07 August 2007

Andean experts meet on climate change


LIMA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Environmental experts from three Andean countries, namely Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, on Monday began a three-day meeting on climate change.

The meeting in the southeastern Peruvian city of Cusco is part of the Andean Regional Climatic Change Adaptation Project, which began last year via the Peruvian government's National Environment Council.

The meeting will seek to support region-wide efforts to embed climate change adaptation methods.

Experts are particularly worried about the loss of Andean glaciers, which provide much of the region's drinking water.

One objective of the project is to train meteorologists in climate change scenario development.

Peru has 71 percent of the world's sub-tropical glaciers, although these have reduced 22 percent since 1980. They cover an area of around 500 square km, equivalent to 10 years of Lima's drinking water supply. Peru has 12,000 lakes, which might be affected if the glaciers thaw.

Peruvian experts are focusing on two river watersheds: the Vilcanota-Urubamba watershed close to Cusco and the central Peruvian Mantaro watershed, which hosts the largest rivers in the Andean range.

Peru also has plans for reforestation, infrastructure improvement and electricity grid programs in the region.

Editor: An Lu

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