World Monuments Fund (WMF)—the leading private nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting cultural heritage around the world—along with the Mountain Institutethe peasant community of Miraflores and the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve (RPNYC), has begun working on a project that seeks to rehabilitate traditional water management technologies. This in order to meet the growing demand for water resources, as part of the severe impacts derived from the climate crisis in the Lima region.
The initiative specifically consists of the recovery of water system ancestral of Yanacancha-Huaquis —located south of Lima—, which includes canals, platforms and ancestral dams that date back to the 10th and 14th centuries that, to this day, provide water to the Cañete Riverused downstream by around 200 thousand citizensespecially during the dry season.
The ruins located in this area include a mix of hydraulic infrastructures such as dams and canals, as well as terrace systems and pre-Hispanic cemeteries, and their historical wealth is reinforced by the presence of the Great Cornfield, a surrounding agricultural area of between 40 and 50 hectares. to the Huaquis Ancient Townrecognized for its corn production.
Yanacancha – Huaquis is part of the new Heritage Climate Initiative, a set of world-scale projects that the WMF will promote in 2024 with a total investment of $15 million dollars. Furthermore, the specific intervention in the Cultural Landscape is possible thanks to the support of The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust and American Express.
Among the actions to be developed, is the recovery of the ancestral water system, a project that is essential, since the availability of water is rapidly intensifying due to the glacial retreata situation that represents a significant loss of 55% between 1970 and 2014 aloneaccording to a report from the National Water Authority (ANA).
In this sense, to ensure a reliable water supply, the primary objective of the project is to revitalize ancestral maintenance techniques that benefit both the irrigation of agricultural terraces and the human and animal consumption.
The relevance of the project, led by Rafael Schmittcoordinator of the conservation project Yanacancha Cultural Landscape – Huaquislies in maintaining a balance between cultural conservation and environmental sustainability in areas affected by global warming.
In this context, the adaptation of communities to climate change becomes a key task. To this end, it has been proposed to strengthen the peasant community of Miraflores —made up of 187 people— with tools that allow them to see tangible improvements in their ancestral water infrastructure.
Likewise, the promotion of community-based rural tourism and the implementation of participatory project management will be intensified. This intersectoral work promises to position Miraflores as a reference in sustainability and climate adaptation at local and national levels.