Impacts of Glacial Retreat in the Andes (PRAA)

PRAA used pilot projects in three tropical Andes countries to help local ecosystems and economies better adapt to the many impacts of the rapid glacier retreat under way throughout the region.

© Tsung-lin Wu |

© Tsung-lin Wu |


As climate change accelerates glacial melting in the
tropical Andes, millions in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru face drinking water shortages, changes in the way they farm, reductions in hydropower, and severe economic disruptions in populations that already suffer from pervasive poverty.

The PRAA project aimed to project the impacts of rapid glacial retreat in tropical Andes countries so that national and local governments could allow for these effects into their regional and local planning and economic development projects and thereby better adapt to climate change.

Researchers  created impact maps and designed specific adaptation measures to help people cope with their quickly changing ecosystems. Measures being implemented in pilot projects included new watershed management practices and changes in agricultural and livestock systems to more efficient water use.

IIASA Research

IIASA researchers, together with colleagues from partner institutions, developed comprehensive scientific baselines so that the extent and speed of the ecological changes taking place could be identified and tracked.

Researchers also strengthened mechanisms for the exchange of relevant technical information between science and policy institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

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Last edited: 12 June 2012


Michael Obersteiner

Program Director

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 460


01.07.2011 - 01.12.2013

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313