Earlier today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ricardo Luna, participated as a speaker at a round table organized by the Inter-American Dialogue, an institution with more than 30 years of experience in issues of democratic governance, prosperity, and social equality in Latin-America and the Caribbean.
During his presentation, Ambassador Luna referenced the political situation in Peru and its promising economic and financial panorama. He also stressed the urgent need to stop the corruption that plagues the region which is a constant threat to the democratic values, the legal institutions and economic development of Latin-American countries. Ambassador Luna pointed out that the VIII Summit of the Americas, which will take place in Peru from the 23rd to the 25th of March of 2018, will focus on the fight against corruption. In that regard, the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs brought-up the possibility of the creation of an Inter-American Court against corruption.
This dialogue generated a fluid and intense exchange of ideas and debate on the political and economic situation in Venezuela in response to the OAS’s Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs which took place today in Washington, D.C.
The event was attended by officials from the State Department and congress; representatives from international organizations, such as the OAS and the IDB; educational forums, such as the Council of the Americas, National Endowment for Democracy, WOLA, Center for Justice and International Law, and Human Rights Watch; scholars, law firms, and representatives from the private sector interested in the fight against corruption.
At the 20th Annual Milken Institute Global Conference, the Ambassadors of Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico discussed in a panel how the four countries, founding members of the Pacific Alliance, are leading integration in Latin America.
The Global Conference convenes the best minds in the world to tackle the most stubborn challenges. That commitment to the power of ideas has set this event apart for two decades. It is a unique setting in which the individuals with the capital, power and influence to move the world forward meet face-to-face with those whose expertise and creativity are reinventing industry, philanthropy and media.
“For us, as a country interested in pursuing openness in trade and sound commercial policies with the most dynamic economies in the world, and as members of the Pacific Alliance, it was crucial being able to communicate our common strategies and interests with key players gathered on this conference”, said Ambassador of Peru, Carlos Pareja.
The panel was moderated by Julie T. Katzman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, from the Inter-American Development Bank. The other panelists were Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Mexico to the US; Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US; and Juan Gabriel Valdés, Ambassador of Chile to the United States.
The Pacific Alliance is an integrated, regional trading bloc made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. They share a population of 217 million with a combined average GDP per capita of $16,759 in purchasing power parity. The alliance provides opportunities for foreign investments as its members move toward the free movement of goods, services, resources and people.
“The sum of many factors like economic modernization, natural resource abundance and continued improvements in economic governance and political stability are helping Peru to emerge as one of the most stable and influential countries in Latin America,” said Pareja, during his presentation.
The four members of the Pacific Alliance negotiated a common free trade agreement, which entered into force on May 1, 2016, to regulate, among other issues, rules of origin, customs administration and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, investment, intellectual property, sanitary a phytosanitary measures, labor, environment and transparency.
“The Pacific Alliance is an ambitious platform that also deals with the facilitation of free movement of people under a visa waiver program and an integrated migration system for the immediate exchange of information,” said Pareja.
The 20th Annual Milken Institute Global Conference was devoted to discussing “How to Build Meaningful Lives” and was organized by the Milken Institute, a non-profit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. The institute is based in Santa Monica, California.
Mario Vargas Llosa, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Claudio Magris, author of Danube, and Charlie Rose, famous journalist and television host, held a dialogue about “The Role of the Writer”, event organized by the Georgetown University Italian Research Institute, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the Georgetown University Italian Department.
“I fully discovered Latin American literature while I was living in Paris as a young writer, during the sixties”, said Vargas Llosa. “At that time, the Latin American Boom was born”, he remembers. In fact, the literary movement most closely associated with Julio Cortázar of Argentina, Carlos Fuentes of Mexico, Gabriel García Márquez of Colombia and Vargas Llosa, challenged the established conventions of Latin American literature. Their work is experimental and, owing to the political climate of the Latin America of the 1960s, also very political.
Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, and spent parts of his youth in Cochabamba (Bolivia), Piura in northern Peru and Lima. He made his debut as a novelist with The Time of the Hero (1962), set in Leoncio Prado military Academy, where he had been a student. The book received an immediate international recognition.
His many other works include the novels Conversation in The Cathedral, The Green House, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta, Who Killed Palomino Molero?, The Storyteller, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, The Dream of the Celt, The Discreet Hero and the theatre plays La Chunga, Kathie and the Hippopotamus,The Young Lady from Tacna, among others.
“A good writer has no nationality,” said Claudio Magris. “Is a citizen of the world, a witness of his time”.
Magris was born in Trieste in 1939. In 1986, he published his first novel, Danube, which was translated in 24 languages. He is the author of numerous novels and essays, translated into many languages as well as a columnist for the Corriere della Sera and other European newspapers.
His numerous publications include: Lontano da dove, Joseph Roth e la tradizione ebraico-orientale, L'anello di Clarisse, Illazioni su una sciabola, Inferences from a Sabre, A different sea, Blindly, Three Plays, La storia non è finita. Etica, politica, laicità, Blameless, Istantanee, and others.
The dialogue between these two great writers, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Claudio Magris, led by PBS-TV anchor Charlie Rose, was attended by more than seven hundred people at the main auditorium of the Georgetown University.
Hours earlier, the Ambassador of Peru, Carlos Pareja, offered a reception at the Embassy of Peru to the two writers, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Claudio Magris, among other invitees.
According to the Peru Trade,Tourism and Investment Office in Washington, DC – OCEX, a market that is currently growing at a high rate in the United States is that of sports nutrition products, aimed at consumers who have an active lifestyle.
According to Euromonitor, the market for sports nutrition products in the U.S. exceeded $16 billion in 2015 in sales of cereal bars, protein powders and nutritious pills & drinks.
Previous research indicates that this market will continue growing steadily and sales are expected to reach $20 billion by the year 2020.
Peruvian exporters should take into account the potential of this sector, as they carry a large supply of superfoods that could be well received by the American market.
Within this niche market, the product that generates the most sales is the protein mixable powder for beverages, such as whey powder. These are typically combined with other minerals and vitamins to use in shakes or smoothies.
Protein powders are an integral part of the modern exercise routine. Normally, these products are consumed before exercising, in order to provide energy and resistance, or immediately afterwards, for recovery of the body and to support the growth of muscle mass. These powders represent sales of approximately $5 billion annually, an amount that is expected to grow aggressively within the next few years.
Peruvian Super Foods
A great opportunity has been presented for Peruvian exporters to promote the known benefits of native products that could be added as complementary ingredients or even as a healthier and high-performance alternative.
Some questions that arise are in regards to which products are most valuable to U.S. consumers for their natural content and nutritional value, and what ingredients and combinations should be included in the labels of these products.
Some examples of Peruvian plant native products are: kiwicha, purple corn, maca and aguaymanto (golden berry). Kiwicha is a superfood that can supply the protein profile that the average individual requires. Purple corn carries high antioxidant content, protects against cardiovascular disease, lowers blood pressure and helps control blood sugar levels. Maca, a plant from the highlands of Peru, increases energy levels, raises the resistance and mental clarity of athletes and fights physical as well as mental fatigue. And, aguaymanto has proven to be high in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and diuretic properties. These products can be sold fresh or in other forms, including powder.
In addition, there are other ingredients available that could be considered beneficial to athletes, including cocoa, yacon, lucuma, cat's claw, sacha inchi, arracacha and green coffee, all of which offer a wide range of benefits valued by athletes.
Because most US buyers are unaware of natural and exotic ingredients such as camu-camu, aguaymanto, yacon, maca and kiwicha, it is important to maximize and promote said products through publications and campaigns. This is to ensure that the consumer is aware of the aforementioned benefits of these Peruvian superfoods and that these are present in their everyday preferences, especially, active people with healthy lifestyles.
