Dear friends and colleagues of ITLA,
Planning Workshop for World Conference in Lima on Jan. 25
herewith I want to send you a brief update about the design and preparation of the Second World Terraced Landscapes Conference in Peru. The organising committee and the supporting group for the World Conference met on January 25th at the Catholic University in Lima, invited by John Earls. Representatives of academic institutions, government agencies, development projects and NGOs from different parts of Peru met for 6 hours to discuss the Conference - themes and format and the preparatory process in Peru.
Themes of the World Conference
We agreed to select a symbol for the thematic orientation of the Conference in 2013 - a quipu, which is part of the administrative system of the Inka empire, also called talking knots used to record resources, people, harvests for a clear picture of the state of the empire. It could have been used also to register the land use and the amount of terraces in the different regions and valleys of Peru.
We want to list the 8 topics as the different strings in the quipu of the Conference, which aims to strengthen the International Terraced Landscapes Alliance and the awareness of the fundamental role of terraces for healthy food within peasant agriculture in the mountains, neglected by governments and academics oriented towards markets, quantity of production and less on quality.
The 8 topics and persons in charge listed are:
1. History and Cultures of Terraces in the world (Mourik Bueno de Mesquita, Maruja Salas, Douglas Walsh)
2. Agro-biodiversity (Dora Velasquez, Mario Tapia, Cusichaca)
3. Food Sovereignty in Terraced Landscapes (Carmen Felipe Morales, Carlos Herz)
4. Social and economic organisation to protect and manage terraced landscapes (Hilda Araujo, Carlos Amat y Leon)
5. Water, Territory and Climate Change (Mourik Bueno de Mesquita, Leoncio Rodríguez, John Earls, Aquilino Mejía, Juan Torres)
6. Policies, customary laws and regulations (Carlos Loret de Mola)
7. Inventory of terraced landscapes by using GIS - methodologies (Luis Masson, Aldo Cruz, Cusichaca)
8. World heritage and landscapes (Mario Tapia) The persons in charge are preparing short text for the announcement of the World Conference to be released in April.
Dates and Venue of the Conference
We plan to hold the Conference in mid November 2013 in Chivay, which is the central town of the Colca Valley in the south of Peru, not far from Arequipa - in the middle of terraced landscapes with thousands of hectares of prehistoric, preincan and prespanish terraces still in use for corn, Andean tubers and potatoes, grain, fodder with a reknown agro-biodiversity. Chivay offers many hotels - november is low season - which provides the participants with a choice of lodging of different prices.
Format of the Conference
The Conference will have 5 parts:
1. Field visits with farmer-scientist dialogues on terraces in 5 different regions of Peru: Lima, Ayacucho, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa, so that the impressions from the visits are fed into the main Conference in the Colca Valley. The field trips do not include a visit to Machu Picchu, this all participants could do as a touristic visit after the Conference. During the field visits the outsiders will get to know the local specialists for terraces and for agrobiodiversity or social organisation of communities in mountain areas with abundant and impressive terraces under production.
2. A Fair and Exhibition of 1 day - to exchange products, projects, experiences from Terraced Landscapes of the World, as a showcase for the significance of the terraces for humankind.
3. A Farmer Forum - where the Peruvian terrace farmers from mountain communities will exchange their views and testimonies with mountain people from different regions and continents. This runs parallel to the Main Conference topics, at a community space close to the terraces.
4. The 3.5 day long interactive II World Conference on terraced landscapes dealing with the 8 topics outlined by the organising Committee.
5. A one day Action oriented day for networking, the ITLA member group, the Clearinghouse for Terraced Landscapes, and for Donor commitments.
Preparatory process in Peru
Please take note that the Peruvian section of ITLA, which is organising the 2013 Conference, is dedicated to the following preparatory steps as a country section, for the II World Conference 2013.
1. Inventories Agrorural with the Terrace Project funded by IDB has opened a bidding process on the inventory of terraced landscapes in Peru. The inventory was undertaken 25 years ago by the Natural Resources Institute under leadership of Luis Masson, but it was truncated by later governments as terraces were not considered to be productive or useful for the interests of the agroindustry and the exporters of agricultural goods. We ask all members of ITLA to provide information about existing inventories and ongoing inventory processes - first just a short message, please!
2. Case studies The participants for the planning workshop committed to undertake and compile 8 case studies in different areas of Peru.
3. Community Video The video team of Cuyayhuasi (Maja Tillmann and Rodrigo Otero) will develop training with farmers from terraced communities in different areas of Peru, so that farmers voices and their ideas and environment is presented during the world conference. Please write to us if you will engage in a similar video work.
4. Elders Workshop The Center Bartolomé de las Casas from Cusco, the Agricultural Heritage Project in Peru, the Climate Change Adaptation Program and Cusichaca will organise a meeting of wise elders- farmers (men and women) from farming mountain communities in Cusco in September 2012. If you plan to organise a farmer workshop - on culture and nature of terraced landscapes - in your area, please send me a message with a short outline of topics, participants,
5. Regional Workshops There are already commitments to organise 6 regional workshops for farmers and scientists and activists from NGOs as well as state agencies in 6 different areas of Peru with presence of thousands of hectares of Terraces between May 2012 and May 2013 as part of the preparation and mobilisation to protect and promote terraced communities and landscapes. If you plan to organise a workshop in your country please keep us informed about possibilities and dates.
6. National Peruvian workshop mid 2013 Hilda Araujo and the Committee will organise a National Workshop for Peru on Terraced Landscapes in June - July 2013, which allows to present to the participants of the II World Conference on Terraced Landscapes a full picture of the terraces in Peru (supposed to comprise 1 million hectares).
7. Bibliography We will prepare a bibliography about terraced landscapes and the 8 topics of the Conference - on one side for Peru, on the other side, we want to compile the best texts and overviews on terraced landscapes in the world. Please propose the most important texts for the compilation - those you have written or you have read and used. The classics as well as outstanding case studies.
8. Academic courses The Center Bartolome de las Casas from Cusco (Mourik Bueno de Mesquita) and the Catholic University (John Earls) will offer in the next 3 semesters specialised academic courses on terraced landscapes - history, culture, agrobiodiversity, water and social organisation, climate change mitigation - for interested students. This aims at creating a curriculum on Terraced Landscapes and to contact students who can engage in the development of the World Conference (similar what happened in Honghe, where the students of the Red River University became guides and helpers, and academic staff joined as facilitators for the workshops during the Conference.
NEXT STEPS are to write the announcement, contact the local authorities in Arequipa for their involvement and commitment, to follow the work plan agreed upon during the planning workshop and to select all supporters and facilitators for the Conference. Hilda is also planning to organise a donor table in Lima to win funding support for the conference. Until now we fund everything by ourselves, with our own commitment and time.
We decided to organise in the next 8 months a second planning workshop in the Colca Valley with the organising team and the support group. Then we hope to have also the response from the ITLA members from all over the world about their preparatory processes. Please send short comments and message back to me. We will train a group of facilitators who will be involved in creating a dialogue atmosphere during the Conference and overcome the normal shortcomings of large conferences - making it more interactive, valuable, diverse and fascinating.
Please inform more colleagues about the Alliance and about the II World Conference 2013 in Peru. Next month we will be sending the pre-announcement of the Colca Valley Conference.
Peace and a clear mind, wishing to you from Malaysia, Timmi Tillmann
Hermann J. Tillmann phd, Salas & Tillmann Partnership, Vipp-Practice & Creative Learning Design, Gomaringerstr 6, D-72810 Gomaringen - Germany, e-mail: Tillmann2003@gmx.net