The glacier in Huaraz, part of the Andes white mountain range in Peru. Photo via sdpuckett.
The Andean Community, an organization that gathers Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to treat common interests, announced recently a project to help three of its member nations to monitor and adapt to the retreat of its glaciers.
The project will last four years and will have an investment of 32 million US dollars, financed by the World Bank (10 million) and the Andean countries themselves.Adaptation and Monitoring in front of Andean Glaciers Retreat
According to a press release by the Andean Community, the project's idea is to carry on pilot activities "that will illustrate the costs and benefits of the adaptation measures" in the affected countries by glacier retreat: Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. The goal: "Help build up local ecosystems and the economies affected by this phenomenon."
Another press release informs the chosen basins for testing these adaptation measures are the ones of the Antisana glacier in Ecuador, the ones in La Paz and El Alto associated to the Bolivian Andes, and the Peruvian basins of the Shulcas-Mantaro river at the Huaytapallana mountain, and Vilcanota-Urubamba river in the Salkantay mountain.
The project also contemplates the monitoring of the glaciers retreat with donated Japanese technology.
Glacier Melting in the Andean Mountain Range
During the presentation of this plan, the general secretary of the Andean Community --Freddy Ehlers-- said that according to the latest United Nations scientific report, glacier retreat in this area is worse than expected, Scidev.net informs.
Antonio Brack Egg, Peruvian Environmental Minister, said his country has lost 22 percent of glacier mass and that the number is growing. He also mentioned the Amazon rivers in his country have water deficit for the fourth year in a row, and that it's estimated that by 2050 glaciers will only resist at 6,000 meters of altitude. Brack Egg also said the Peruvian White Mountain Range has lost 26 percent of its surface because of glacier retreat in the last 30 years.
Scidev.net informs that in May this year, the Andean Community presented a study which estimated that loss over climate change in the four member countries could reach 30 million US dollars annually by 2025. That represents 4,5 of the nations Gross Domestic Product.
Andean countries to reduce impact of glacial melting (Scidev.net, in Spanish)
Andean Community announces project to face accelerated glacier retreat in the Andes (Andean Community, in Spanish)
Andean Community General Secretariat and World Bank sign agreement to launch program of adaptation to glacier retreat in the subregion (Andean Community, in English)
More on retreating glaciers:
Glaciers Are Melting at Fastest Rate in Past Five Millenia
Satellite Images Reveal Two of Greenland's Biggest Glaciers Are Losing More Ice
Related posts on consequences of Climate Change in Latin America:
IPCC on Latin America: Land Drought and Coastlines Floodings are on the Menu
Global Change Consequences in South America