpretation, geographical region, agroecological zone, basin characteristics and lifestyles of the Andean farmer.
- The farmers of different communities have a large capacity and acuity in reading and interpreting climate time in the short and long term.
- The ancestral knowledge is local; therefore consideration and application should be local as well.
My question to the audience is: Do you agree with the above definition of indigenous knowledge and the way it is being preserved and transmitted over time?
The full case is available from: http://www.km4dev.org/profiles/blogs/himalandes-focused-conersation-case-8-by-r-ortega-indigenous
Dr, Ana Maria Ponce
KM4Dev Core Group Member
Ramiro Ortega, Oct 4, 2014, "Response to moderator's questions"
Dear KM4Dev Colleagues,
Below is the response from Prof. Ramiro Ortega to my questions on his excellent case study titled " *INDIGENOUS SYSTEMS FOR LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST AND STRATEGIES OF ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHERN PERU"*
The full case including nice pics is available from the KM4Dev Ning site: http://www.km4dev.org/profiles/blogs/himalandes-focused-conersation-case-8-by-r-ortega-indigenous?xg_source=activity
This evening I will share a summary of the second week of our discussion. I appreciate the support from the authors and members who have sent their comments about the case studies shared so far. Next week is the last week of our discussion, with three case studies submitted by authors from Buthan, Bolivia and Chile, respectively.
The program for the third week is available on the KM4Dev Wiki discussions page.
- *Introduction to Third Week’s Topic: Innovations and alternative uses of water in the Andes and the Himalayas* by Les Simm, HimalAndes Initiative Core Group
- *Andes: Management of bofedales (high Andean peat bogs) in the Bolivian Cordillera Real in the face of climate change* by Dirk Hoffmann, Director, Bolivian Mountain Institute
- *Himalayas: Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Development in Buthan*, by Pema Wangdi, Management Division, Department of Forests and Park Services (MoAF), and Lungten Norbu,Council for RNR Research of Bhutan(CoRRB), MoAF
- *Andes: Lessons learnt on water governance and environmental servicesof Micro-Hydroelectric plants in the Mountains of Chile* by Erg Rosenmann Environmental Council of Pucon, Chile
- *Discussion summary and Lessons Learnt: The way forward*, by Dr.Alejandro Camino, HimalAndes Initiative Founder
Finally, I am glad to realize that our community has attracted interest from all the authors from our excellent case studies amongst research & development practitioners from the Andes and the Himalaya. As result of this debate, they have all recently joined our KM4Dev platform and became active in the discussion, enriching the debate with their comments and responses, enriching the content of our network, through this focused virtual dialogue.
Looking forward to active discussion.
Dr. Ana Maria Ponce KM4Dev Core Group Member
From: Ramiro Ortega Dueñas <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 2013/10/4 Subject: Respuesta a preguntas To: ana maria ponce <email@example.com>
Dear Dr.. Ana Maria,
Thank you very much for your comments and questions. I enclose my response below:
1. Originally knowledge is transferred from father to son, from generation to generation. Children at the age of 7 or 8 join their parents on the many different activities, helping them depending on their age and physical strength. As they grow up they can perform activities that require more responsibility and skills. Regarding the interpretation of weather conditions, farmers watch carefully the behavior of the many "signalers". Once this pattern is decoded that analyze it and interpret it by forecasting climate change.
Some of the many "signalers" used are: Astrological (Stars, the Moon, the Sun), Natural Phenomena (wind, clouds, lighting, rainbow), animals (birds, amphibians, fish, etc.) and plants (wild and cultivated).
2. Farmers in the highlands are very conservative but assertive at the same time: when they observe something interesting that can potentially be incorporated on their knowledge portfolio, it is evaluated before being fully applied on their area.
Generally knowledge and technology are similar among similar areas, therefore replicated and transferred to other areas.
3. The "Vertical ecological management" is one of the strategies used by the farmer when facing climate change. Through this technique the farmer cultivates the same specie at different altitudes, that are usually different in temperature, humidity, etc. These could be up to three: High, Medium and Lower layer. The expectation is that the cultivated specie will have a good production at least in one of the layers,regardless of frost, drought, or any other adverse condition. This type of management also sometimes influences the decision over where to cultivate and even sometimes what varieties would be selected. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me,
Ana Maria Ponce on Oct 4 2013: Summary of Week 2
Let me summarize the penultimate week’s discussion on the “Focused Conversation on Water Use and innovations in the Andes and the Himalayas”. The theme of the week was: “Traditional Knowledge and innovations around water use in the Andes and Himalayas”. This week we shared four case studies, illustrating the way mountain communities from both regions use their traditional knowledge and develop innovative solutions to cope with issues affecting them. These issues are mainly related to water insecurity and climate change, which force communities to forge human networks and share knowledge to preserve their valuable natural resources, health of their water, land, and forests.
All four cases illustrated how traditional knowledge preserved since ancient times by mountain communities has been the main instrument to survive threats derived from nature’s inclemency. Mountain people have preserved and further developed diverse tools already inherent to their traditional knowledge . They have cultivated innovative tools, social organizations, basin-level federations, and economic mechanisms to improve their situation. They know how to recognize climate change indicators, have developed systems such as improved traditional water mills, and micro-hydropower plants to enhance their own livelihoods. All the case studies showcase valuable examples of application of this traditional knowledge and their practical applications in mountain regions of Peru, India and Nepal. We consider it important to highlight these innovations and find a way to improve and transfer this knowledge among other inhabitants of the world’s largest mountain ecosystems to enhance their wellbeing. Of particular note is the fact that initiatives are more successful and sustainable when the communities themselves are closely involved from inception and traditional knowledge harnessed and developed by them. It is unlikely that any top down solutions will last unless engagement and buy in of the communities is obtained from the bottom up first.
