Insights at the tail end of a trip to Peru

10/10/17 09:56:am
Robert Varady and Adriana Zuniga

In September 2017, a group of University of Arizona researchers from the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policya, the School of Government and Public Policyb, and the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanicsc traveled to Ayacucho, Peru, to participate in the Agua-Andes Congress. This event was organized by the Centro de Competencias y Agua—a key research partner in the International Water Security Network funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation in the U.K., and the Centro de Investigación Agua Andes. The congress was hosted by the Universidad Nacional San Cristóbal de Huamanga; it featured presentations on the water-security-related efforts of IWSN and of AQUASEC, the IAId Center of Excellence for Water Security in the Americas.

a Andrea Gerlak, Christopher Scott, Robert Varady, and Adriana Zuniga

b Adam Henry and Emily Bell

c Kevin Lansey

d IAI is the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, a consortium of national science organizations in the Americas

L to R Adam Henry, Sonja Bleeker, Kevin Lansey, Adriana Zuniga, Christopher Scott, Andrea Gerlak, Robert Varady, Bimo Nkhata, Chad Staddon, Busani Masiri, Bram Willems, Rosa Miglio, Martha del Castillo, Alfredo Ribeiro (Photo by Ana Luisa Calvo)
Plaza de Armas in Ayacucho Peru
Plaza de Armas in Ayacucho Peru (R. Varady)
Llamas grazing in humedales (wetlands) (R. Varady)
Alpacas grazing in humedales (wetlands) (R. Varady)
L to R Adriana Zuniga and Andrea Gerlak in the Inca ruins of Tipon (R. Varady)
L to R Adriana Zuniga and Andrea Gerlak in the Inca ruins of Tipon (R. Varady)
Main plaza in Cusco, Peru (R. Varady)
Main plaza in Cusco, Peru (R. Varady)

After the congress, a group of colleagues joined us on a trip to the city of Cusco, where we recorded the following videos that reflect on our experiences in the Andean region.

Robert Varady, Research Professor of Environmental Policy at the Udall Center, introduces a series of videos that he recorded amid the tiled rooftops of Cusco, Peru, the ancient Inca capital and now a city of a half-million inhabitants. Cusco is situated at 11,200 ft. in elevation, the highest city of its size in the world.

Chad Staddon, Director of the International Water Security Network and Professor of Geography and Resource Economics at the University of the West of England, talks about his perception of the Agua-Andes Congress in Ayacucho and the different water challenges that he identified in the region.

Christopher Scott, Director of the Udall Center, reviews aspects of his work and his collaboration with partners of AQUASEC, the IAI Center of Excellence for Water security, which he co-directs. He discussed the importance of science-policy dialogues, such as the Agua-Andes Congress.

Andrea Gerlak, Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Regional Development and Research Professor at the Udall Center, reflects on different stakeholder engagement efforts in Peru and their relationships with her projects on environmental equity in green infrastructure.

Adriana Zuniga, Research Scientist at the Udall Center and Senior Lecturer in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, talks about her experience at the congress and her contribution to a special session on green infrastructure, in which other colleagues also presented their findings.

After 10 days in Peru, our team not only shared our own expertise and research findings, but we also learned about the many diverse environmental and social issues faced by residents in the Andean region. This experience also strengthened our relationships and research networks and allowed us to discuss in more detail our methodologies, approaches, and overall future goals regarding water security.

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