Project Factsheet
Tools for » Integrated and adaptive management of environmental resources and climatic risks in High Andean micro-watersheds
Project ID:00067154Description:MDGF-1691-E-PER Env Climate
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Oct 2007
MDGF Environ Climate Chg
End Date*: 31 May 2012
Country: Peru Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The programme was elaborated in an important period of political transition in Peru and with changes in regional and local authorities that affected the capacity building components because of the fragile institutional framework and the high technical staff turnover. Implementation of the National Strategy for Climate Change (2003) was again delayed given the creation of a new Environment Ministry (MINAM). The JP focused on two watersheds as target areas for the project, covering some 85,000 persons, living largely in indigenous rural communities. The area has known recurrent conflicts regarding environmental resources, particularly given the mining interests in the region, their unsustainable use of the water resources, and the issue of land control and ownership. 

The JP gave priority to improving the living standards of families and population of the Rio Santo Tomas watershed and promoting the existence of sustainable and healthy environmental ecosystems. The main activities therefore focused on prevention, protection and restoration of the environment and conservation of the existing natural resources. At the regulatory level, the JP contributed to developing Adaptation Plan for Climate Change at the provincial and district level, and to the creation of Municipal Environmental Management Units (UGAs).

Through the focus on two watersheds, the JP was able to concentrate on capacity development of the national and local actors, including civil society, in order to provide both better preparation for CCA in regulations, legal framework and bylaws, as well as in practical applications (this last element through various demonstrative projects) that benefited the population in the watershed areas. Of particular interest were those projects that both introduced CCA measures while contributing to improving the income and production of the beneficiary population.


Outcome 1:

Different levels of government have increased their capacity for sustainable management of environmental resources and associated services and to internalize climate change adaptation in their tools and regulatory frameworks.

Outcome achievements:

  • At the regional level the JP contributed to developing Regional Operative Units (UOR) to address climate change in the two target regions (Cusco and Apúrimac). These regions did not have a strategy to address climate change until the end of 2011. The JP promoted together with civil society actors the participatory development and approval of regional ordinances on the Regional Strategy for Climate Change in both regions.
  • To address the large institutional capacity deficit the JP undertook the following activities: 1) Incorporation of Climate Change in University studies (UNSAAC), 2) communication workshops on prevention and treatment of socioenvironmental conflicts at regional, provincial, district and community levels; 3) increased studies and knowledge on the existing conditions of the target areas and the installation of two GIS systems, 4) Contributed to the development of the Adaptation Plan for Climate Change at the provincial and district level, and  the creation of Municipal Environmental Management Units (UGAs).
  • The JP also gave training courses for Adaptive Measures to climate change for provincial and district level public servants. This process gave rise to training modules that can be used to replicate the training in the future.
  • Various institutions and partners were involved at the national, regional and local levels. The primary national counterpart that is a signatory of the JP is the newly created National Ministry of Environment that contributed to the development of the regional climate change strategies in both Cusco and Apurímac. Another partner was the Regional Government of Cusco (GORE) who led the efforts to participate in climate change measures in the region through the creation of the UOR (Regional Operative Unit).  GORE replicated the experiences of the JP in: the Santo Tomas river watershed, the creation of CAMs and the implementation of the municipal environmental tools to 12 other provincial capitals of the Cusco Region, while undertaking capacity development trainings on socio-environmental conflict transformation (creation of a regional office of Social Peace and socio-environmental Conflicts Prevention). In addition tourism opportunities were reviewed and a Tourism Development Plan was established for the watershed.
  • In Apurímac, the GORE also was a major partner of the JP, together with: AMSAT (Association of Municipalities of Santo Tomas Watershed), who played a key role to relay activities to the field level (province and district levels), and co-organized capacity development workshops, such as those with the CAM (municipal environmental commissions) and UGAs. Other partners, Liga Agraria Chumbivilcas y la Federación de Campesinos de Tambobamba, played a role in the communication and awareness-raising strategy to raise awareness to climate change adaptation measures in the pilot communities and obtain support from farming communities of the region.
  • Overall the public servants and technical staff of the national and local government partners have increased their capacities to generate projects that include CCA and that are environmentally safe. Examples include the installation of a tourism office in Chumbivilcas with DIRECTUR, and the development of a participatory Regional Strategy for CC in the Apurimac region (with GORE Apurimac). Mayors and public servants of the Environmental Management Units (UGA) reorganized the structure of municipalities to ensure proper budgeting considering the needs to strengthen the CAMs at sub-watershed level and in the region.


Outcome 2:

Strengthened capacity of local populations to develop, access and apply productive practices aimed at sustainable management of natural resources and associated services that meet their needs and respond to changing climatic conditions.

Outcome achievements:

  • At the pilot community level, the programme contributed to preparation and implementation of community management tools such as the communal plan for CCA, and Management Plan of Natural Resources.
  • Another capacity development intervention was the Field School for Agricultural Workers (ECA) and the promotion of practices on good and efficient use of water. Through these schools the production capacities of families and community members were enhanced using climate change adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability (for example with irrigation by aspersion systems, or improved techniques for alpaca breeders). 87 ECAs received some material support and equipment.
  • The JP carried out some 14 studies and assessments and proposals on creating a governance platform for water, preparation of a tourism development plan, evaluation of local fairs with potential market value, identifying areas for afforestation and reforestation, study on the water and sewage tariffs, proposals on solid waste management plans, climate change studies based on meteorological information, baseline study on the water quality for human consumption, study on the socio-environmental conflict, development of a recognized university diploma in climate change, proposal to include in the primary school curriculum climate change and risk management.
  • Local pilot communities based on the communal development plans now have access to public financial resources to invest in projects that seek to improve environmental resource management and/or generate income in sustainable activities. In terms of water consumption, an additional 509 families (more than 2,000 persons) now have access to safe water for human consumption while 83 service providers’ managers were trained in management of safe water systems.


Outcome 3:

Competitive models for production systems based on sustainable natural resource management, the use of local potential that result in increased income and quality of life.

Outcome achievements:

  • Based on the recommendations of the programme’s mid-term evaluation, the number of products was reduced from two to one for this achievement. Families in the communities where training was undertaken and those participating in productive activities organized fairs and local markets with the support of local governments. The JP focused on developing studies to identify which products had good marketing potential, including the traditional cultural products.


Best practices:

  • The JP-wide communication strategy that covered the potential effects of climate change across the sectors (water, agriculture, health, environment, etc.).
  • The strategy to directly implement in high Andean communities interventions through the permanent posting of a technical facilitator (7 in total).
  • The empowerment of the Coordination Unit for the JP contributed to achieving the results.


Lessons learned:

  • The JP should have developed an M&E system from the start, instead of during the last year of implementation.
  • At the national level the lack of specific roles of the Environment Ministry did not allow full knowledge transfer from the JP activities. Therefore National Authorities should be involved from the design of the intervention.
  • It was difficult to create synergies between the four UN agencies given different strategies, methodologies and procedures.
  • Joint Programmes should have from the start an information and communication strategy adapted to the context.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Peru or the lead agency for the programme.

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Carla Donayre, Coordination Analyst; Telephone: 5112156969; Email:; Skype: carla.donayre
  • MariaEugenia Mujica, RCO Joint Programmes Coordinator; Telephone: 51 12156969 ext 2412; Email:; Skype: memujica
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