The Huaytapallana snow hill provides around 40% of the water used by residents of Huancayo city (Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) in Spanish). Accelerating melting of the snow area on Huaytapallana is increasingly threatening this supply. In the last 20 years, the hill has lost around 5 square kilometres, half of its snow area.
Higher temperatures and more extreme, less predictable weather conditions are exacerbating the problem and will disporportinately impact the low-income rural communities who are most vulnerable to threats to water supply.
Open burning is still frequently practiced by farmers in the Huaytapallana area because it is believed to be an effective solution for eliminating weeds and crop residue and produce faster growing crops. But, this practice is further accelerating the loss of snow and degrading air quality through the release of black carbon and other fine particles.
Many farmers lack the tools and knowledge to adopt more climate-friendly practices, which is why Coalition partners are working to provide training and viable alternatives to burning.