In 1941, glacial Lake Palcacocha in the Peruvian Andes burst its moraine dam of earth and stones, sending a torrent of water through the city of Huaraz and killing an estimated 5,000 people. Between 1941 and 1950, two more glacial lake outburst floods, or GLOFs, which can occur after enough water fills in behind a glacier’s end moraine, killed another 5,000 people in the Cordillera Blanca. In response, the government set up one of the most effective glaciological units in the world with the goal of preventing future outburst floods. Using drain pipes, reinforced terminal moraine dams, sophisticated tunnels, and valve systems, they drained or contained 34 lakes in the region. As a result, thousands of lives were saved.
›April 8, 2015 // By Linnea Bennett
›March 5, 2015 // By Wilson Center Staff
Climate change negotiations seem to crawl along interminably at the pace of the glaciers they are meant to protect, with little perceptible progress as meeting follows meeting and conference follows lackluster conference. But this year we are seeing remarkable momentum building toward a historic conference in Paris in the closing days of 2015, by the end of which we will either have a new international agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, or we will have seen the last of truly global efforts to strike a deal on saving our planet.
Climate change and conflict – what’s the relationship? In a recently completed set of field-based studies for USAID, the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability set aside “yes-or-no” questions about whether climate change causes conflict and replaced them with pragmatic and politically informed questions about how climate change is consequential for conflict in specific fragile states.
›December 1, 2014 // By Kathleen Mogelgaard
This fall, a series of significant events signaled what many see as a shift toward meaningful collective action on climate change.
›August 22, 2014 // By Wilson Center Staff
A new law in Peru encouraging investment in the country’s extractive industries has reignited debate on the lack of power indigenous women have in the mostly rural societies where they often live. The International Indigenous Women’s Forum, which drew more than 60 native women from across the world to Peru last month, highlighted this important issue.
Book Review: ‘Oil Sparks in the Amazon: Local Conflicts, Indigenous Populations, and Natural Resources’›August 18, 2014 // By Roger-Mark De Souza
Since the early 1990s, the rising price of crude oil and other key natural resources – and the resulting drive by governments and private companies to extract those resources – has led to sharp conflicts in Latin America. At the core of these disputes is the clash between national economic interest and the rights of indigenous people inhabiting the land where most natural resources are located.
Getting Specific About Climate Conflict: Case Studies Show Need for Participatory Approaches to Adaptation›May 28, 2014 // By Moses Jackson
Will climate change cause conflict? That question, which has sparked heated debates in academia and the media, resists simple answers. But is climate change already contributing to conflict in some places? If so, how exactly? And more importantly, what should be done about it? These questions were the focus of a 2013 preliminary report produced for USAID by international development firm Tetra Tech ARD, which examines the climate-conflict nexus in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Peru.
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