From the High Andes of Peru -- Ann Kendall, project leader of the DM2009 winning project to restore ancient, water-conserving mountain terraces in a poor agricultural community in Peru, reports in an email:
"I have had a very interesting and productive meeting and exchange with one of the other Peruvian DM winners, Association Andes, with Alejandro Agumedo, who approached us and would like us to join them in planning an international seminar focused on the traditional terrace systems....Funds for this will have to be sought, which I believe they are planning to do! Cusichaca Trust [Kendall's group] and Association Andes have had, in 2006, the experience of putting on a national conference in Lima, bringing highland communities in from previous local events to meet with researchers, academics, and NGOs, which was very successful. AA envisages organising an event bringing people from China, Asia, etc....We welcome this collaboration."
Terracing was a traditional agricultural practice in many climate-challenged countries in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. But road building and other modern development have degraded or destroyed many examples of this ancient response to adverse climate, exposing vulnerable communities to the extremes of flooding and drought.
It will be interesting to see if the embryonic collaboration between two DM finalists in the High Andes can produce innovation from ancient knowledge.
Photo of agricultural terracing in China by World Bank.