Hydrologic ecosystem services: Between urbanization and climate change: Smallholder and expert perception in the Shullcas river subbasin, Perú
Los servicios ecosistémicos hidrológicos: entre la urbanización y el cambio climático. Percepción campesina y experta en la subcuenca del río Shullcas, Perú
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FuenteEspacio y Desarrollo; Núm. 31 (2018); 7-32
Mountain ecosystems, such as the central Andes, are a source of life that provides hydrologic ecosystem services - HES to the population. In the case of the Shullcas river subbasin, located between the nevado Huaytapallana and the city of Huancayo in Peru, these ecosystems are affected by the retreat of glaciers and precipitation variations, driven by climate change, and physical, demographic and socio-cultural urbanization—particularly in the rural-urban transition zone. The resulting degradation, contamination, and overexploitation of the subbasin contribute to hydric stress and water shortages and affect both HES and the wellbeing of the population. This research aims at strengthening an integrated and holistic vision for sustainable development and reveals perceptions of different actors —agrarian water users and experts of institutions toward HES in the Shullcas river subbasin. To this end, a questionnaire was designed and applied. The results show similar perceptions in both groups regarding the identification of HES and the assessment of their importance, vulnerability, and trends of future disposability. Moreover, they mostly agree on the factors of influence and actors who are responsible for the decline of water resources. This study concludes that perceptions of both groups are similar —underlining strong rural– urban interactions. It points to the prioritization of selected HES and the relevance of factors and actors responsible for change, and calls for a systemic, holistic, and interdisciplinary vision and inclusive action to strengthen sustainable development and good water governance in the subbasin.