Including new products and ingredients within the diet of the consumer requires patience and different marketing resources as it is a gradual process, but over time, consumers will continue learning all about what Peruvian products have to offer. Several famous publications such as Men's Health, Men's Journal and Huffington Post have published different articles highlighting the benefits of Peruvian native products, such as camu-camu, maca and others, generating interest in Peru and all its nutritional, native products can offer.
OCEX Washington, DC
A total of 35 Peruvian suppliers exported chia to the United States in 2016, which represented 237,000 kilograms. While there is a great opportunity to continue increasing its exports to this market, a great option that should be considered is introducing value added chia products.
As explained by the Peru Trade, Tourism and Investment Office in Washington, DC - OCEX Washington, DC, chia is a superfood whose demand in the United States continues to grow, mainly due to its health benefits, which include its richness in nutrients which are important and extremely beneficial for brain activity as well as the development of the human body.
Furthermore, these seeds are an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and dietary fiber, in far more favorable proportions than those found in both cold-water fish (salmon, herring, sardines and tuna), and other vegetables such as flaxseed, nuts and almonds.
Chia seeds are rapidly expanding from coast to coast in the U.S, as it is a product that can be used in a variety of ways, whether it is as a topping on a salad or a healthy addition to a drink, chia seeds perfectly adapt to the daily diet and lifestyle of the American consumer.
According to a recent study by the Natural Marketing Institute, in 2014, 27% of consulted U.S. consumers reported they had heard of chia as a superfood. In present day, it is estimated that this number has increased by 10%, meaning that the public’s knowledge of this product has now reached 37%.
A report made by ReadThink in 2015, estimates that in the year 2020, the global market for Chia seeds will have reached $1.1 billion. Additionally, they also predict that U.S. demand will reach over 7,000 tons annually, which really highlights the growing interest among U.S. consumers over this superfood.
Earlier this year, Peruvians were shocked when severe droughts gave way to tumultuous rains triggering landslides that killed at least 20 people, forced thousands from their homes, and — ironically — deprived many in the country’s two largest cities, Lima and Arequipa, of water when swollen rivers clogged treatment plants with rocks and debris.
The wet and dry seasons have been there for millennia, but natural forests, wetlands and man-made pre-Incan structures high in the Andes used to smooth those seasons out by absorbing water in the wet and slowly releasing it in the dry.
That changed over the last century as farmers and settlers cleared forests and wetlands to make way for urban areas and farming, leaving the cities downstream more vulnerable to natural disasters.
Now, Lima is returning to nature by diverting 1 percent of water fees to restore Andean forests, grasslands and wetlands that provide critical "ecosystem services" such as regulation of water flows. As the city was both drowning and thirsting, it took concrete steps towards putting that money to work.
The first step took place Feb. 7 and 8, when the city kicked off a 12- to 18-month planning phase that could chart the course for the next 30 years. Lima’s water utility SEDAPAL is attempting to develop a first-of-its-kind planning document focused on nature-based interventions: a Green Infrastructure Master Plan that seeks to leverage nature in ways that enhances and complements grey infrastructure.
The water utility quickly found, however, that such an undertaking is far from easy.
It’s never been done before
Not many planning documents explore how green interventions complement grey infrastructure, making this entire effort all the more unique.
This "master plan" that SEDAPAL is developing should help the company understand how it stands to gain from investments in green infrastructure and how these investments can benefit the company’s grey infrastructure, said Gena Gammie, associate director of the Water Initiative at Forest Trends.
Lima is the world’s second-largest desert city and Peru’s most populous city, with 9 million inhabitants drawing water from a complex system of pipes and tunnels. Four Andean watersheds serve the city: the Rimac, Chillon, Lurin and the Alto Mantaro. Water from the Alto Mantaro travels from the Amazonian side of the Andes to where Lima sits on the Pacific coast.
