Peru and its international partners should start creating and funding projects to rehabilitate water infrastructure, conserve water and regulate expected runoff from the melting Andean glaciers in order to prevent a large-scale socio-economic disaster if and when the glaciers completely disappear, Peruvian and international experts have noted.
Peru has yet to experience the full impact of a major glacier melt. But villages located high in the Andes mountains have been suffering from loss of fish stocks and crop damage due to changes in water supply and rising temperatures over the last 40 years, experts interviewed for the National Security Reporting Initiative noted, according to The Washington Post.
The Peruvian government has requested some USD350 million worth of aid every year until 2030, which it plans to use for improving irrigation and building more dams and reservoirs, the newspaper says, adding that the U.S., Japan, Switzerland, Australia and the World Bank have all offered assistance.
Alberto Hart, a climate change expert at Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that it is in the United States’ interest to help Peru address this environmental challenge because of the countries’ close trade alliance.
“We are knocking on many doors, and obviously the U.S. is one big door we are knocking on,” he said, as quoted by The Washington Post.