Bolivia Declares Disappearance of Lake a National Disaster

Bolivia’s second largest lake has all but disappeared entirely, underlining the urgency of conservation and carbon reductions to tackle climate change.

Telesurv, December 20

Bolivia’s second largest lake has dried up with devastating impacts, proving that financial support from the European Union was not enough to save the high-altitude saltwater ecosystem of Bolivia’s Lake Poopo prompting local authorities to declare a national disaster, local media reported Sunday.

The governor of the Oruro province where the lake is located, Victor Hugo Vasquez, enacted a law to declare the situation a natural disaster. The measure is aimed at speeding up the acquisition and use of funds to improve the disastrous situation, which affects the economy of the population in eight municipalities in the area.

South of La Paz at a height of over 12,000 feet in Bolivia’s altiplano mountain region, the saltwater lake covered a surface area of over 750 square miles just two decades ago, but the government-declared “disaster zone” has reached crisis levels lake bed becomes as the increasingly parched.

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