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Open Access Ayni, Ayllu, Yanantin and Chanincha: The Cultural Values Enabling Adaptation to Climate Change in Communities of the Potato Park, in the Peruvian Andes

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There is a critical need for effective and sustained adaptation to the effects of climate change for indigenous peoples. Despite this, adaptation policies often neglect the cultural values that we show to be crucial to their ability to respond, and instead prioritise instrumental and scientific framings of climate change.

Rural communities in the Peruvian Andes are already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, further impacts are expected to arrive comparatively early and be particularly damaging for indigenous communities in the mountains. Therefore there is a pressing need to ensure effective and sustained adaptation is undertaken. Rural communities studied in the Potato Park in the Cusco Region of Peru are shown to possess a number of cultural values, in Quechua known as ayni, ayllu, yanantin and chanincha. These form the foundation of the community's ability to successfully respond to the challenges presented by climate change. The limited current adaptation strategies and methods not only neglect these values but also undermine and erode them. Future strategies should instead complement, maintain and utilise these values.

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Keywords: Peru; Potato Park; climate change adaptation; culture; indigenous people

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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