GNF - 13th Living Lakes Conference
 Lake Chapala - the largest fresh water lake in Mexico
 About 140 people participated in the conference
 Conference participants working with children

Outcomes of the 13th international Living Lakes Conference


"Lake Management - Challenges in a Changing World
-  Effective Use of Ramsar Management Plans -


Representatives of 35 lakes worldwide as well as 80 Mexican experts and lake managers discussed various issues of a sound lake management during the 13th International Living Lakes Conference at the Mexican Lake Chapala: Water contamination, dramatic increase in diseases, loss of biodiversity at Lake Chapala as well as the urgent need for proper lake management in the face of water shortage.

 Logo of the conference

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Guadalajara at Lake Chapala in Mexico

20 - 25 March 2010

English and Spain


“Despite an increasing appreciation of the importance of lakes to human well-being and advances in our knowledge of the way lake ecosystems function, lakes throughout the world continue to be degraded at unprecedented rates. The first step to reverse this decline and protect lakes that are still in a pristine condition is to develop and agree management plans to which all stakeholders have a genuine input. Governments and statutory authorities are urged to prioritise the development of these plans so that local people and private and public bodies can implement such plans with a shared responsibility”.


This was the consensus reached by the 60 members and associates of the Living Lakes Network, representing 35 of the 70 lakes of the Living Lakes Network, who discussed the importance of lake management planning at the Network’s 13th conference “Lake Management – in a Changing World” at Lake Chapala in Mexico, on 22 and 23 March 2010, hosted by Sociedad Amigos del Lago de Chapala, Fundacion de la Cuenca Lerma Lago Chapala-Santiago, Universidad de Guadalajara and the Global Nature Fund (GNF), Germany.


The participants at the conference debated issues of lake management in a series of thematic workshops, the conclusions of which inform Chapala Statement calling for action.

 Fishermen are very sceptical towards the actions of local and national authorities
 Highly polluted Santiago River
 Unique flora and fauna of the region is threatened

Accordingly, the conference participants urge governments, the private sector, academic institutions, non-government organisations and all citizens to make commitments and take action now to manage lakes within a framework of sustainable development and for governments to meet their international obligations as signatories to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International importance.


As a conclusion of the 13th International Living Lakes Conference held at Lake Chapala in March 2010, the delegates of all the Living Lakes worldwide, as well as other conference participants, summarised their requests and comments in a form of a petition addressed to the local and national authorities as well as other involved stakeholder groups.


Further information about Lake Chapala, being member in the international network Living Lakes since the year 2002 and getting the Ramsar protection state in February 2009, are avaiable on separate pages on our website.