Asking the right questions
Experts agree that wetland and grassland ecosystems upstream of Lima help reduce erosion and are critical for soaking up heavy rains and then releasing water during dry periods. But Lima also has several large reservoirs, raising several challenging questions: Should they, for example, focus on conserving the ecosystems around those reservoirs, thereby reducing sedimentation, or is it better to complement those reservoirs by working in ecosystems outside their catchment areas? What about the middle and lower parts of the watersheds that supply Lima with water? How effective and far-reaching is restoration in these regions?
These are some questions SEDAPAL has to answer in order to create its Master Plan, and it’s getting help from several sources including Peru’s federal government, which in the past few years passed groundbreaking policies related to green infrastructure and payments for ecosystem services.
Lima is returning to nature by diverting 1 percent of water fees to restore Andean forests, grasslands and wetlands that provide critical 'ecosystem services' such as regulation of water flows.
In 2014, legislators approved the MRSEs, in English the "Mechanisms of Compensation for Ecosystem Services" law, which created a legal framework for payments for ecosystem services projects that harness public funds. Last summer, the Ministry of Environment released formal regulations for the legislation offering clear guidance on how to implement it.
Meanwhile, lawmakers approved a modernization of the water sector law that mandated all 50 of Peru’s water utilities incorporate green programs alongside their typical grey infrastructure.
The aforementioned tariff for Lima water users is in direct result of this law. SEDAPAL is tasked with implementing it — and there are questions aplenty on how the company will deploy the accumulating finance. There’s already $5 million sitting in the pot, and it’s projected to reach $30 million by 2020.
SEDAPAL is new to the realm of ecosystem services and green infrastructure, but it appears to be embracing its benefits. After the tariff introduced it to the world of nature-based interventions, Forest Trends developed a green-infrastructure training course, which 12 staff members took in 2016.
Forest Trends co-hosted the Feb. 7 workshop with SUNASS and received support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to kick-start this entire process. Besides Forest Trends, several other NGOs, the Ministries of Environment and Housing and the National Water Authority also participated.
The point of the workshop wasn’t to reach definitive answers on any specific query, but rather to determine what questions should be addressed during the Master Plan’s development.
Defining the challenges
"This document is not only about state-subsidized master planning at the landscape scale," said Tundi Agardy, director of the Coastal and Marine Initiative at Forest Trends. "This is also about finding ways that natural or green infrastructure can safeguard investments in grey infrastructure like dams, canals, water delivery pipes, irrigation systems and even roads."
With the Green Infrastructure Master Plan, water managers intend to address several challenges that are slowing down implementation of Peru’s green infrastructure policies. Chief among these is a lack of solid projects to invest in and a lack of clarity on how to evaluate them.
So far, only two organizations — CONDESAN and Aquafondo, a water fund that the Nature Conservancy and partners launched in 2010 — have submitted proposals for projects. Forest Trends has been involved in the project proposal process with both these organizations, and Gammie does acknowledge it’s a difficult process involving scouting project sites, community consultations and writing lengthy documents. Then, after proposals are submitted, SEDAPAL must review them to determine if their customers will indeed benefit from them.
Lawmakers approved a modernization of the water sector law that mandated all 50 of Peru’s water utilities incorporate green programs alongside their typical grey infrastructure.
Workshop participants recognized that capacity building across the board is critical for short-term implementation and long-term planning among project developers, SEDAPAL and other project evaluators and the upstream communities and municipalities.
While experts lack the kind of data needed to make precise evaluations, they have a general sense of where the high-priority areas are.
"We have some educated guesses, but in most cases we aren’t able to say what will happen if we plant trees here or lose a wetland to cattle ranching there," Gammie said. "But the relative uncertainties about the contributions of the upper watersheds are lower compared to the uncertainties in the middle and lower parts of the watersheds."
Practitioners call the highest reaches of the watersheds, which receive the majority of the region’s rainfall, the "no-regret areas" for projects.
