Latin America has the most urbanized cities in the world. According to United Nations reports, 81% of the population lives in cities. Within this context, one of the main challenges for local governments in Latin America and in the world is the management of solid waste. How has Ancash tackled such a complex challenge?

A regional approach was taken to address the challenge. In 2017, a delegation of representatives from four local governments of Ancash traveled to the Capital Regional District (CRD), BC, to see their internationally recognized solid waste management system. The system manages waste for 13 municipalities in southern BC, applies innovative environmental practices, and promotes the recycling, reduction, reuse, and diversion of solid waste.

Following this study tour, the provincial municipality of Huaraz, and the district municipalities of Independencia, Jangas and Taricá signed an agreement to work on a joint solution, constructing a landfill and an integrated plan for the management and treatment of solid waste. Olleros, another district municipality that is not a project partner, has also joined the initiative. A Technical Board for Solid Waste Management was created, bringing together the five mayors and 17 municipal professionals, to carry the initiative forward. The project is expected to benefit 200,000 people in the region.

CISAL worked with the municipalities of Antonio Raymondi-Raquia and Cajacay to find solutions to the water scarcity problem, using modern planning tools for Ecological Economic Zoning (EEZ). Two municipal experts participated in workshops as part of the EEZ process to guide a process of building the community’s vision to map local resources and shape the growth and development of the territory. “The workshops were well received by members of the public, who noticed that they were not used to being consulted in such community building initiatives,” says Rukshan de Silva, a former planner from Halton Hills, Ontario.

As a result, the municipality of Antonio Raymondi-Raquia has developed a project to improve irrigation systems and has carried out a pilot project on water harvesting. This project found low-cost technical solutions for 157 families to have access to water for irrigation. It is a successful project that has been submitted to the Sierra Azul Program of the Ministry of Agriculture to obtain additional financing. The experience has been shared with other local governments and there is interest on the part of other municipalities to replicate it.

Multi-actor coordination

In Ancash, a number of multi-actor tables were created to address some of the main challenges identified in an inclusion study carried out in 2016. In Tarica, for example, a roundtable was created to find solutions to malnutrition and childhood anemia. In Jangas, a working group was created to design campaigns to raise awareness about violence against women. In Antonio Raymondi-Raquia, with the support of the mining company Antamina, a project was implemented to address chronic malnutrition. The project trained 90 women in weaving to empower them economically and provided advice to parents. The municipality received recognition and a donation from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for reducing the level of anemia and malnutrition from 56% to 18%.

A multi-actor Technical Roundtable was also created to build the tourism industry, as an alternative to mining, bringing together public and private actors. The group worked on the Vive Ancash tourist package, an innovative initiative that combines experiential, cultural, and environmental tourism. It was successfully tested in 2017 and 2018 by municipal experts from Sudbury, Ontario (ON) and from Antioquia, Colombia. The Technical Board is composed of two municipalities, Independencia and Tarica, two peasant communities, and six tourism service providers. Several winning CISAL Fund projects contribute to the Vive Ancash package by improving services or experiences offered on the tour.