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At the request of USAID/Peru and with funding from the USAID CityLinks Leader Award, ICMA and ISC undertook a diagnostic visit to Metro Arequipa in 2013 to assess the main climate change adaptation challenges and opportunities in Metro Arequipa. The visit consisted of 21 meetings with a diverse group of key stakeholders in the area of climate change adaptation. Participation in the meetings included national, regional, and district level government officials, international organizations, utility authorities, technical experts, and local NGOs. The purpose of these meetings was to understand the stakeholders’ missions, histories, experiences, priorities, and challenges regarding the management of climate change impacts, particularly related to flooding in Metro Arequipa. 

The assessment found that the major climate change patterns affecting Metro Arequipa are increased glacial melt, increased differences between maximum and minimum temperatures, increased solar radiation due to reduced cloud cover, and changing weather cycles – including reduced El Niño periods – and precipitation patterns. Together these changes are producing both direct and indirect impacts on the urban area of Arequipa, including a decreased supply of water for the urban area, hydroelectric power, food production from the surrounding region, increased pollution, negative impacts on human health, and increased intensity of storms and wind events.As the focus of the assessment was on how to improve Metro Arequipa’s ability to adapt to climate change, the team reviewed the myriad contributors to climate change impacts to identify those that fall within the manageable interest of the local urban government, and in particular of the Provincial Municipality of Arequipa.

ISC recommended that the key to improving the capacity of Metro Arequipa rested with improving the capacity of
the Municipality of Arequipa, which is the lead municipality within the metropolitan area.