EbA Evidence and Policy: Peru

July 2015 to December 2022

In Peru IIED, IUCN and ANDES are using practical experiences of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in mountain ecosystems, learning and reflecting on their effectiveness, and contributing to the ongoing country efforts to position and mainstream EbA into national climate change and development policies. 

The Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve in the Andean highlands, Peru (Photo: Karen Podvin)

The Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve in the Andean highlands, Peru (Photo: Karen Podvin)

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) involves people using biodiversity and ecosystem services to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and promote sustainable development. Between 2015 and 2022, IIED, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) are jointly implementing a project called 'Ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation: strengthening the evidence and informing policy' (EbA Evidence and Policy).

Working with local partners in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Central and South America, the project aims to gather practical evidence and develop country-specific policy guidance on EbA, and to promote EbA at international level. More information and all the case studies sites are available via the main project page

What are we doing in Peru?

In Peru, IIED is working with the Regional Office for South America of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-SUR) and the Asociation for Nature and Sustainable Development (ANDES) to contribute positioning and mainstreaming EbA within climate and development policies. By working with the government and a diverse range of stakeholders, we are reviewing lessons learnt from the Mountain EbA program (Spanish language page) and the Potato Park biocultural heritage approach on EbA effectiveness, and promoting EbA as an important approach for climate change action within Peru’s Nationally Determined Contribution process.

The Mountain EbA program was a collaborative initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IUCN implemented between 2011 and 2016. In Peru, the project was implemented in the Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve (NYCLR), located in the Andean highlands in the Lima and Junín regions. Its goal was to build ecosystem resilience by promoting EbA options and to reduce the vulnerability of communities, with a particular emphasis on mountain ecosystems.

The Potato Park (Parque de la Papa) is an association of five communities of Quechua peoples who jointly manage their land, in the Cusco region, to protect biological diversity as a response to climate change. In the park, which covers 9,600 hectares and ranges from 3,500-5,100m above sea level, the communities jointly conserve a wide variety of potato crops and share ancestral knowledge about adaptation to climate change and resilient agroecological farming practices. 

In April 2014, indigenous farmers from Bhutan and China visited the Potato Park to exchange ideas about ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and managing traditional landscapes, based on indigenous knowledge and customary laws. Watch a video about the exchange visit below or on IIED's YouTube channel.

Using the EbA Evidence and Policy project's common research framework, IUCN South America, ANDES and IIED conducted interviews with national and local government agencies and local communities and NGOs to gather lessons learnt through both initiatives on EbA effectiveness. 

Informing policy

Results so far have revealed the following key lessons: the need to design and implement EbA initiatives with a comprehensive design, including also organisational and institutional strengthening as well as capacity building, aligned to the social, environmental, cultural and political context. It’s also important to incorporate participatory processes in all phases of implementation, and ensure they are systematically documented and disseminated among the multiple actors. In order to continue generating evidence of the effectiveness of EbA, robust monitoring and evaluation systems are recommended, considering aspects of feasibility, utility and sustainability. It is also essential that the evidence that is being generated and assessed is integrated into the planning and decision-making processes at various levels.

Based on those lessons learnt, IUCN-SUR and ANDES have been actively engaging with key policymakers to mainstream EbA within climate change and development policies in Peru.

Key project activities 

June 2018
We co-organised jointly with the National Protected Area Service (SERNANP), the National Forest Service (SERFOR), the Ministry of Environment (MINAM), as well as with the Mountain Institute (TMI) and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), a dialogue on 19-20 June in Lima.

February 2018
ANDES met with high level authorities in Lima, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Culture, and confirmed that the Potato Park is in the process of being recognised as an Agrobiodiversity Zone and Living Lab of EbA. 

December 2017 
We contributed to the International Congress on Climate Change and its Impacts (29 November to 1 December) in Huaraz, Peru with the article ‘Assessing the effectiveness of Ecosystem-based Adaptation measures in Peru and Chile: experiences and lessons learned’. We also took part in the National Service of Protected Areas roundtable during that same congress, with a presentation ‘Assessing the effectiveness of Ecosystem-based Adaptation measures in Peru: experiences and lessons learned’. 

October 2017
We supported the dialogue 'Natural infrastructure: a strategic alternative for the Nationally Determined Contributions in climate change adaptationorganised by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and GIZ on 27 October in Lima with 40 people from 18 public sector organisations and international cooperation. The aims were to raise awareness of the potential of natural infrastructure from the EbA approach and to identify entry points and enabling conditions that will allow the integration of EbA in public planning and investment. 