Summary of Case studies
Case 5 by Paribesh Pradhan titled “Innovations and challenges on water security and management across Nepal” This case presents a brief overview on physical geography and demography of Nepal and familiarizes the readers with the outline of the Nepal Himalayas. The available data on water security paints a picture of how the changing climate would impact irrigation systems, agro-processing mills, hydroelectricity plants and drinking water supply; and, therefore, have socio-economic consequences, and bring more developmental challenges. However, despite such consequences and challenges, Nepal can still offer the World some of its good practices and local innovations. Two such innovative case studies on water management have been presented here, based upon the observation during the author’s project, ‘The Great Himalaya Trail – My Climate Initiative’. These innovations are improved traditional water mills and micro-hydropower plants developed by the communities themselves.
Case 6 by Guillermo Castro titled “Iimportance and the role of water sources in the Inca Road System (Qhapaq Ñan) and its successful management, in the region of Cajamarca, Peru, since pre-Hispanic times “ highlights the use of thermal water sources in the North of Peru, and the relevance for sustainable tourism. The author states that the quality of life and the index of human development achieved in Cajamarca is far superior when compared to other cities in the region
Case 7 by Kalyan Paul, “Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain Ecosystems“ is anchored in a typical languishing river basin in the central Himalaya of India and discusses the urgency of viewing Water as an essential ecosystem service of Forests. It attempts to bring together the field experiences of community-driven strategies for renewal of the hydrological cycle in the river basin and their quest for restoring a fresh balance in their lives, in times of climate change. It is envisaged that this case study - action on the ground - would lead to an effective debate regarding the need to forge a coalition at the global level.
Case 8: by Ramiro Ortega titled “Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and strategies of adaptation to climate change in Southern Peru” is a summary of a research performed in Highland Communities in Cusco, Puno and Arequipa during 2011 and 2012. In the Andes, the man among many of his skills has a great ability, perceptual acuity and Behavioral interpretation of Climate Time, this ability allows them to find answers to the uncertainty of the weather, and also insure their crops and their survival through time. The Andean farmer is an expert decoder of Codes that Nature itself is responsible for sending as a true preventive "warnings". This case presents the amazing ability of the Andean farmer to read and interpret and the Signs or "Messages", help them to apply this knowledge to face threats derived from the climate changes. Prof. Ortega highlights this knowledge as one of the greatest contributions of the Andean Agriculture. Concrete achievements from the second week discussion:
In the second week of discussion we have achieved the following concrete results:
• Authors of the first two case studies (Paribesh Pradhan and Guillermo Castro) who have never met before have established virtual contact and exchanged ideas around the practical applications of the solar cookers and other innovations in Nepal and their potential for the central Andes of Peru, the TarmaTambo Project. This will be taken forward beyond this focused conversation and a wider network established to support the initiative for practical sustainable solutions for Himlaya and Andean community projects.
• Exchanges on the final two case studie (Kalyan Paul and Prof. Ortega) will be the subject of separate practical engagement initiatives to extrapolate measures of benefit to communities and specific projects in the HimalAndes regions.
• All the case authors (4) have joined our KM4Dev platforms: Wiki and Ning so far
• All four cases have been commented on and the questions raised have been responded to by the authors, providing feedback, additional information, and stimulating the debate with further ideas.
• The discussion page on the KM4Dev Wiki has been visited 915 times in the first two weeks of the debate . It has been updated on a regular basis including cases and comments.
• The discussion blog created in the KM4Dev Ning includes all the case studies including images, charts and maps. http://www.km4dev.org/profiles/blog/list?user=3i3f62zskm3cn
• As of today, 4th October 2013, the Second week case studies on the KM4Dev Ning show the following visits:
Case 5 by Paribesh Pradhan 81
Case 6 by Guillermo Castro 46
Case 7 by Kalyan Paul 30
Case 8 by Ramiro Ortega 37
Thank you for taking your time for reading the cases and submitting questions to the authors. Looking forward to a rich debate next week, receive my best regards,
Dr. Ana Maria Ponce KM4Dev Core Group Member
Les Simm, Oct 6, 2013, "Introduction to Week 3"
It gives me great pleasure to introduce and moderate the final week of our three week focused conversation entitled “Knowledge Sharing around water management innovations in the Andes and Himalaya”. The subject for this week is: “Innovations and alternative uses of water in the Andes and the Himalaya”.
We will be presenting 3 papers during the week from Bolivia, Bhutan, and Chile:
Oct 7th , Andes: “Mangement of bofedales (high Andean peat bogs) in the Bolivian Cordillera Real in the face of climate change by Dirk Hoffmann, Director of the Bolivian Mountain Institute”.
Oct 8th, Himalaya: “Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Mountain Development in Bhutan; current policies and practices”. Co-authored by Dr. Lungten Norbu, Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research (CoRRB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF), and Pema Wangdi, Management Division, Department of Forests and Park Services of the MoAF.
Oct 9th, Andes: “Lessons learned on water governance and environmental services of small Hydroelectric plants in the mountains of Chile” by Eng. Erg Rosenmann, Environmental Council of Pucon, Chile.
Oct 10th, Summary and lessons learned; “The Way Forward” by Dr. Alejandro Camino, Founder of HimalAndes Initiative.
In the previous weeks we have been honoured to receive high quality submissions with 11 papers from 7 countries across the Himalaya and Andes. The topics have been wide ranging but ultimately with common themes of interest in both regions, such as climate change, water resource security, and strategies for local community and external user group cooperation to mention a few.
The papers this week again cover diverse water management topics; from legal issues encountered, to Hydro Power as an alternative renewable energy strategy and its integration into the economic and social welfare of communities. A common strand is the keen awareness of the effects of climate change by both the mountain communities that live directly with the local effects, to the Governments, NGO’s and academic institutions struggling with the wider consequences. It is also apparent that Knowledge Management is key at all levels to finding practical solutions based on ancient and modern wisdom.
We would welcome any questions or comments you may have from the cases previously submitted as well as those that will be presented this week. To review the debate so far please use the following link: http://wiki.km4dev.org/Knowledge_Sharing_around_water_management_innovations_in_the_Andes_and_Himalayas
In addition we invite suggestions for future topics that you would like to see covered in more detail, or for specific Communities of Practice.
I would like to leave you with the following question to ponder and comment on:
“Water availability is identified as a source of conflict at the local and international level. How do we identify and transfer efficient traditional solutions and modern innovations across mountain regions to reduce the potential for such conflict?”
