The Andes are characterized by significant risk for extreme events. Some are climate driven, such as wildfires, mudslides and avalanches, while others are not, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. However, climate change will increase vulnerability even to non-climate-driven disasters. For example, the steep slopes of the Andes combined with warming and increasingly concentrated precipitation in some places will increase the risks of landslides. These topographic features exacerbate the problems already expected from increasingly concentrated rainfall and increased frequency of extreme El Niño events. This directly threatens infrastructure, ecosystems and human lives. Socioeconomic issues determine to a significant degree the outcome of such disasters for different social groups. In cities in the Andes, slums are often found along the steepest hillsides and have poor building quality (O’Hare and Rivas, 2005). These areas, home to millions of people, are the most vulnerable to landslides. Due to lack of legal ownership for the residents, as well as lack of infrastructure, these communities have restricted capacity to adapt.
From collection: Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Tropical Andes mountains
GRID-Arendal and Cartografare il Presente/Riccardo Pravettoni