One city, many realities: The climate story in Lima

Peru is moving forward on climate action. Just few days before the Resilient Cities congress, the government passed Law 30754 – the Framework Act on Climate Change. This law aims to establish principles, approaches and general provisions to design, execute, monitor and evaluate public policies for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Ministry of Environment of Peru is responsible for national climate action. The ministry submits an annual report to the Parliament, which reports on progress on the national climate action plan – the NDC – and ensures compliance with NDC targets by looking at action reported across sectors from other ministries and public entities.

Although the Ministry of Environment leads and coordinates on climate issues, the case study presented at Resilient Cities 2018 underscored that multiple actors need to coordinate to address the many climate hazards in the capital, Lima – let alone the entire country.

Lima faces a number of climate hazards. It is built on a desert and receives hardly any rainfall. Already water strained, Lima loses about 30 percent of water distributed due to management issues and natural catastrophes. Access to water has improved in the last few years, yet significant shortfalls in both public infrastructure and household facilities remain.

So how are they solving these and other challenges?

In 2014, the metropolitan region presented a Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Strategy and developed a methodology consisting of four steps to identify and select climate hazards and measures to solve them.

The steps are:

  • Learn more about the most relevant climate hazards and how they affect each district.
  • Assess vulnerability to climate change hazards of each district.
  • Identify the most relevant adaptation measures for each district
  • Prioritize measures and adapt them to the specific conditions of each district.

Two districts characterized by particular features and particular specific climate issues presented their cases at the session and how they used the methodology.

The district of San Isidro is in the southwest of the city and is the financial center of Lima. Its main climate hazards are droughts, heat waves, strong winds and gales, heavy rainfalls that raise the sea level and cause frequent flooding. As one of the richest districts in Lima, municipal authorities advanced climate action through a series of strategies and acts put in place in 2016. The district focuses on the green space, which provides natural flood control and tracks its water footprint.

Santa Anita is the poorest district in Lima. Home to internal migrants from the Andes, 12 percent of the Santa Anita population lives below poverty lines. Its climate issues are exacerbated by old thinking that green areas are useless, whereas concrete and cement mean jobs, activities and higher standards of living. However, this mindset is changing. Densely crowded areas in Santa Anita boil in heat waves, but recently, measures to create green space green areas are ameliorating the situation. The district also adheres to a strict schedule for irrigation and maintenance of parks and gardens and allows 20 percent of the population that does not have access to basic sanitary commodities to receive better redistributed water resources.

These examples are from just a small subset of the 51 districts that constitute Lima. However,  they clearly show how a local targeted action in needed. Local municipalities and institutions can cooperate and coordinate with networks like ICLEI and with the public sector to receive help in identifying hazards and managing them.

This post is based on the Lima, Peru: Local adaptation measures to climate change session of Resilient Cities 2018.

Get ICLEI’s latest urban sustainability news

Similar Posts