The president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, reaffirmed today that climate change is "a reality" that affects his country and the world, and warned that if agriculture is not prepared to face it, "there will be problems" worldwide.
"Climate change is a reality in all the farthest corners of Peru and the world, and we are experiencing it, because it is affecting the development of the activities of the human being," declared Vizcarra when inaugurating a Climate Change Research Laboratory for the agrarian sector.
This laboratory, in charge of the National Institute of Agrarian Research (INIA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri), will provide information to prevent the effects of global warming, with the aim of having a "climate-smart" agriculture, as reported by official sources.
Peru is considered the third most vulnerable country in the world to climate change and became last April the first nation in Latin America to have a Framework Law on Climate Change, in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 by 193 States.
In the country, global warming seriously threatens the largest tropical system of glaciers, located on the summits of the Andes, and whose surface in sixteen mountain ranges snowed by 61% in the last 55 years to be only 400 square kilometers, according to the latest official figures.
In this regard, Vizcarra said today that the new laboratory will provide information to farmers to plan, choose and prepare their crops, since agriculture is very sensitive to the effects of climate change.
"If agriculture is not aware of climate change and is not prepared to deal with it adequately, we will have problems," he said.
He added that in the laboratory it will be possible to reproduce conditions of temperature, humidity and radiation to establish the effects that would have on the crops in Peru.
"Farmers, with good information, can continue to produce and maintain productivity, but if they do not have information, simply and plainly we will have problems and with them all Peruvians," he said.
The president said that his Government has a commitment to support the agricultural sector, from the industrial and exporter to small agriculture.
"All the support for agriculture, if we take into account that this important activity sustains more than a quarter of all Peruvians.The economically active population that depends on agriculture is higher in percentage than any other activity, so it does not we can neglect it, "he remarked.
He asked, in that sense, that all the information obtained in the laboratory be easily accessible to those interested, since it will allow producers to be better prepared to prevent their crops from being lost.
Vizcarra pointed out, in that sense, that Peru's infrastructure should be a function of this phenomenon, which also affects sectors such as fishing and roads in the country.
The president stressed that climate change not only implies negative effects, but also includes the possibility of having new products, which may allow food to be improved.
When promulgating the norm, which was approved on March 16 by the Peruvian Congress, the president explained that the objective is to take advantage of opportunities for sustainable development with a reduction in carbon emissions as well as to improve the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
The majority of greenhouse gas emissions from Peru come from the deforestation of the Amazon, which in 2017 lost a forested area of around 143,000 hectares, equivalent to some 200,000 football fields, mostly cut to make oil palm crops and illegal gold mining in rivers.