Ayni, Ayllu, Yanantin and Chanincha: The Cultural Values Enabling Adaptation to Climate Change in Communities of the Potato Park, in the Peruvian Andes

Journal (part) article
Published: January 2016
Product code:X00180
Source publication:
GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society

There is a critical need for effective and sustained adaptation to the effects of climate change for indigenous peoples. Despite this, adaptation policies often neglect the cultural values that we show to be crucial to their ability to respond, and instead prioritise instrumental and scientific framings of climate change. Rural communities in the Peruvian Andes are already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, further impacts are expected to arrive comparatively early and be particularly damaging for indigenous communities in the mountains. Therefore there is a pressing need to ensure effective and sustained adaptation is undertaken. Rural communities studied in the Potato Park in the Cusco Region of Peru are shown to possess a number of cultural values, in Quechua known as ayni, ayllu, yanantin and chanincha. These form the foundation of the community's ability to successfully respond to the challenges presented by climate change. The limited current adaptation strategies and methods not only neglect these values but also undermine and erode them. Future strategies should instead complement, maintain and utilise these values.