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Terraced Landscapes in Perù: Terraces and Social Water Management

  • Lianet Camara
  • Mourik Bueno de Mesquita
Chapter
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 9)

Abstract

Challenged by the area’s imposing verticality, the societies inhabiting the Andes Mountains made constant effort to profitably exploit the slopes and develop the territory for supporting agriculture, which gave rise to characteristic terraced landscapes. Many studies on this terracing date back to the 1980s and 1990s, years when terrace use and recovery were given great importance. In 2010, institutions began renewing interest in the loss of productive land, current climate changes, and terrace abandonment, seeking to reduce adverse effects created on the terraced slopes, on rural economies, and on the population’s socio-culture. This article intends to examine the geographical knowledge of Peruvian terracing, considering the Rural Agricultural Productive Development Program (AgroRural), located in Lima, Peru, and discussing the relevant results of AgroRural’s inventory and characterization of terraces in areas with a high terracing density. The article will also highlight some issues, debated in recent years, which have raised the rural population’s concerns over their territory and economy—specifically climate change and the abandonment and degradation of terracing. Water management, which is an integral part of the terraced structure, will be discussed as well. The second International Terraces Meeting, held in Cusco in 2014, animated the debate among scholars, institutions, and the rural population concerning problems affecting terraced areas and how to apply traditional knowledge to counteract them.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Centro Bartolomé de Las CasasCuscoPeru

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