Interview / 09 Jan, 2015
Voices from Lima to Paris - Citizens of Lima

This is the third instalment of our short series "Voices from Lima to Paris", for which our reporter Terry Swartzberg met with delegates and citizens of Lima at the UN Climate Change Conference in Peru to hear their stories.

Ian Luna, 22 years old, student of marine biology in Lima and volunteer at COP 20:

“I love and cherish the ocean.

It's so beautiful and so very important.

It absorbs 80% of the world's emissions of CO2.

That's why my fellow students and I spend so much time studying it – and cleaning it up.

We devote our weekends to picking up litter on Lima's beaches. So much plastic.

My plans are to get a doctorate in Australia or the USA, so that I will have the knowledge to help fight the degradation of Peru's oceans."


 Ian Luna


Sandra Queva Cortes, student of civil engineering and architecture at Catholic University in Lima:

“It's amazing to see how garbage can be turned into solar collectors.

We're showing visitors to COP 20 the solar collectors our team created – from waste and spare parts lying around nearly all homes.

It took them 11 months to get the design right.

Since then, we have been going into the highlands of Peru to show local residents who don't have access to clean and cheap energy how to build these collectors.

It is a very tough but also a wonderful experience."



Sandra Queva Cortes


Dr. Fanny Vargas, Agronomist, Centro Internacional de la Papain Lima:

“I love and admire the potato.

You know, humans can create and protect biodiversity, too.

And the potato is a great example of this.

There are between 2,500 and 10,000 different kinds of potatoes. And each offers their cultivators something unique: a taste, a look and a habitat in which they can be grown.

My mission is to document all these species, so as to ensure that they are cultivated by farmers, with whom my institute works closely."



Dr. Fanny Vargas


Patricia Uzategui, staff anthropologist at Lima's Parks Service:

“Nothing is more important to a city's residents and for the air they breath than to have well-cared for parks.

It's a little known fact – 40% of Lima is green. But local residents often do not treat our green areas with respect. They only see parks as places to play football and party.

My job is to work with local groups to show them how to treat green areas with respect – and to show them how to protect their biodiversity."



Patricia Uzategui


Baldamero Caseres, psychologist, and Ileana Vegas de Caseres, historian:

“Nature gives us us everything we need.

We are appalled at humankind's plundering and destruction of nature.

In our long lives, we have seen terrible things happen to nature.

We are here at COP 20 to bare witness to this."



 Ileana and Baldamero Caseres


Oscar Iván Vilca Romero, herbal doctor:

“The way of saving the climate is to be found in our gardens.”

Livestock are the worst enemy of the climate.

That is why we are at Lima – to show the world how healthful – and delicious – a vegan diet is!



Oscar Iván Vilca Romero


Fernando Ordonnez, retired electrical engineer:

“Who needs electric grids and other expensive infrastructure? Every rural home can build its own renewable energy supply.

My career took me all over the world.

It was about 30 years ago that I started coming across renewable energy projects.

I got interested and started setting them up in my home.

We have five solar collectors there.

Renewable energy is so easy and affordable. It will change the world."



Fernando Ordonnez