I look forward to a stimulating debate during the coming week.
HimalAndes Core Group
Les Simm, Oct 6, 2013, Case 9 by Dirk Hoffmann: “Management of bofedales in the Bolivian Cordillera Real in the face of climate change”
I am pleased to present the first case of this week in the on-going focused conversation. The paper is entitled: “Management of bofedales (high Andean peat bogs) in the Bolivian Cordillera Real in the face of climate change” by Dirk Hoffman, Director of the Bolivian Mountain Institute (BMI). His biodata is as follows:
Dirk Hoffmann holds anM.A. in Latin American Studies from the Free University Berlin and an MSc in Environmental Protection from Humboldt University Berlin. From 2009-11 he was working with the Ecological Institute (IE) of the Bolivian state university, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA), La Paz, as Coordinator of the Climate Change Research Program. At present he is director of the Bolivian Mountain Institute (BMI), a non-profit foundation located in La Paz, and editor of its Spanish language blog on Climate Change: www.cambioclimatico-bolivia.org. The subject of his ongoing PhD is the influence of protected areas on landscape transformation in Bolivian high mountain regions under conditions of climate change.
Please follow the link below for Dirks paper:
In his paper Dirk introduces: “the international multidisciplinary project “Modelling BIO-diversity and land use interactions under changing glacial water availability in the Tropical High Andes (Bio-THAW) which was designed to provide science based model scenarios for climate change adaptation measures. The project aims at bridging the gap between science and traditional communities, in search of scientific insight and understanding, on the one hand, and looking for ways for mountain communities to adapt to a changing reality, on the other.”
Bio-THAW is a live project and I am sure that it will stimulate interest and comment within the debate. As Dirk is also a PhD candidate I am sure he would welcome our comments and engagement with colleagues from the Himalaya and Andes sharing similar projects and interests.
We look forward to your active participation.
HimalAndes Core Group
Les Simm, Oct 7, 2013, "Case 10: “Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Development in Bhutan – Current Policies and Practices"
I am honoured to present the second case study this week for the focused conversation from the Kingdom of Bhutan. The paper is entitled: “Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Development in Bhutan – Current Policies and Practices” Co-authored by Dr. Lungten Norbu, and Dr Pema Wangda. The academic background for both authors is below:
Dr. Lungten Norbu: Has a BSc in Biological Science from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, Diploma in General Forestry from the Indian Forest College, Dehradun, India, an MSc in Tree Improvement from Edinburgh University, UK, and a PhD in Forest Management Planning from the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland. Dr Norbu is currently with the Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research (CoRRB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF)
Dr. Pema Wangda: Has a BSc in Forestry from the University of the Philippines, and an MSc and PhD in Natural Environmental Studies from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Wangda is Chief Forestry Officer in the Watershed Management Division within the Forest and Park Services of the MoAF.
Please follow this link to access the paper:
The case study is very thought provoking as it identifies the need to balance economic development and natural resource preservation, with the happiness of the nation. It explains how the Buddhist philosophy of the Middle Path has contributed to the development of the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) so that the needs of the people of Bhutan are not overshadowed by economic development. GNH is divided into four pillars: Good Governance, sustainable socio economic development, cultural preservation and environmental conservation.
This case study gives a practical example of how the theory of GNH works in practice with the economic driver of hydro-power. GNH has already generated a lot of interest from the UN to countries from Brazil to the UK who are closely following its development. In the business world there are also companies that are looking to develop such concepts into their business plans who are using GNH as a start point.
In the context of our debate it demonstrates that water management innovations, sustainability, and the economy also have a social aspect that can be quantified through GNH rather than just GDP. There are lessons we can derive from this.
As of today we have had over 1,000 views of this debate on the KM4Dev Wiki :
This is a very good milestone, congratulations to you all! We look forward to hearing your comments on the paper.
HimalAndes Core Group
Alejandro Camino, Oct 7, 2013 "Comment about Case 8 by Ramiro Ortega:"Indigenous Systems for local weather forecast and strategies of adaptation to climate change in southern Peru"
This are just very small sample of a massive oral encyclopedia aimed at performing well in a difficult and unpredictable environment, even taking advantage of negative conditions, such as using the night frosts of winter in the uplands to freeze dry their eventual surpluses. Or taking grains of maize uphill and exposing them to the severe sunlight at those altitudes in order to stimulate genetic mutations as induced by ultraviolet rays, thus expanding their diversified maize varieties to an extreme. Their response to a diversified environment was precisely to deal with it diversifying their crops.
Dr. Ortega is right when he says that traditional knowledge should be considered and valued for any strategy to mitigate climate change. Resiliency is utmost important in managing unpredictable climate, a characteristic of all mountain environments, especially those ranges located in the tropics, such as the Central Andes.
This ancient knowledge of the Andean “decoders of the codes of nature” is been lost at a fast rate. Young descendants are trained in state rural schools to become dysfunctional to their mountain habitats, and thus, making of them potential migrants into the city. Agronomers trained at universities in an extremely rich country in agropastoral traditions are not informed of this ancestral know how, and, furthermore, are told that this are unsound superstitions.
When the Spanish invaders came into Inca land, crazed by the voracity for gold, were also surprised to see the huge storages all over the country, packed with the massive surpluses of exceptionally good years, freeze drying their many tuber species and cultivars, dried fish and meat, Andean cereals, enormous packs of cloth and dress. This was a thousand of years of a tradition to prevent risk in the uncertainties of the unpredictable tropical mountain environment of the Central Andes.
