In Peru’s tropical highlands adaptation to climate change is underway as policy-makers and local inhabitants respond to warming trends and rapid glacier melt. This paper explores the social and economic aspects of climate change adaptation in the developing world. Key concepts common to climate change discourse are examined, along with the relationship that adaptation has with development agendas. By applying theories and concepts found in climate change literature to actual adaptation policy occurring in Peru, I uncover some of the factors influencing successful adaptation. The impacts and specific adaptation measures, ranging from the technical to the behavioural, are analyzed in the context of Peru. It is found that enhancing inherent adaptive capacity through traditional human development practices is increasingly promoted as a strategic approach to adapting to climate change.
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