The majestic snowcapped Illimani is located between the municipalities of Palca and Irupana in the Department of La Paz. It is part of the Cordillera Real of the Andes and has a peak that reaches 6350 meters above sea level.
Because of its particular beauty and symbolism, the Illimani is regarded as an emblem for the city of La Paz. Its topography, its natural wealth and sociocultural significance make the mountain the city’s most representative image.
However, despite its representativeness, little is known about the key roles it plays in its environment.
The Illimani is a mountain that hosts a set of glaciers, namely ice masses that remain beyond seasonal and temporary snow. As a large fresh water reservoir, a glacier meets the essential role of regulator, feeding the wetlands, ensuring the survival of wildlife and supplying water to neighboring communities for subsistence throughout the year.
Unfortunately the complex system of which it forms part is being affected by climate change; studies reveal that climatic conditions are changing and glacier mass loss is now evident, directly affecting the water supply for communities and the overall performance of the system.
Thus, in the year 2009 inter-institutional efforts were brought together in order to carry out an adaptation project in the area, to conduct scientific research, implement pilot participatory projects, design big scale projects, building an adaptation strategy to climate change (understood in a “global change” context”), that could give the communities means and instruments to reduce their vulnerability in front of the climatic change and all the challenges involved.
In a 2-year, 8 months period a series of activities were carried out as tools to develop a solid and adequate strategy for the current and future needs of the region. Along this, different actions have been carried out to spread the information and make climate change impacts visible in Andean communities that depend on tropical glaciers