Thanks Ramiro for bringing this so important issue related to climate change management and mitigation! Alejandro Camino
The HimalAndes Initiative
Lungten Norbu, Oct 8, 2013 "Comment about Case 8 by Ramiro Ortega"
The traditional methods of local weather forecasting in the Andes explained by Dr. Ortega is interesting , and it can relevant for application to Bhutan Himalaya, as it has similar conditions (as pointed by Ana somehere...). Also, similar local knowledge/ calendar are used by Bhutanese farmers to plan and grow their crops. In general, Bhutanese farmers follow Bhutanese Lunar Calendar ( close to Chinese calendar) and it also contains the prediction of important annual events relating weather – such as bountiful harvest, rainfall, snowfall , drought and fire in general. Farmers follow the Bhutanese Calender to observe important religious events/days such as Blessed Rainy Day and Sacred Days ( 8th . 15th and 30th days of every month- do not work in the fields). However, for growing their main crops ( rice and maize)., farmers follow the nature’s clock- such as flowering of plants and birds activities and songs around them . For example, flowering of Rosa species is used as indicator to start rice cultivation in western Bhutan ( 2000-2400 m). Growing crop in Bhutan is influenced by Indian monsoon –with start of rain usually in May until September. Crops are grown during this period and harvested in November. However, it is observed over the years that rainfall pattern becoming erratic and some plants (e,g. Rhododendron, Magnolia) flowering earlier than usual. In 2010, the monsoon rain prolonged until November and paddy of two districts were destroyed by heavy downpour. Predicting weather seem very difficult!
For Dr. Ortega and others:
1. Traditional prediction methods of weather is not yet documented in Bhutan ( do not know if there exists in such detail). I would like to know more the traditional methods in practice and how accurate this predication is in its practice, from the experiences in the Andes?
2. Prediction of mountain weather/climate is difficult due to the complexity of the topography features and interactions. Can we use of this combination of the traditional and modern prediction methods to help in understanding/ predicting the mountain weather/climate better, ( the method that local famers can apply using local indicators available with them .) inorder to reduce ill- impact of extreme events borne by mountain farmers?.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge
Les Simm on Oct 8, 2013, "Introduction to Case 11 and summary of this week's debate"
It gives me great pleasure to present the final case study in our e-forum from the mountains of Chile. The title is: “Water Governance, small hydro power plants, and environmental services in the mountains of Chile: A contribution for the HimalAndes Initiative”, authored by Eng. Erg Rosenmann, a Forest Engineer at the University of Chile. The Biodata for Eng. Rosenmann is below:
“Erg Rosenmann is a forest engineer at the University of Chile. He studied a Masters in Rural Development at the Universidad Austral de Chile and in Social Economy and Self-management at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He directed the environmental department of an NGO for development of a desertified agricultural community, participated in formulation and evaluation of forestry and environmental projects, and has been a consultant for the environmental management of public works. Since 2002 he has lived in Pucon (Tinquilco), where, in addition to his profession, he is a social leader and consultant in environmental management, forestry, sustainable development and citizen participation in civil society.”
The case study by Eng. Rosenmann outlines an innovative approach to the development of small hydro power plants, while at the same time providing financial, social, and environmental benefits at all levels, thus reducing conflict between communities and outside stakeholders. This has been achieved in a complex legal environment where land and water use had separate markets by the initiative of placing market value on the non-consumptive (NC) aspect of the commodity generating the electricity, water flow, and the establishment of a Hydrological Services Payment (HSP) scheme. The author hypothesises that the model could be applicable globally to reduce conflict, improve governance of hydro basins, obtain community participation and increase benefits for both people and the environment in mountain areas. Please follow the link below to access the paper:
As result of this week’s debate, we are pleased to see a new engagement between the Himalaya and Andes on the debate related to traditional knowledge and methods to assess the climate changes and its impact on mountain agriculture and communities. Under discussion by Dr. Lungten Norbu (Bhutan), Dr Ortega (Peru), Dr. Camino (Peru), and others is the collection and understanding of grass roots knowledge and its integration with current scientific prediction methods to incorporate traditional and modern methods. This will be one of the themes that will be developed by the HimalAndes Initiative (HI) beyond the current forum and we would welcome any suggestions.
We look forward to your continued involvement in the debate with this final paper, and any comments you may have on the case study, or the e-conversation in general.
Les Simm HimalAndes Initiative Core Group
Erg Rosenmann, Oct 9, 2013 "Case 11: Erg Rosenmann "Water Governance,small Hydro power plants and environmental services in the mountains of Chile: A Contribution for the HimalAndes Initiative"
Erg Rosenmann Becerra, firstname.lastname@example.org Forestry Engineer, Master on Rural Developtment Pucón, Araucania Region, Chile
Political and legal framework
Chile is the only country of the region, and possibly the world, whose legislation allows separate legal transactions on water and land rights, thus creating two independent markets. Since 1981 when the laws were promulgated the State has placed more emphasis on regulation of the water rights market to the detriment of managing water conservation issues, whose territorial and socio-environmental consequences have now been manifesting for more than 30 years. However since 2010, these issues have become increasingly more critical. Water scarcity is increasing in several regions of the country. Local conflicts are constantly growing due to both overconsumption of extractive industries or territorial incompatibilities (e.g. HydroAysen project). Currently there is no hydrological resource integrated management; the water rights grant is indiscriminate and free, and the concentration of these rights is set in just a few mining , hydroelectric and agricultural companies. To date 99% of the total flow of water streams has been already allocated to private sector monopolies.
The level of social conflict has grown in such a way that the Chilean government was forced to request the World Bank to conduct a general diagnostics study into the situation. The study concluded by making recommendations for radical transformation of Chiles national water management policies. Moreover, alliances have been created between citizens, technicians, and parliamentarians for the study of parallel proposals to the water management model, and to the official energy strategies (hydroelectricity covers 40% of the generation of electricity in Chile), that demands an urgent territorial arrangement and a new water code to help alleviate a major problem.
Many authors warn about the risks of the water market on Chile’s legislation, among others, the high costs of social environmental conflicts. The relatively high investments in mini hydroelectricity projects, and yearly fines applied by the law, increase these conflicts. It impels investors to quickly make territorial claims to secure terrain and only later assuming the high cost of the territorial problems. As a result, certain rural communities have developed an increasing territorial and environmental consciousness and are rejecting these outside interventions based on trading water rights separately from land use rights with little or no benefit to the communities of the hydrological basin.
In these legal and political circumstances, comparative studies in Latin America related to local water governance, and the establishment of Hydrological Services Payment (HSP) schemes, highlights for Chile many national obstacles, nevertheless, it is still possible to identify opportunities (author’s opinion). The regulation of the management and legal framework of water and forest resources should not impede its benefits as a community asset, because there is a social potential for management by small, organized, and autonomous water users. It should therefore be possible to tackle this problem by introducing effective procedures and local design of HSP schemes, using existing market tools to regulate water use.
