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Pollution In Lake Titicaca In Bolivia

Pollution can be defined as the addition of something with a detrimental effect. Today, the greatest cause of pollution is the high rate of energy uses by the modern growing populations. Water pollution is one of the main types of pollution. It is the introduction of biological, physical or chemical material in to fresh lake waters, such that the quality of water is degraded, and the living organisms in it affected. The process of water pollution ranges from a simple addition of solids, either suspended or dissolved, to discharge of the most insidious and persistent toxic pollutants.

In this paper, I will discuss pollution at Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Bolivia, yet human activities are slowly resulting to pollution of the lake. I will also discuss causes of pollution at the lake and what can be done to minimize pollution. Religious significance of Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca is a beautiful and much venerated sacred lake lying on the border between Bolivia and Peru. According to the Inca mythology, the creator god Viracoca rose up to create the sun, stars, moon and the first human beings from Lake Titicaca.

The god commanded the sun (Inti), the moon (Mama Kilya) and stars to rise then went to Tiahuanaco to create the first human beings. The first human beings to be created, “Inca Adam and Eve” were formed from stone and were brought to life by Viracocha, who commanded them to go out, multiply and fill the world. Therefore, Lake Titicaca is the birth place of the Incas, whose spirits return to their origin in the lake upon their death. The lake is also believed to have healing powers, which are believed to exist because of its religious importance.

There are several floating Islands on it. On one of the, there is a fountain, with three natural springs. The water from these springs is taken by the residents from around the lake for healing purposes. In the year 2000, an ancient temple discovered submerged at the depths of Lake Titicaca during an international archaeological expedition. The temple is huge and was estimated to be twice the size of a soccer field (660 feet long) a was found by following a submerged road that begins near Lake Copacabana. The temple is approximated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 years old.

Recently, the Bolivian government pledged to provide funds for a further study of the ruins and an eventual plan to bring the temple to the surface. However, due to the sacred importance of the lake, the locals are fearful about the effects that such disrespect of the sacred lake might bring. Cultural importance Lake Titicaca plays a big part in understanding the origins of the Bolivians. The origin of the people is said to have started at the lake, where the gods created the first humans, who later multiplied and filled the earth, hence the existence of the Bolivians.

The lake is a source of income for the people of Bolivia. It contains several species of fish, which means that it is a resource for Bolivians around the lake; most of them are fishermen. They sell fish to get money; fishing is their major source of income. The lake also provides food (fish) for the Bolivians. With so many features around (fish museums, springs, islands) the lake attracts many tourists and is hence a tourist attraction. Tourism is important to Bolivia, as it acts as a source of government revenue.

Tourism also boosts the job opportunities for people of Bolivia. Bolivian environmental policies Historically, the environment management policies for Bolivia have always focused on three actions: (i) establishment of a system of protected areas to guarantee the conservation of biodiversity, (ii) control deforestation and mitigation of environmental impacts for mining and hydrocarbons activities and (iii) the construction of infrastructure.

The definition of these priorities was a response to recommendations from international organizations. Also, for historic reasons, the identification of environmental problems associated with the poverty suffered by the majority of the population has been relegated to a second rung. Issues regarding environmental health and vulnerability to natural disasters have received little attention in Bolivia, until recently.

Regulations for the exploitation of forestry resources and conservation of biodiversity have been developed and implemented with great enthusiasm. Emphasis on the conservation of forestry resources and biodiversity is also demonstrated by the establishment of a Vice Ministry for Natural Resources and Forestry Development at the start of 2006 and the partial incorporation of its functions in to models developed in the United States in 1969 and then extended to more than 100 countries, including most Latin American countries.

Licenses or permits demand an environmental impact statement for new activities and an environmental update for those already commenced. These licenses state mandatory conditions, actions, and specific environmental impact assessment studies needed, such as the preparation of statements assessing the environmental impacts produced. To mitigate environmental impacts, the legislation demands the design of Prevention and Mitigation Plans and Environmental Implementation and Monitoring plans.

The government’s enormous limitations for guaranteeing compliance with environmental standards result in minimally adequate monitoring and supervision. A reconsideration for the country’s environmental priorities is also needed to effectively address the aspects that most affect economic growth, poverty reduction and the welfare and health of the population. The regulations to the environment Act issue in the second half of the 1990s emphasized on the use of command and control instruments, as well as administrative procedures.

The regulations established procedures for granting environmental licenses or permits (General Regulations and Environmental Management and Environmental Prevention and Control) and set requirements for the control of water and air pollution, including for example, the management of solid Wastes. The current Bolivian government has continued to introduce new policies in order to reduce pollution, including minimizing of the green house gases released by companies.

It has also banned draining contaminated water at the lakes and rivers. Chemicals disposed to the rivers have caused death of fish, and if this does not stop, Bolivia’s economy may be affected greatly in future. Bibliography 1. Lake Titicaca, Sacred destinations, 2009, retrieved on 4/29/2009 from http://www. sacred destnations. com/bolivia/lake-titicaca. htm 2. Ancient temple found under Lake Titicaca, BBC NEWS, 23 August, 2000, retrieved on 4/29/2009 from http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/americas/892616. stm 3. Cibils V.

F. Giugale M. Luff C. World Bank. Bolivia: public policy options for the well-being of all. World Bank Publications; 2006 4. Harrison Roy M. 4th edition. Pollution: causes, effects and control. Royal Society of Chemistry;2001 5. Orlove Benjamin S. Lines in the water: nature and culture at Lake Titicaca. University of California Press; 2002, pg 115-120 6. Steinberg Paul F. Environmental leadership in developing countries: transnational relations and biodiversity policy in Costa Rica and Bolivia. MIT Press; 2001

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