Angel MUJICA* Red Iberoamericana de saberes del entorno vegetal- RISAPRET- CYTED Universidad Nacional del Altiplano, UNA, PUNO, Perú.

  Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, Andes, Quechuas and Aymaras, Climate change

 Language of original submission:Spanish

Paper:Will be available soon

Presentation: Right-click to download pdf.


  The Quechua and Aymaras cultures of the Andes engaged in the domestication, cultivation, selection, transformation and consumption of Andean cultures, have developed knowledge and traditional practices to manage and preserve the diversity and variability of grains, tubers, roots, fruits, aromatics and medicinal, as strategy to face climatic adversities and the impacts of climate change. In order to gather and systematize this information, the methodology of complementation and exchange of knowledge has been used with bilateral information flow and an ethnographic approach (continuous ethno-botanical-anthropological exploration throughout the production process, with bilateral and multilateral knowledge exchange) in communities that preserve the agro-biodiversity of the Peruvian Andes during five agricultural campaigns; to this end, the indigenous communities have selected and improved those genotypes that show morphological mechanisms (smaller size of leaves, plant), physiological (nyctinastic movements and replacement of foliaceous photosynthesis), anatomical (greater radicular development and smaller size of stomas), biochemical (production of betainas, presence of calcium oxalate) and phenological (quick phenological development, asynchronous flowering period) allowing them to mitigate and adapt better to the impacts of climate change, facing, with greater advantages, droughts, floods, salinization of soils, cold (frosts) and intense solar radiation that are frequent in the Andes, diminishing their vulnerability. In the same manner, they have modified the environment where they conduct their agricultural activities, allowing them to produce foods under difficult conditions, and diminish losses due to the changes in the weather, as well as the risks and impacts of these adverse factors, notwithstanding of being marginalized populations for reasons of different nature, they still maintain this knowledge and have survival and adaptability mechanisms through the Waru-Warus (excess of humidity and attacks of plagues ), Andenes (freezings and sowing in mountainsides), Cochas (floods, cold and exploitation of high plains), Canchas (cold, height and exploitation of intense solar radiation) and other unique and exceptional agricultural practices as the use of wild relatives, integral use of the plant (leaves, young stems, inflorescence, grains, stems, roots and even anti¬nutritional substances: saponin), association of sowings according to supplementary requirements of the species, sowing in salt flats and arid lands, rational use and management of water and soil (Dry farming), sowing in hillsides, gathering of water in the high regions of the basin, organic production, use of natural biocides to counteract plagues (alkaloids, saponins, glucosinolates, terpenes), natural fungicides, growth regulators, use of bio-indicators, use of thermo-therapy to eliminate viruses in tubers, exploitation of favorable mutations and the natural selection of the fittest individuals and other techniques that allow them to exploit cold, intense solar radiation, wind and natural vegetation. It is concluded that Andean cultures have developed knowledge to diminish the impacts of climate change, adapting themselves better to such weather adversities and, logically, decreasing their vulnerability thanks to the great domesticated diversity and variability, and currently they play a major role in the sustainable use and preservation In situ of food and non-food resources of the Andes, both grown as well as of their wild relatives, and also of the native agro-ecosystem with all their components, emphasizing the preservation of the soil and water, based on their ancient knowledge, notwithstanding they are strongly influenced by the modernizing development and globalization. *presenting author