This paper aims to highlight some of these social, environmental, and economic elements with regard to HSP opportunities, and the contribution of mini hydroelectrical projects to sustainable local development within the context of the current Chilean model of independent water and land markets. These reflections originate from the author’s experience as a social leader of the rural community (Tinquilco Committee) and Pucon Municipality, where the author lives. These entities have collective water rights as common wealth and therefore are a unique exception to the national law.
Water use in Chile is sustained by superficial water courses. Most of them (88% of given flows) have “no consumptive” use assignations (NC), that is the waters are not consumed, but generally used for hydropower. More than the 99% of water rights have been given to large and medium hydropower companies. Just a few territorial or social organizations have this type of water rights. One of them is Tinquilco Committee, and only one municipality out of Chile’s 327 communities: Pucon.
Territorial autonomy and decentralization of the State
The paradox of these cases is evident: the Law regulates the private use of water, but in these two cases, these rights were requested for public use in Pucon and the rural community of Tinquilco. The situation in these two locations is special at the national level because it refers to ownership and usage of water by the inhabitants of the surrounding areas allocated by the State. It also constitutes an interesting situation for the international community, because it concerns communal and territorial water rights holders at basin level, who have complete autonomy and governance of the water, and who benefit directly from its hydropower. Therefore conflict between the local community, provincial and national government is reduced, and much less bureaucracy is required to establish and operate a mini hydro power plant.
Territorial Interests and Worthing and Hydrological Environmental Services Payment (HSP)
The Tinquilco Committee (TC) is an organized community that in 2011 won the management of almost all of the flow of its basin in competition against a French entrepreneur. To avoid fine payments for under use of the water flow established by law, their leaders began a search for hydropower entrepreneurs interested in investing through a commercial alliance with the TC, as owner of the water rights. In consultation with the association of entrepreneurs of Small and Middle Hydropower plants of Chile, they found some cases in which the investor does not hold water rights in the location where they wish to invest. In these cases, following some years of supply and demand analysis within the hydropower market a value range was assigned based on the requirements of buyers and investors in water.
This value fluctuates between 10 and 15% of the total value of the investment and the income of the business. The value can be an essential reference for the planning and operation of a mini hydropower project. This “water value” concentrates the social and environmental costs, relative to the quality and quantity of water collected in producing electricity. The HSP considers the water flow that produces electrical power as a paid environmental service, since the functionality of a hydropower plant depends on the use and management of the basin that provides the prime matter, the water, in such a way that this hydrological service would provide the same quantity, quality and annual distribution of the water through the plants whole lifetime. The equation is as follows: most mini hydropower investors in Chile have acquired for themselves, for free, the water rights. The investment continues to be profitable even when they purchase the rights including the “water value” which corresponds to the payment of the environmental costs involved to maintain water standards. Positively internalising, in this way, the negative externalities of the basin through a payment for conservation and/or management of the basin. The TC has the NC water rights which are bound within the land tenancy agreement. In most of the case where there is conflict it can be resolved by the recommendation to investors to assign a suitable proportion of the “water value” in compensation for the social and territorial impacts previously established, even though this is normally the responsibility of the government.
Moreover, with the aim of protecting the river adventure tourism, the Municipality of Pucon (MoP) has acquired major water rights of the main rivers in areas where in situ environmental conservation and tourist activities are conducted, and which are currently not regulate in Law. For this reason, the MoP has to pay a “patent”, which is a type of fine, for not using the water for hydropower. Due to this concept the MoP is in debt by overUS$2.000.000, with risk of losing their water rights. This threat can be averted in a timely manner by a serious evaluation and survey of the potential hydropower use for the common wealth to the community in flow areas with lower tourist value. This would be a perfect solution for the current conflicts between investors in mini hydropower and Pucon’s surrounding communities. The “water value” would provide the municipal income to properly compensate the affected surrounding communities. This would effectively integrate them with the development of the water basin. This is an investment in renewable energy through mediation, training and implementation of plans in forest management and territorial development, especially in those territories located upstream from the mini-hydropower plants, as payment for the hydrological services provided from the native forests.
This model of placing a market value on the hydrological services of mini hydropower plants, could contribute to the on-going debate on the strategy and institutions required for integrated management of hydrological resources and hydrographic basins wherever this type of renewable energy is increasing around the globe.
Alejandro Camino on Oct 9, 2013 "A.Camino's comment on Case 7 by Kalyan Paul: "Forests and Water: Securing a Balance in Mountain Ecosystems”
Kalyan Paul´s quite comprehensive and holistic approach to environmental degradation of mountain habitats in Himalayan gadheras (watershed basins) demonstrates the dynamic of outside pressures over local communities that end up degrading their natural resources and soils, and thus increasing poverty and migration looking for urban jobs.
There are certainly parallelisms with the Andean rural realities in this respect. Increased forestry reduction to attend government revenues in an already diminished forest cover, replacing native broad leaf trees for pines have impacted soils, resembles very much similar trends in the Andean highlands with its original tropical highland´s native trees been replaced for eucalyptus and pines (with their straight trunks needed for house construction and mines). Another parallelism is overgrazing over fragile pastures on slopes, thus gradually reducing carrying capacity for cattle and thus of potential income, placing additional migratory pressure. In the case of the Andes another technological impact has been the replacement of the millenary and highly mountain adaptive technology of the footplough (chaquitaclla, that turns the turf instead of creating furrows with the Europen type of ox-driven plows which result in increase soil loss). Introduction of new crops and monocropping that may affect the efficiency of the ancient policultural practices (an many times with their pest reduction rational) is another factor. Other factors: introduction of chemical fertilizers and biocides that end up cutting the natural cycle of soil regeneration, as it was with the use of cattle manure; pressure to increase money supply to buy manufactured goods by favoring less nutritive crops that however the market demands but pays miserable prices for these, and, worst of all, a national state educational system divorced from the rural traditions generating expectations that end up promoting migration to urban destinations, etc.
