Preparing for glacial lake outbursts in Peru

This solution addresses increasingly destructive glacial lake outbursts in Northern Central Peru for nearby vulnerable populations

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Problem Description

Peru has one of the largest concentrations in the world of tropical glaciers. Most of these are located in the Cordillera Blanca in Ancash, in northern central Peru. These high mountain ecosystems have always been prone to major geophysical events, such as the 1970 Ancash earthquake, which triggered a glacial lake outburst flood and debris flow that destroyed the town of Yungay, leaving 20,000 dead. With climate change, many of these glaciers are retreating fast and the glacial lakes they leave behind are highly unstable and constitute a growing threat to populations in the valleys below.

Building Blocks


An interesting thing to note about the project is its integrative approach when it comes to addressing vulnerability. Even know the heart of this project is about address the risk of a geophysical disaster, it doesn't stop there. Under the concept of treating resiliency as a multifold issue, the project also looked at other ways this could be accomplished. For example, the project has also sought to address the drivers of differential vulnerability, particularly from a gender perspective, confronting and transforming power relations, and encouraging balanced gender participation in planning committees.

The project hopes that improved monitoring of glacial retreat rates and applied modelling of debris flows, together with capacity-building activities, will improve the effectiveness of early warning systems and reduce risk in communities already affected by climate change.

Social Progress Index

  • Personal Safety - Are people able to feel safe?
  • Health and Wellness - Do people live long and healthy lives?
  • Photos

    • Dsc09234


    Organisations Involved

    Contributed By

    • Milo Stanojevich, CARE Peru
    • Jay Goulden, CARE Peru

    Key Details

    Social Progress Index
    Personal SafetyHealth and Wellness