a global community
INDIGENOUS SYSTEMS FOR LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST AND STRATEGIES OF ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHERN PERU
Ramiro Ortega Dueñas*
Indigenous Knowledge has been defined in a multitude of studies and in a variety of contexts for a wide range of purposes. Indigenous knowledge is understood as a form of circumscribed Local Knowledge in Communities and their lifestyles.
The way of transmitting this knowledge is orally and its origins may be due to signals or previous experiences. In any case, they are collective, and are built over time and generations. Indigenous knowledge is developed through the transmitting, and probable adaptation of existing knowledge, which in turn are created, developed and transformed collectively. This knowledge has been the basis for agriculture and for the many other activities that supported and still support societies in many parts of the world.
In this context, current climate crisis offers a unique opportunity for indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems to be considered and valued within the discourse on climate change.
In the Andes, the man among many of his skills has a great ability, perceptual acuity and Behavioral interpretation of Climate Time, this ability allows them to find answers to the uncertainty of the weather, and also insure their crops and their survival through time.
The Andean farmer is an expert decoder of Codes that Nature itself is responsible for sending as a true preventive "warnings".
The amazing ability of the Andean farmer to read and interpret and the Signs or "Messages", help them to apply this knowledge to face issues such as: drought, frost, hail, floods, etc.; caused by weather, no doubt this is one of the greatest contributions of the Andean Agriculture.
With the understanding above, only after patiently observing the behavior of the “Signs” (the very own Nature components and their behavior) we can see its value for climate change forecast. The signs are manifestations of Nature and then “Señaleros” (in the local language these are the Andean messengers , sign decoders); the Astros : the sun, the moon, the stars; the meteorological features: lightning, clouds, rainbows, cloudscapes and winds; Animals: birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects; Plants: wild and cultivated;, and finally their “Dreams”, are defined and implemented in different strategies such as: seed exchange, vertical ecological monitoring, use of interspecific and intraspecific variability, sowing and harvesting season, and additionally in the process of decision making when it comes to cultivating systems.
This article is a summary of a research performed in Highland Communities in Cusco, Puno and Arequipa during 2011 and 2012.
*Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo Sustentable de los Agroecosistemas Andinos Antarki: IDSA-ANTARKI, CUSCO-PERU