What if Peru’s government offices moves to Puno?

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Puno is one of the richest regions in the south of Peru. Rich because the sky there is heavenly blue and the sun is shining during the day. Rich in culture, a place where the Uros live on mand-made islands on Lake Titicaca (and these island are tax free!) and where the Waris and Tiahuanaco cultures flourished, the original “Incas” and died due to abrupt climate change many years ago…and that’s about it. Economically, Puno is one of the poorest areas of my country. Today, people in Puno are dying of cold, kids are freezing and people from Lima are sending some warm clothes (clothes for Limas’s winter of 16 Celsius where it is -8C at night in Puno). Many times the government has been blamed for not acting on time. This time even the Peruvian Prime Minister (“Premier”), Yehude Simon, said “I will quit if one child dies because of the goverment”. I guess he meant of the “government’s inaction”. But it is not a problem of the government alone, as the El Niño, the cold season is something that Peruvians expect, know that is coming, yet we are not prepared. We (in Lima) do not see beyond the pollution and grey sky that cover us most of the year, about 8 months. The limeños are so far apart from the real issues of real people. Not of people who pay US$ 280,000 to live in front of green park in 100sq mt apartment. Not for those who live an illusion, work 12 hours a day, spend 2-3 hours of their only life in traffic breathing fumes. Wake up! So, some friends and I asked ourselves, what would happen if the government offices move to Puno? Wouldn’t it be good? Apart from activating melatonine and being happier, motivating investment in this depressed area, knowing what it is to feel really COLD and prepare for it, some government officials could see, open their eyes and act, what is happenning IN Peru. Because Peru is not Lima and Lima is not at all Peru.

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About sandravelarde

Peruvian Forest Engineer (UNALM) and MSc. in Ecological Economics (University of Edinburgh, UK). I am a natural resource management specialist. My experience is in socio-economics in tropical forests, evaluating the trade-offs across different land uses: biodiversity, carbon,and profitability (FAO, ASB, ICRAF). My PhD thesis at the Australian National University (ANU) is about tree planting for bioenergy. My passion: Planning and capacity building, using participatory methods, like Future Scenarios (CIFOR, ASB, ICRAF, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). Currently working as Economist / transdisciplinary scientist at the New Zealand Forest Research Institute (Scion).

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