Given current data gaps, Gammie said the Master Plan should build in a research agenda with pilot projects. The plan should adapt as they learn new information on the effectiveness of various green infrastructure interventions over time.
Some of those data gaps may soon be closing. During the workshop, participants discussed a partnership with NASA to use satellite imagery to collect watershed data.
Upward and onward
SEDAPAL has a busy year coming up with some unique opportunities to drive home the benefits of including green infrastructure in its planning. To align itself with the priorities of the new political administration of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who took office last summer, SEDAPAL is updating its Optimized Master Plan, a company-wide planning document that has a 30-year projection. Those working on the Green Infrastructure Master Plan are aiming to have it completed so it can be included in the company-wide optimized document.
SEDAPAL wants to wrap up its Optimized Master Plan by the end of this year so parties involved on the green side have a tight deadline to complete a difficult endeavor. Difficult but not impossible: The political will in Peru is strong and the nation continues to be a pioneer in the nature-based solutions space.
"The advances that Peru is making are incredible," Michael Jenkins, CEO and founding president of Forest Trends, said during the workshop. "Developing this master plan for green infrastructure is a first-of-its-kind in the world."
Jammer Vega, 17, lives in Armayari, a small Peruvian village known for its cacao production. With many farmers struggling to adapt to climate change’s effects on crops, Jammer created BIOL. A natural fertilizer made from local plants, BIOL helps families keep crops alive despite the warming climate.
We're calling it: 2017 will be the year of the Attention Deficit Destination (ADD). It's travel for people who are so busy they need holidays that are like tapas: lots of bits combining into one delicious whole. Peru is the perfect ADD, and here's why.
The country curls like a cashew nut around Brazil's vast Amazonas state, bordering Ecuador and Colombia to the north and Bolivia and Chile to the south, with all those extremes of landscape and climate in between.
In two weeks, I went from hanging out in Lima's artsy Barranco to spotting anacondas on the Amazon, dodging llamas in Machu Picchu, cycling through the Sacred Valley, culture-tripping in Cusco, flying over the Nazca Lines, clambering up sand mountains in a desert oasis, and checking out floating reed villages on Lake Titicaca, with lot of spectacular road and train miles in between. And I even squeezed in a precious hour – yes, just the one – by the beach.
Peruvian Army members rescued a group of people trapped by flooding as a result of heavy rains throughout Peru's northern Lambayeque region over the past days.
Brave action was recorded by Defense Ministry personnel in Pacora district, which has been severely affected by floods.
Images show a soldier crossing the flooding La Leche River with a minor on his arms.
Water level reaches his knees and he is seen trying to reach the helicopter that was there to rescue them.
Several citizens attempt to do the same, to get into the aircraft and reach safety.
Armed Forces are backing government's efforts to assist victims of heavy rains, which have caused floods in several regions across the country.
According to Defense Minister Jorge Nieto, Armed Forces and National Police will remain in the area to rescue people, who might have been isolated by the weather event.
Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro was chosen Bundesliga matchday 24's top star.
According to the German league's Spanish version site, the Werder Bremen forward received this recognition after having scored one goal in last Friday's game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen (1-1).
The Andean bomber became Bundesliga's Player of the Week with 41% of the votes, thus beating Douglas Costa (FC Bayern Munich, 33%); Mario Gomez (VfL Wolfsburg, 21%); and Dario Lezcano (FC Ingolstadt 04; 5%).
It must be noted the 38-year-old has received the honorable mention for second consecutive week and third time in the 2016/2017 season.
Likewise, Pizarro posted another record by becoming the Bundesliga's fourth athlete to have played 200 or more matches defending teams: Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen.
Before it can send astronauts to Mars, NASA needs to figure out how to feed them there. To work that out, the US space agency teamed up with a research group in Peru focused exclusively on spud research.
