Enhancing resilience to climate change in the Potato Park. Climate change impacts and biocultural heritage-based responses: the community seed bank, linking TK and science, and the role of INMIP
Lino MAMANI (Peru)
The Potato Park, Peru
Indigenous mountain communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. According to the IPCC, temperatures are rising at disproportionately higher rates at higher altitudes; these changes are having serious impacts on mountain ecosystems and indigenous peoples. Nonetheless, indigenous peoples’ Biocultural heritage offers great potential for adaptation because of its rich traditional knowledge, which has nurtured a wealth of adaptation mechanisms and high degree of diversity of species and ecological niches. Indigenous peoples’ biocultural heritage, including a rich diversity of locally adapted seeds and traditional knowledge, offers great potential for adaptation. Therefore, with the support from the IIED and Asociacion ANDES, in May 2014, representatives from 25 indigenous mountain communities from 10 countries, met in Bhutan to discuss the impacts of climate change and exchange knowledge and experiences for adaptation based on biocultural heritage and local seed systems. More than 70 farmers and local organizations took part, from Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Peru, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Thailand to create the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples. A follow up learning exchange workshop took place in Tajikistan in October consolidate the Network as an international network, and to deepen the knowledge exchange on the impacts of climate change on indigenous mountain communities and how such communities can respond using their biocultural heritage. With the help of my colleagues Krystyna Swiderska from IIED, and Alejandro Argumedo from Asociacion ANDES, we would like to lead a discussion to present on adaptive strategies for climate change that were discussed in both workshops. Krystyna and Alejandro will will focus on the importance of this Network that has been created with these different mountain communities which includes the importance of establishing Biocultural Heritage Territories and Community Seed Banks. We would also like to present on the Potato Park as our main case study. The discussion about the Park, which is comprised of 5 Quechua indigenous communities will be led by myself, will further discuss the current impacts of climate change on the livelihoods of these communities and how the Network with other indigenous communities is helping my community adapt to climate change.
Lino Mamani is part of the Quechua community of Pampallaqta, one of five small communities that make up the Potato Park near the Pisac district in Cusco, Peru. Mamani is a papa arariwa, which in Quechua means, Potato Guardian. As a Potato Guardian, Mamani is very knowledgeable about the varieties of potatoes, their uses, and stories. His main role as a Potato Guardian include educating and training both male and female farmers in the Potato Park to make decisisons, solve problems and quire new skills and techqniques as well as collaborating with scientist and researchers to integrate traditional knowleadge and science for improving the native potato.