As in the Andes we also see these attempts to reverse the degrading trends, with grassroots participation, sometimes against all odds. The experience of the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation aims an interventions to help locals to become aware of the interrelation of factors with aholistic approach, through local self-help groups that organize themselves to take action with a commitment to "resolutions regarding the renewal of the hydrological cycle", which are "discussed and adopted". This most rewarding experience is a lesson that could help reverse the situation in the Andes, unfortunately in contradiction with the individualistic urban cultural expectations promoted in rural areas by media (radio and TV were it is available), and certainly public education). A big challenge worth pursuing.
Alejandro Camino D.C.
Alejandro Camino on Oct 9, 2013 "A.Camino: Question on Case 10: "Water Conservation and Use for Sustainable Development in the Bhutan"
"Wondering on impact of heated water downstream, below the hydropower plants, as well as of hydropower plants impacts on fish habitats? Are this issues being considered?"
-- Alejandro Camino D.C.
Jorge Recharte on Oct 9, 2013 "Questions and Comment on the Quilcay Case"
Dear Forum participants:
I think we need a bird's eye view on the vast processes of change currently taking place in mountains around the world, and in the Andes and Himalayas particulalry, in order to interpret the issue and the challenge of innovations in water management in these regions.
Historical changes in mountains have great depth indeed. In the case of the Andes, the alpine (puna) ecosystem that dominates the high-andes below the glaciers plays key roles in the regulation of water. This ecosystem was initially the result of domestication of native camelidae and the removal (by fire) of extensive native forests stands. There is growing archeological evidence (e.g. Lane 2009, Alexander Herrera 2011) that the alpine area was intensively "engineered" since about 1,000 years before our present era by pastoralist societies: technologies then centered on the management of water in order to produce more wetlands (for alpaca), create sources of drinking water for animals in dry sections of the alpine (puna), and also secure water for canals irrigating lower sections of warm valleys for agricultural production. The extraordinary complexity found by Europeans at the time of the conquest of these original civilizations in the 16th century, initiated dramatic changes in demographics, farming technologies, organization of the territories and the markets, among others. The new system that emerged in the 17th-18th centuries evolved to continue as as an expectional example of adaptation to mountain environments through diversification of crops, varieties, calendars, land use, processing of crops, exchange systems and so on. The system was primarily oriented to subistence and then was increasingly directed to markets in the 20th century. Traditional farming systems underwent a deep transformation between the 1940s and 1980s as farmers introduced green revolution varities and inputs, replacing organic technologies to restore land productivity with chemicals and other market-based inputs.
Starting in the 1980s, with the consolidation of global market policies, the real price of farming products in the Andes begun to decline. Compare to the 1970s, today a farmer has to sell several times the same weight of potatoes to by the fertilizers or plant medicines it used to purchase 40 years ago. Their agriculture is in deep crisis. In the last 20 years, national policies in all Andean countries (including Bolivia, despite discourses in favor of affirmation of the rights of nature and orginal populations) favor natural resource extraction or use (mining and energy) as main drivers for economic growth. In this same period, the world has slowly understood the consequences of environmental change at global scale and mountains are at the forefront of those changes because of th visible effects of climate change in mountains and the concentration of social conflicts in these geographies.
I have had numerous opportunities to discuss this issue with rural families in Peru, persons who are deepply interested in innovation. People are aware that water is at the center of any future adjustments in their systems. They are also painfully aware of the great transformation that has taken place in the last 60 years and to what degree traditional sustainable systems have been lost (often this is phrased in terms of a utopian era of abundance in their previous farming systems). They are aware of the additional challenges that globalization presents them with (e.g. they have a strong discourse against mining as a source of contamination and negative change). This is the context in which innovators in the Andes have to operate. They are aware of recent past transformations and the negative effects of non-organic production in the farming and economic systems; and the more recent challenges emerging from glacier recession, increased risks and growing uncertainty of cliimates (as noted in the example I provided: Quillcay valley, Ancash, Peru). Before posting my questions to the forum, I would like to remember that equivalent and quite dramatic changes have also affected the Himalayas and have also affected other mountain regions of the world. For example, the Swiss Alps went through their crisis of miss-management in the 19th century with over graziong by goats, rampant erosion in part of the mountains, and as a result of miss-management huge catastrophic landslides that killed people and affected properties and lost value of landsapes for tourism. It took Switzerland over one hundred years of forestry policies, instituion building and lessons learned to reverse this situation. Mountain farmers in this country today sustain ecological and ladscape services to the country and are compensated to do so (thanks to the wealth of the country but also to policies that value those services and I would suggest the presence a broad perspective on the value of mountains for their country).
I have the following points to contribute to the forum concerning the (urgent) need for innovation in water management and the potential to learn across mountains:
(*) What relation is there between global trends of change and the individual or local group that strives to innovate on water management and use?
(*) Who is to benefit from innovation in water management in high mountain regions of the World?
(*) What are the objectives that rural mountain groups have? How can these objectives be made more visible, shared across mountains and made known to decision makers?
(*) Are these objectives compatible with the interest and benefits that will accrue to other benficiaries of sound water management in lower areas? Are there policies that contradict this aim of sound water management in mountain areas? (e.g. in Peru or Ecuador clear contradictory policies)
(*) Does it make sense to ask mountain communities to innovate in water management in the absence of national/global policies to support their efforts? What comes first?
Some of these issues and challenges are illustrated in the case study of Quillcay, Huaraz I presented at the begining of the conference.
Jorge Recharte, Ph.D. Director Instituto de Montaña email@example.com www.mountain.pe T. (51)(43) 423446
Ramiro Ortega, Oct 10, 2013 "Comments and response to questions raised by Lungten Norbu"
Prof. Ramiro Ortega: comments and response to questions raised by Dr. Lungten Norbu
The presence of frost, drought, flooding and hail in the natural Andean environment, define an ecosystem which is one of the most diverse and amazing environments of our planet, and at the same time its influence over agriculture generates almost unbearable challenges.
The andean climate, so diverse and variable, makes agriculture an activity of high risk, however this same climate originated an ecosystem with an exceptional biodiversity, which includes a number of alternatives for the farmer who knows how to grow his plants in such environment.
