Introducing the International Alliance for Terraced Landscapes (ITLA)

Here below you find the first informations from the Alliance coordinator:

Dear friends and colleagues of the International Alliance for Terraced Landscapes (ITLA),

We would like to share the progress of the International Alliance and at the same time invite all of you to share your experiences and activities with all members and interested persons in terraced landscapes.

Second Conference on Terraced Landscapes in Peru

We met with our colleagues in January and early February in Peru (John Earls, Hilda Araujo and Mourik Bueno de Mesquita) to coordinate the preparations for the Second Conference on Terraced Landscapes in Peru.
We plan to hold the Second Conference in April or May 2013 depending on the availability of the participants and on the logistics for the event.
We foresee a combination of different types of mini workshops with field trips in selected terrace landscape sites that will provide first hand inputs to the Conference.We rely on the active participation of experienced knowers, scientists and practitioners - male and female to assess the current situation and to envision practical actions to promote terraced landscapes in a sustainable way.

We are thinking of holding the Conference in the Colca Valley on the Western slopes of the southern part of the Peruvian Andes, because it is one of the most outstanding terraced landscape in Peru and counts with a large number of hotels and guesthouses to host the Conference. We will visit the valley in May of this year.
Have a look at following websites:

If you google Colca Valley or Colca Canyon + Terraces and look for images, you will find the views of these terraced landscapes.

Of course everyone asks for visiting the terraces in Cusco, and we shall prepare short and long field trips to visit the terraced landscapes of Peru including the famous terraces of Tipón, Yucay, Pisaq, Moray in Cusco, but there are other splendid sites like Yauyos and Laraos in the Western slopes of the Andes, Pusalaya near Lake Titikaka and also on the Eastern slope in Sandia in the Province of Puno, known as Cuyo Cuyo..

We shall meet again in May and establish the different Committees for this International Conference conformed by Peruvian NGOs like CITPA, the Center Bartolomé de las Casas and the Cusichaca Trust and by universities like the Catholic University, Agrarian University La Molina from Lima. As the Conference is in 2013 and in the meantime Peru will have elections and a new government will start from July 2011 onwards, the involvement of national government agencies should wait until the new public servants have been appointed in the leading positions.

Different to the previous Conference this one does not require an official approval from the government and it is almost impossible to obtain government funds. However it might be very helpful to get prior informed consent procedures with local governments where terrace landscapes will be topics of the Conference, to apply for financial support from international agencies and programs.

This depends also on the clear formulation of the objectives of the Conference - combining exchange of knowledge resulting from research with practical actions to preserve, protect and promote terraced landscapes and the Agrarian Culture including the perspective of its guardians. Therefore, the Peruvian group of the International Alliance will develop for Peru 3 activities:

1. The National Resources Institute among other organizations produced an inventory of the terraced landscapes. These efforts stopped 20 years ago.. We need to reconnect with institutions and people, scientists who are the experts in this field and may know how to collect the intellectual material produced. There is an extensive bibliography of Peruvian and international scholars about the Peruvian terraces. The inventory is first priority.

2. We would like to prepare the Conference by inviting local scholars to carry out participatory research (with the involvement of the farmer voices ) that yields in case studies on the visions that people have on how to recover terraces as agricultural systems embedded in the Andean Cosmovision. We aim at presenting these case studies as exhibitions, vision drawings, community videos and other forms of interactive methods during the Conference.

3. The group will visit the local communities during the next 2 years and identify experienced peasants who know how to maintain and to construct terraces and how to keep on with the local seed diversity, how to manage the scarce water. The farming experts (male and female) will join the Farmer Forum as part of the forthcoming Conference.

We will look for funding for this process for Peru in 2011 - 2013 as well as for the organization of the International Conference in 2013, and we are thankful for the members who can suggest funding sources or can mobilise their own resources for similar processes in their countries and for participating in the Conference.

Our next step is to hold a planning workshop in May in Peru, to decide on an innovative format of different events, to propose specific themes for the Conference and to establish a working structure. We will organise in Peru 2 larger preparation workshops like national conferences on terraces, which strengthen the outcome of our 3 activities and involve a national Peruvian Terraces Community in the Promotion of Terraced Landscapes and in the organisation of the Conference and its field work .

Italian Section of the International Alliance

On March 2 we went to Venice and met with the Italian members of the International Alliance for Terraced Landscapes and discussed about the Next Conference and its preparations as well as about the Inventory of Terraced Landscapes in Italy, the existing terrace scholars and practitioners in Italy and next steps. We will just summarise the main outcomes of this meeting with Franco Alberti and Luca Lodatti from the Veneto Region, Donatella Murtas from the Ecomuseum in Cortemiglia, Alta Langhe, Mauro Varotto from Padua University and Enrico Fontanari, Venice University.

1. Develop a research and action proposal for the promotion of terraced landscapes in various regions and countries:
Italy, Peru and Honghe - a combined proposal has a good chance for funding from EU-funds, as our Italian colleagues explained.
We may join the Italian section with the committee from Peru and contact the Research Center at Honghe University to develop this proposal.

2. We will be able to use the established Alpter website to disseminate the progress of the International Terraced Landscapes Alliance. There are already several paper presentations from the Honghe Conference published on the website, and the Italian section has offered to publish further material with regard to our purposes.
Please contact Franco and Luca about your contributions to the website.
Luca lodatti <> and Franco Alberti <>

3. The next meeting of the Italian section will be organised by Donatella Murtas in Alta Langa or in Liguria on June 21st this year, and we shall join this next meeting.

Amplify membership for the Alliance

We should launch the promotion of the ITLA membership by sending out a short description of the Alliance plus a small registration form so that other scholars and practitioners can join the Alliance soon, so that we can include them and more countries into the Alliance. It will stay as an informal network depending on the contributions from each country so that slowly we can include all regions with terraced landscapes into our Alliance.

Best wishes from Germany

Timmi Tillmann and Maruja Salas

Advisor of Right Livelihood College at
CenPRIS - Center for Policy Research and International Studies
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 Penang
Tel: +604-653-2043
Fax: +604-659-1624