GLACIARES+: Risk management and Productive use of water from melting glaciers

Project completed

The Lima Call for Climate Action adopted during COP20 in Lima stresses the urgency for fast-track adaptation and building resilience in the developing world; climate risk management plays a key role. Glacial retreat triggers natural hazards and puts at risk water supply and key economic activities such as hydropower generation – globally impacting hundreds of millions of people. Lessons from Peru will be valuable input for the global dialogue the urgently needs evidence-based practical experience in risk management and successful adaptation in glaciated basins.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Environmental policy
01.09.2015 - 31.12.2019
CHF  5’059’000

The Andes cover 99% of the world’s tropical glaciers – about 71% of these glaciers are located within Peru. Their area has almost been halved over the past four decades. This evolution sparks serious natural hazards, but it also offers a number of unprecedented economic opportunities. Ongoing glacial retreat is expected to continue impacting key economic sectors such as hydropower production. Peru is a particularly suitable lab to learn more about the challenges but also potential of a mountainous country affected by glacial retreat.


The overall goal of the second phase is to further develop and strengthen skills and expertise for adaptation and reduction of glacier-related natural hazards. In addition to preventing the negative impact of harmful disasters, selected economic key branches will be supported seizing emerging economic opportunities that are related to melting glaciers.

Target groups
  • Up to 1’686’507 inhabitants from local communities and grass-roots organisations that live in the selected river basins.
  • Professionals from public and private institutions working on glaciological topics and issues related to productive use of water from melting glaciers
  • Lecturers, scientists and students from state universities in Ancash, Cusco and Lima
  • Policy-makers in Peru and beyond.
Medium-term outcomes
  • Strengthening public institutions for climate change adaptation and reduction of glacier-related risk
  • Generating and strengthening adaptive capacities and the management of  opportunities from glacial retreat
  • Capacity building and knowledge management

Expected results:  

  • Consolidation and scaling up of successful disaster risk management and climate change adaptation measures in selected river basins. Identification of suitable adaptation measures for the energy and agricultural sector.
  • Promotion of capacity building efforts, e.g. by means of fostering cooperation between peers on the topics of glacier shrinkage, related disaster risk management and sustainability of energy and agricultural production.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Implementation of risk management and climate change adaptation measures related to glacial retreat, such as setting up an early warning system that has 6’078 direct and 15’246 indirect beneficiaries (Carhuaz)
  • Creation and strengthening of professional expertise in glacier monitoring and related risk assessment
  • Training of 40 young professionals
  • Contribution to raising the awareness about glacial retreat and associated challenges.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Care International
  • Other Swiss academic and research institutions
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • CARE Peru; University of Zurich (leading the Swiss Scientific Consortium (ECS))

Other partners

National Water Board, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environment, National Civil Defence Institute.

Coordination with other projects and actors


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’059’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    5’054’186
Project phases

Phase 2 01.09.2015 - 31.12.2019   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.11.2011 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)