The International Potato Center (known by its Spanish acronym, CIP), is dedicated to understanding how tubers like potatoes can grow and eventually feed everyone here on Earth—but also potentially space travelers to Mars. Last week, CIP announced that after a year, it had been able to successfully grow potatoes in a plot of land engineered to mimic Mars’ harsh environment.
“We want to know what the minimum conditions are that a potato needs to survive,” said Julio Valdivia-Silva, a University of Engineering and Technology-Lima engineer who worked on the “Potatoes on Mars” project.
On Earth, the land where we grow crops typically contains nutrient-rich soil, long periods of sunlight and warmth, and a carbon-dioxide rich atmosphere. Provided plants get water, crops have everything they need to grow. But on Mars, soil is salty, loose, and lacking chemicals like nitrogen, which plants need to grow. Although it can get to a balmy 70°F (21°C) near the Martian equator in the summer, the average temperature is around -80°F.
In February 2016, engineers created a small plot of land imitating a version of Martian climate where plants could possibly grow. They used soil from the Pampas de La Joya desert in Peru—similar to Martian soil because it is home (pdf) to very little life and few organic compounds. They also created atmospheric conditions similar to Mars: cold with low pressure and very little carbon dioxide and oxygen. The tiny crop, just a few square feet in area, was monitored 24 hours a day (which you can still watch here as researchers follow up on the plants’ progress).
Researchers planted seeds for potatoes that had been bred to withstand salty soil and gave them water that had been fortified with extra plant nutrients. After a year, the team reported they had successfully grown a small crop of potatoes—meaning they could probably grow on Mars, too.
The group hasn’t published these findings in a peer-reviewed journal yet, and they only prove that it’s likely possible for potatoes to survive in Martian conditions. Fine-tuning logistics, like figuring out how to bring the seeds, water, and plant nutrients to our neighboring planet is something else entirely.
Mars may not be realistic. But growing potatoes in these conditions shows there is hope we’ll be able to grow crops in the harsh Earth environment that will eventually be created by climate change. “How better to learn about climate change than by growing crops on a planet that died two billion years ago?” Joel Ranck, the director of communications at CIP, said in a press statement last year. “We need people to understand that if we can grow potatoes in extreme conditions like those on Mars, we can save lives on Earth.”
VICE News’ Arielle Duhaime-Ross travels to the Peruvian Andes where, for the first time, a single individual is suing a company over the effects of climate change.
In this case, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a local mountain guide in the Andean town of Huaraz, claims that one of the most prolific greenhouse gas emitters in the world, the German company RWE, is partially responsible for the glacial melt which might cause a nearby lake to overflow and destroy his house.
LIMA, March 15 (Reuters) - Peru's economy grew by a better-than-expected 4.8 percent in January from the same month a year earlier due to mining and manufacturing activity, the quickest monthly expansion in five months, state statistics agency Inei said Wednesday. A Reuters poll had forecast January growth at 4.5 percent. Inei said that the annualized growth rate quickened slightly to 4 percent but that the economy contracted at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.1 percent in January from December. January growth was driven by a 14 percent expansion in mining, a 5 percent growth in manufacturing and a surge of fishing. However, the construction sector continued to contract amid a graft scandal that has stalled public work projects. Peru is the world's second biggest copper producer and its economy has gradually recovered from a sharp slowdown in 2014 thanks to production from new and expanded copper mines. However, an inquiry into bribes distributed by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht has stalled public work projects and prompted the government to cut its 2017 growth forecast by one percentage point to 3.8 percent.
These incredible pictures offer a fascinating insight into the rich and diverse traditions of Peruvian shamans, known as Curanderos.
Shamans are believed to be a bridge between this world and the next, able to communicate with spirits through magic, rituals and spiritual visions.
In the Peruvian Amazon Basin, shamans use medicine songs called icaros to evoke spirits, communicating with them using totemic items such as rocks that Curanderos believe have special powers.
Although shamans are not as common as decades past, they continue to shepherd their communities across remote Peruvian regions.