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Ayni, Ayllu, Yanantin and Chanincha: The Cultural Values Enabling Adaptation to Climate Change in Communities of the Potato Park, in the Peruvian Andes

There is a critical need for effective and sustained adaptation to the effects of climate change for indigenous peoples. Despite this, adaptation policies often neglect the cultural values that we show to be crucial to their ability to respond, and instead prioritise instrumental and scientific framings of climate change. Rural communities in the Peruvian Andes are already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, further impacts are expected to arrive comparatively early and be particularly damaging for indigenous communities in the mountains. Therefore there is a pressing need to ensure effective and sustained adaptation is undertaken. Rural communities studied in the Potato Park in the Cusco Region of Peru are shown to possess a number of cultural values, in Quechua known as ayni, ayllu, yanantin and chanincha. These form the foundation of the community's ability to successfully respond to the challenges presented by climate change. The limited current adaptation strategies and methods not only neglect these values but also undermine and erode them. Future strategies should instead complement, maintain and utilise these values.

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Publication information

  • External: X00180
  • Published: Jan 2016 - oekom verlag
  • Area: Peru
  • Theme: Climate change
  • Source pub: GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society
  • Journal ref: Volume 25, Number 3, 2016, pp. 166-173
  • Language: English

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Walshe, R and Argumedo, A. Ayni, Ayllu, Yanantin and Chanincha: The Cultural Values Enabling Adaptation to Climate Change in Communities of the Potato Park, in the Peruvian Andes. GAIA 2016;25(3):166-173.

Project information

IIED is working with partners in China, India, Kenya and Peru to revitalise traditional knowledge-based – or 'biocultural' – innovation systems of smallholder farmers in order to strengthen food security in the face of climate change. Traditional farmers continually improve and adapt their crops and farming practices in response to new challenges, using local knowledge and biodiversity, generating new technologies and practices.

More at www.iied.org:
Smallholder innovation for resilience (SIFOR)