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Addressing Peru’s climate challenges with nature-based solutions

Peru © John Michael Ramon Taya

Peru is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and water security issues. In 2020-2021, Canada continued to collaborate with the United States Agency for International Development to implement the Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project. It aims to increase the resilience of communities to climate risks, such as floods, droughts and landslides by helping to conserve, restore and recover natural infrastructure such as wetlands and forests.

The project seeks to strengthen women's participation and leadership in decision-making and ensure gender considerations are integrated into national climate and water policies. In 2020-2021, a US$214 million investment was developed in collaboration with water users, government partners and the private -sector to improve nature’s capacity to capture, filter, store and deliver water. The project has resulted in the adoption of some 15 new legal and policy instruments on climate adaptation, including 5 specific to gender equality and fighting discrimination against women and girls. It has developed technical tools for better decision-making in this area.

The project enabled some 900 participants and 1,400 professionals to increase their knowledge about water resources management. “Peruvian women are the ones managing the water; we are connected to this resource,” says one of the women participating in the project’s leadership program for women in water management.

Peruvian water users are paying a monthly fee that is being reinvested in ecosystem recovery projects in Peru’s mountains to address water shortages for local residents. For example, Milloc, located 4,500 metres above sea level, has been threatened for years by the illegal extracting of organic wetland soil. A project to recover the natural ecosystem in Milloc is now benefiting the people who live there as well as the 10 million people who reside in Metropolitan Lima.

The project has led to partnerships between ancient cultures, rural populations, urban communities, scientists, private and public sectors and international organizations. In addition, Peru’s government is now looking to natural infrastructure as a way to address water risks more generally.

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