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Photo Essay: Indigenous Farmers Gather in the Andes to Plan for Climate Change

26 Aug 2014

These photos document a gathering of indigenous groups from China, Bhutan, and Peru. They met in the spring to discuss climate change and plan a crop exchange program.

First published on August 18, by Adam Kerby in YES! Magazine.

A Quechua woman harvests potatoes at a site more than 13,700 feet above sea level. It's the highest local point at which potatoes are grown. All photos by Adam Kerby.

Editor's note: Last month we published an article about indigenous farmers who recently gathered for a week in Peru's Cusco region to discuss climate change, its effects on their ancestral farmlands, and ways that they could work together to improve the resiliency of their agriculture.

The farmers, who came from Peru, China, and Bhutan, made plans to exchange plant varieties in an effort to protect the diversity of their crops in the face of an increasingly unpredictable climate. There were tons of great photos from the event that we were unable to include in the original article, so we’ve compiled a collection of them here.

The pictures below were taken by photojournalist Adam Kerby and offer more information about the gathering in Peru—as well as a peek into the lives of some of the farmers who attended.

A farmer from Yunnan Province, China, attends the biodiversity summit held in Peru in April 2014.

An administrator from the Cusco-based nonprofit Asociación ANDES accompanies Quechua farmers on a tour of the Parque de la Papa—22,000 acres of conserved land where more than 1,400 varieties of potatoes are grown.

A Bhutanese farmer and a translator learn about the agricultural technology of the ancient Incans while touring ruins near the town of Pisac.

A community leader from the Bhutanese district of Bumthang learns about local medicinal plants.

Quechua farmers conduct a ceremony to thank Pachamama, or Mother Earth, for the potato harvest.

A young Quechua girl thanks Pachamama for the harvest.

A Quechua woman collects wild medicinal plants.

A Quechua woman weaves fabric on a loom.

A Quechua woman displays blankets woven by the textile collective at Parque de la Papa.

A Quechua farmer harvests a mixed crop of corn and beans.

A Quechua farmer carries local varieties of corn and beans back to his home.

A Quechua farmer husks corn at home.

A Quechua farmer eats a meal of corn and beans at home. The fresh flowers are from his personal garden.

Quechua farmer Lino Mamani and his wife rest after climbing to the top of a local mountain peak.

Adam Kerby took these photographs during a gathering of indigenous farmers organized in part by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). They are used here with permission.

This blog post first appears on YES! Magazine. Please follow this link to view