We supported the ‘Mainstreaming EbA in development planning’ course, a capacity building process on EbA organised by MINAM, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and GIZ and carried out on 24-25 October in Cieneguilla, Peru. Forty representatives of various public sectors and regional governments attended. The objective was to consolidate the learning of concepts and techniques to incorporate EbA in public planning and investment.

July 2017 
We participated in a webinar 'Showcasing evidence around EbA: Peru, Uruguay, Mexico and Central American countries' organised by Practical Solutions to present the case of the EbA measures implemented in Canchayllo and Miraflores in the NYCLR in Peru. 

June 2017
We presented the case study ‘Ecosystem-based Adaptation Measures in Canchayllo and Miraflores in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve (Peru)’ to the contest ‘Showing evidence on Ecosystem-based Adaptation: cases in Latin America and the Caribbean’, which aimed to identify successful cases of innovative and replicable EbA measures. The case study was selected to feature on the EbA community website as one of the ten best experiences presented. 

April 2017
On 19-23 April, the Potato Park and ANDES hosted the 4th International Horizontal Learning Exchange, organised by the International Network for Mountain Indigenous Peoples. The meeting brought together in Cusco experts, practitioners and representatives of 39 mountain communities from 11 countries to exchange experiences and best practices on methods, tools and processes for implementing ‘resilient biocultural heritage landscapes for sustainable mountain development’. A one-day policy dialogue on ‘mountains, communities and climate change’ brought together policymakers, scientists, donor organisations and indigenous experts and had focussed discussions on EbA. 

March 2017
We took part in a webinar organised by Practical Solutions within the EbA Community of Practice Portal, providing information on Evidence on EbA based on the research framework and the results in Chile and Peru. 

We contributed in the discussions on EbA in the regional workshop on ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) within the project ‘Resilience through investment in ecosystems: knowledge, innovation and transformation of risk management’ (RELIEF Kit) (in Spanish only). The aim was to promote the adoption and scaling up of Eco-DRR and biodiversity conservation. Capacities on Eco-DRR and EbA were strengthened among participants from seven South American countries. 

February 2017 
We supported the meeting on ‘Encouraging synergies and scaling up of the Ecosystem-based Adaptation approach in Peru’ held on 21 February in Lima. This meeting was co-organised by the Ministry of Environment through its Directorate General for Climate and Change and Desertification, SERNANP, GIZ, TMI and IUCN. The event’s aim was to socialise the ongoing EbA initiatives, their achievements, and how they contribute to the country's goals; also, to analyse the possible synergies and joint actions to promote the exchange of experiences, tools and lessons learned among the various initiatives and enhance their upscaling. The EbA Evidence and Policy common framework and preliminary results of the research methodology applied in Peru (both from ANDES and IUCN) were presented. 

On 22 February, the vice-president of Peru Mercedes Araoz, the minister of Environment Elsa Galarza, and the vice-minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources Fernando Leon (in charge of the MINAM-EbA project in Peru), visited the Potato Park and attended discussions of the project’s focus group. The dignitaries and the communities engaged in an animated dialogue about the biocultural adaptation approach in the Potato Park.

  • Facebook post from Vice President Mercedes Araoz (in Spanish only)

April 2016 
We presented the EbA Evidence and Policy project during the Mountain EbA Programme closure event. 

Additional resources

Website: Enfoques de AbE (in Spanish only) 

Article: Adaptación basada en Ecosistemas : Una respuesta de la naturaleza al cambio climático (Spanish only)

Article: Analizando la efectividad de medidas de adaptación basada en ecosistemas en Perú y Chile: experiencias y lecciones aprendidas, Karen Podvin (2017), ICCCI and UICN  (abstract available in English)

Academic article: Vulnerability assessments for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: lessons from the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve in Peru, Pablo Dourojeanni, Edith Fernandez-Baca, Silvia Giada, James Leslie, Karen Podvin and Florencia Zapata (2016), Climate Change Adaptation Strategies: an upstream – downstream Perspective, Springer 

Final report: El futuro ancestral: la adaptación basada en ecosistemas (2016) PNUD, PNUMA, UICN and IM (in Spanish only)

Toolkit: Pequeña caja de herramientas para facilitar la Adaptación al Cambio Climático: el caso del proyecto EbA Montaña en Perú (2016) PNUD, PNUMA, UICN and IM (in Spanish only) 


International Climate Initiative (IKI)
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports the IKI on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag


Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) 

National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) 

The Mountain Institute (TMI)

Asociación para la Naturaleza y el Desarrollo Sostenible (ANDES)

Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve 

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