Although there are three stations or climatic cycles: the rainy season, frost, and dry – season, annual behavior of frost , drought, floods and hailstorms in the Andes is very unpredictable . Within each cycle there is no regularity in the occurrence of these elements. Consequently in the Andes we can have years with lack or excess of rainfall.
The years with lack of rain generates extensive damage to agriculture. Certainly rains occur also in "normal" years with little presence of frost and hail .Despite this excessive climatic variation in successive crops farmer families of the Andes never stop growing their plants . Annually hangs on to the "Pachamama " (Mother Earth) in order to obtain the minimum conditions for daily sustenance and family survival .
This situation leads the agricultural technician and the curious visitor to raise the following questions : Why don’t these poor farmers not abandon such an uncertain economic activity ? .And if despite such adverse weather persists while cultivating , is there any knowledge or secret knowledge that makes it possible to improve their livelihoods under these conditions as adverse weather?
Rural communities in eco ancestral Andean region are genreal repositories of valuable knowledge related to crop (life of plants and animals.) The wide variety of climates, the extreme diversity of natural resources , land and water , the extreme diversity Andean natural ecosystem and knowledge to grow plants using for more than two millennia - just the variability of the natural environment , explain why the Andean region is cataloged as one of the " Vavilov centers " in the world . The cultivation of heterogeneity allowed emergence of original cultivars is demonstrated by the production of a wide variety of plant species : Papa , quinoa , ccañihua, olluco , nasturtiums , maca, and others as well as animals, especially camelids and the guinea pig . In the history of mankind , these domestication is unique of its kind worldwide.
While the weatherman is dedicated to observing and recording with precision tools climatic events , and calculate future developments in probabilistic terms , the Andean farmer - never stopping to observe these phenomena with experienced eye - is dedicated to read the signs and dialogue with the signalers , which sense the weather better than human and for much longer terms . The weather forecast that are provided by modern meteorological institutes, is the result of a scientific methods of observation and calculation. The scientific study of meteors, atmospheric phenomena , both air and electric light , wind and precipitation , temperatures and atmospheric pressure , cyclones and anticyclones . They record with greater accuracy and measurements using sophisticated instruments - basically the anemometer , hygrometer , barometer and thermometer. The photographic recording is certainly the most important due to the weather satellite and digital electronic transmission of data, it ensures a distant observation , simultaneous and sequential precision but always reduced to the quantitative aspect of the phenomena.
The weather forecast scientific method resulting from the effect of a probabilistic calculation of the development of the observed phenomena and short-term development , mediating variables explained by unknown and unpredictable , and comprehensive knowledge , but never exhaustive of the "Natural Laws " , since there is always a margin of unknown factors. The results achieved are surprising and specific in predicting short-term weather , up to one week.
However, the Andean farmer needs a different weather security system, they don’t have the technological instruments or scientific methods . On the other hand , they require specific and detailed information regarding the development of climate - especially in terms of temperatures ( cold night ) and rainfall - order to plan their crops (a long-term forecast ) and to cultivate ( a long-term forecast, an accurate and more detailed forecasting based in the short term forecast). Besides all these requirements , the Andean farmer needs very localized weather information , ie weather conditions for their different fields, planted in three, four or five different microclimates. Its demand is even larger, because the Andes is known by an immense variety of microclimates, and sudden weather changes. .
In order to meet this demand , the Andean farmer has had to develop its own weather forecast system in the context of their own agro technology and within their own culture and worldview . For the weather prediction during the agricultural year, he has three sources of information: Certainly like the scientist , he observes meteorological phenomena with scientific precision without any sophisticated methods and tools of modern technology, but with its five trained senses and long experience validated locally..
Besides the weather, the Andean consults his "bio - indicators " observing the local behavior of plants and animals with a view to future climate development in different micro climatic niches where they want to plant their crops.They consider these plants and animals, not just as "indicators" , but as messengers or signalers , and they develop a real dialogue with them, as we know they understand its signals and answers.
The signalers not just give accurate, quantitative information, they send notified climate trends thanks to its "biological clock" offering much appreciated information validated at local level.
I made the comments above after reading the publication of John Van Kessel and Porfirio Enriquez – “Signs and Señaleros of Mother Earth - Andean Agronomy” (2002 ) and my own publication: “Systematization of Ancestral Knowledge Used for Potato Production in the southern Peru” , ESF ( 2012). My responses to the questions raised by Lungten Norbu are included below :
- Question 1: *Traditional prediction methods of weather is not yet documented in Bhutan ( do not know if there exists in such detail). I would like to know more the traditional methods in practice and how accurate this predication is in its practice, from the experiences **in the Andes?*
Response: Before the intensification of climate changes, the climate weather forecasts have guided for centuries and perhaps millennia the development of agriculture in the Andes, these weather forecasts have passed from generation to generation. Yet their level precision has not been quantified .
- Question 2. * Prediction of mountain weather/climate is difficult due to the complexity of the topography features and interactions. Can we use this combination of the traditional and modern prediction
methods to help in understanding/ predicting the mountain weather/climate better, ( the method that local famers can apply using local indicators available with them .) inorder to reduce ill- impact of extreme events borne by mountain farmers?.*
Response: I believe by one hand, that current climate crisis offers a unique opportunity for indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems to be considered and valued within the discourse of climate change, and by the other side, regarding the use modern scientific methods of precision, I consider there is a complementarity of both methods would allow an excellent approach not just of knowledge and experience but also of cultural and social behaviors.
Alejandro Camino, Oct 10, 2013 "Final overview and the way forward"
Vision of the HimalAndes Initiative in respect to the importance,relevance, and value of the exchange between both regions.*
Alejandro Camino D.C., HimalAndes Initiative
This is the third *HimalAndes Initiative* electronic exchange. in this e-discussion a comparative approach to water management in the Andes and the Himalayas in the context of climate change, has revealed once more the relevance of information sharing and the potential for exchanging experiences between the two largest mountain environments on the planet.
Beyond distinct features (the tropical central Andes vs. semitropical Himalaya, historical backgrounds and cultural, socio-economic and political differences), both share commonalities: an old tradition of rural peasant societies with an ancestral experience in implementing subsistence strategies to deal with mountain conditions.
