< 12 Chilean regions learn how to use the Agroclimatic Observatory
06.04.2014 20:44 Age: 8 yrs
Category: General

Agroclimatic observatories expand in Latin America: Peru will start monitoring droughts

The National Drought Observatory for Peru is launched to evaluate, monitor and eventually predict the behaviour of drought processes in different areas. It will start to be implemented in Peru in 2014 as an information tool to propose prevention and mitigation measures in benefit of the Peruvians.

The initiative is rooted in the experience of the Agroclimatic Observatory in Chile, which is already operational since 2013 for the agro-sector in this southern country. The Peruvian National Observatory currently counts with support from UNESCO and a multisectorial participation; and it is expected to count with a technological platform that unifies meteorological, hydrological and agricultural information from different national and international sources. This information will be made available to the different authorities and entities involved in water management, with the objective to mitigate the effect of drought occurrences, as well as to promote measures of impact prevention. The implementation in Peru was informed by the National Water Authority on March 31 2014 in Lima, during a working meeting, that lead to the instalation of the Steering Committee, followed by an initial capacity building to the future system users that extended until the 2nd of April. During the training different topics were addressed dealing with tools to generate indicators, in order to initate technological transfer to the actors involved in this project as well as to agree upon follow-up activities. During the launch event, Lic. Francisco Dumler Cuya, Secretary-General of the National Water Authority, indicated the importance of managing climatic risks in Peru. He mentioned the huge impact of drought on the economy in the years 1982 and 1983 in the southern area of the country. He also indicated that many conflicts related to water resources are rooted in a lack of information, a situation which is hoped to be solved with the installation of the Peruvian Drought Observatory. The representatives of the different governmental agencies in Peru participating in the event welcomed the initiative and the development of the observatory, indicating the need to count with multidisciplinary information to monitor meteorological, hydrological and agricultural droughts in the country. Koen Verbist, programme specialist in Hydrological Systems and Global Change, located in UNESCO Santiago, explained the importance of this type of initiatives: “The installation of the Steering Committee for the Drought Observatory is an important mark, as it allows realizing the important task of implementing the different steps that will lead to the installation of the Observatory for Peru. This in turn will allow acting more efficiently to conditions of water deficit that often affect the country”. **** These national observatories are supported by the Project “Managing Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Latin America and the Caribbean” (MWAR-LAC) of the International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) and is funded by the Flemish Government (Belgium). The project aims at strenghtening the capacity to manage water resources in arid and semi-arid regions in the Region, which is achieved by the formation of networks and international and regional collaboration with partners in the region. Along these lines, UNESCO collaborates to develop early warning systems, facilitating implementation of national drought monitors. The National Drought Observatory is realized thanks to collaboration between UNESCO-IHP, the National Water Authority (ANA), the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI); the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) and the University of San Marcos (UNMSM), and counts with support from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and FAO, among others.  More information:

  • Project: Managing Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regiuons of Latin America and the Caribbean (MWAR-LAC)
  • Interview with Koen Verbist and other authorities.
    Facebook of the National Water Authority of Peru
  • International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO
  • UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
  • Centres and Chairs on Water in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Interview with Koen Verbist: “Climate risk and water resources: empowering communities and reducing their vulnerability”
  • Autoridad Nacional del Agua del Perú (in Spanish)
  • 13.06.13 New Chilean agriculture-climate observatory to boost early warning for drought events

MWAR LAC - Managing Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Latin America and the Caribbean