El Libro de los Elementos, Historias de un territorio y el saber de sus pueblos. This book has won the Antonio Brack Bicentenary National Environmental Award

The book is an environmental anthology which gathers 44 stories about climate action in Peru that is also part of the Apacheta Project. This is an initiative of the Fábrica de Ideas, supported by SDC, whose main objective is to bring environmental issues closer to the public in a different, closer and more human way.


The Ministry of the Environment has awarded the official recognition of the Peruvian State to Fábrica de Ideas for the “El Libro de los Elementos, Historias de un territorio y el saber de sus pueblos (The Book of Elements: Stories of a land and the lore of its peoples)”, in the Environmental Journalism category. This award clearly recognises that journalism can be different, and the book is a good example of how journalism can encourage more people to discover and learn about these issues and put technical issues like the climate crisis on the public agenda, and to make them more visible.

The anthology and the website are divided into five volumes. Four of them are dedicated to water, earth, fire and air, and offer 44 stories organised according to those four elements which, according to the ancient peoples, constituted the essence of the world. Through the stories the book shows us the complexity and variety of Peru, its geographical, social, ecological and cultural differences, and the initiatives implemented and complemented with ancestral knowledge in the quest to tackle climate change.

The fifth volume is more reflective and is written from the point of view of communication. In the words of the publisher: “It explains the different journalism tools that have been chosen to bring scientific discussion closer to the language of ordinary people and reinforces the important social dimension of science. The use of sources like chronicles and reports to give a face to the information, of textual structures that are easy to read and therefore to understand the information, of portraits and info graphics to reveal those aspects invisible to the eye … are some of the ways the book enhances the value of environmental information and brings it closer to the general public“.

SDC supported this initiative through its Global Programme on Climate Change and Environment in line with its environmental thematic priorities, seeking a novel and more people-friendly way to share solutions to the climate crisis using traditional knowledge. With this book, SDC facilitates understanding and promotes dialogue, analysis and reflection on issues that are often very difficult for average people to understand.

You can see an excerpt of this marvellous book in the video produced by Fábrica de Ideas:

Useful links:
Web Apacheta
Facebook Apacheta
Excerpt from the book “El Libro de los Elementos



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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.