The papers presented and comments received have dealt with a diversity of situations in water management under the stresses of climate change along with sociocultural and economic pressures and changes. The two initial presentations from CONDESAN based on the Andes of Ecuador and Peru, emphasized the importance of the social processes aimed at community-based coordination in conjunction with State programs and international cooperation in order to attain an integrated strategy for water management.
Comments expressed their interest in the ability to replicate these experiences and their concern for their sustainability.
Moving a step forward, Alton Byers and Jorge Recharte presented a highly relevant joint experience promoted by the Mountain Institute along with international cooperation. Here, participants from the Himalayan and Andean countries had the opportunity of sharing on site their experiences and accomplishments on innovative strategies for water management in highland regions in the context of hazards due to climate change. Both exemplified an effective exchange of information and the application of alternative options between the two mountain regions. Comments stressed the importance of sharing these practical experiences being conducted in Nepal and Peru.
Along that line, Paribesh Pradhan presented his own experience in both regions regarding his work on innovative technologies to assure water security in Nepali villages and other technological innovations. He then, as a result of questions from Guillermo Castro, pointed out from his recent experience in Peru the extent to which the Nepali case could be replicated in the Andes.
Kalyan Paul´s presentation emphasized the contradictory and vicious circle of poverty, where pressures from the outside world demanded from local mountain communities subsistence strategies which resulted in natural resource depletion and environmental deterioration, thus, increasing poverty and migration. A grassroots community-based process promoted by the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation represented an alternative for the sustainability of mountain livelihoods. A. Camino contrasted the conditions of the development of this process with those predominant in the Andes, representing serious challenges coming from the external world that needed to be overcome to attain a successful experience such as this.
Ramiro Ortega from Peru made the case for the rich traditional Andean people´s knowledge on weather prediction, and its importance in developing alternative strategies for confronting climate change in the Andes. This issue caught the attention of Lungten Norbu from Bhutan, where this type of tradition also persists, and suggesting information exchanges on this practice from both sides of the world.
Finally, during our last week, a singular and important contribution was that of Dirk Hoffman on conservation of peat bogs (bofedales) in the context of climate change, for Bolivian highlanders making their living from the alpaca, an important wool producing Andean camelid.
The e-discussion then led to two presentations of hydropower development. Pema Wangdi and Lungten Norbu from Bhutan presented the Gross National Happiness Policy in Bhutan, as a guiding framework for the development of hydropower plants. This approach is consistent with the national policy for watershed cover conservation that has assured Bhutan´s successful preservation of its forests and water availability for farming. GNH policy also potentially serves as a great model for other development projects to balance economic and environmental requirements with the social needs of the people
Erg Rosenmann from Chile presented the Chilean water policy strategy, based on market economy principles, where land and water are commodities. This has led to situations where local users confront restrictions to assure access to water. Two cases were presented, highlighting how local smaller watershed inhabitants of Andean Chile have successfully dealt with the policy restrictions within the legal framework, despite limitations.
All of the above presentations were subject to comments and questions, which lead to exchanges between participants where in most cases follow on activity will be pursued. Overall, once again the high relevance of information sharing between the Himalayan and the Andean region has shown a fruitful outcome.
Since its inception the HimalAndes Initiative has been promoting information exchange and cooperation in different areas of relevance to our mountain environments and its inhabitants: farming, livestock breeding, tourism management, alternative energy, small family and community-based enterprises, etc. This has been our challenge, which we have confronted with commitment and a clear scope of work. As such, we look forward to enhancing further exchanges and cooperation.
Beyond the present relevant issue of the impact of climate change in the mountain environments we are considering moving forward in some areas where we perceive potential benefits for both regions. Among these, we look forward to policy approaches to enhance mountain livelihoods in a context of natural and cultural heritage preservation.
More immediate concerns are those related to energy generation alternatives, and therefore we are looking forward to replicating experiences such as those of small hydropower plants. There are interesting conceptual innovations, such as the path taken by Bhutan within the framework of Gross National Happiness, which can also be helpful in developing other forms of alternative energy generation such as wind, thermal, and biomass conversion.
Another concern is that of mountain livestock breeding, an area in which poverty is more predominant. We have seen a growing expertise on yak breeding in the highlands of Central Asia, as we witness a similar process in the Andes with the Andean camelids (llama and alpaca). We perceive that these mountains characteristic resources, also clearly impacted by climate change, are a matter of concern, and cooperation between our regions should be sought.
The Andean potato has also become an important crop in the Himalayas. Could the Andean farming experiences with this crop and its multiple traditional ways of utilization be of benefit to our fellow inhabitants of the Central Asian mountains?
Both regions have become tourist destinations, and a substantial component of these visitors direct themselves to rural areas. Much can be learned from each region on the best way to benefit from this economic opportunity without affecting our cultural identities, as well as our historical and natural heritage.
These are just a few of the areas for potential cooperation. As the world has become smaller, the enormous distances that kept us apart have shortened substantially. The time has come to enhance a mountain people’s brotherhood through which our connections with the contemporary world trends can be adapted to our benefit without compromising our ancestral values and our sacred habitats.
Ramiro Ortega, Oct 11, 2013 "Comments about the forum"
Comment by Ramiro Ortega
Dueñas<http://www.km4dev.org/profile/RamiroOrtegaDuenas>8 hours ago
Thank you very much for your excellent comments on my article, they substantially extend its content. As you mention, in the Andes –as on any other center where culture is generated- rich culture and complex knowledge systems have been developed , including large capacity and acuity of perception and interpretation of the behavior of the local climate. This allows the Andean farmer to find answers in face of climate change, and also ensure his survival even in modern times.
On the other hand, Europeans upon arrival and establishment in the Inca Empire, introduced some knowledge as the "cabañuelas " that where assimilated by the Andean farmer, although his form of interpretation varies to some extent from one location to another.
Finally, I would like to use the opportunity to congratulate all participants of this important forum. It made possible to share experiences and concerns from all over the world as distant as the Himalayas and the Andes. I am sure this will be a new milestone for future efforts.