GNF - Living Lakes Network Latin America & the Carribean

Living Lakes Network Latin America & the Caribbean


Lagos Vivos América Latina y el Caribe

The continental network Living Lakes Latin America & the Caribbean is a project initiated by GNF in cooperation with four of our partner lakes and organisations in Latin America and the Caribbean:

  • formerly Trópico in Bolivia (Lake Titicaca),
  • Fundación Humedales in Colombia (Laguna de Fúquene),
  • Fundación Cuenca Lerma-Lago de Chapala and IDEA in Mexico (Lago Chapala) and
  • the FUNGAP Foundation (Fundación para la Gestión Ambiental Participativa) in Costa Rica, representing a network of NGOs.


This foundation is specialized in capacity building to support and optimize the participation of the local population in conservation and poverty alleviation.

 Logo Lagos Vivos América Latina y el Caribe

Main target Lagos Vivos América Latina y el Caribe

The initiation of the network is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank IDB, the NGOs involved and GNF and will start in January 2009.


During the next three years, the network will concentrate on the following activities:

  • Capacity building, exchange of information and experience between the Iberoamerican partners via knowledge data base on the Internet, two partner meetings, virtual working groups and thematic publications in Spanish.
  • Realization of three model projects to demonstrate solutions for relevant environmental and social problems (environmental education, sustainable tourism development, information and awareness, low budget waste water treatment, regenerative energy). Documentation of the realization and results of each model project and dissemination to decision makers in Iberoamerican countries.
  • Strengthening regional social participatory processes in wetland conservation and sustainable use policies in Central America. Analysis and systematization of innovative Participatory Environmental Management experiences in wetlands of the region. This analysis will focus on the status and opportunities for the development of the five main areas identified by FUNGAP during the Latin American diagnosis conducted in 2005, supporting at the same time training of local stakeholders in these areas.
  • Awareness raising regarding the problematic situation of lakes and wetlands in general and the concrete situation of the involved lakes and the need to increase and to support public participation on regional, national and international level (publications, mobile exhibition, attention to media represent ants, presentations of the network and the activities during regional, national and international events). 
  • Support to further develop international co-operation and common projects with two and more partners within the Living Lakes Network Latin America & the Caribbean.


The main objective of this project is to strengthen the regional network of NGOs that deal with the protection of wetlands and lakes in Latin America and the Caribbean by:

  • identifying and exchanging experiences and good practices that contribute to the design and implementation of effective initiatives aimed at the protection of wetlands and lakes, as well as the sustainable development of their surroundings and catchments; and
  • based on these results, developing and implementing three pilot initiatives.


Besides the above member lakes which are directly taking part in the project, all current Latinamerican member and associated lakes from the Living Lakes network will also take part in the workshops and online working groups proposed in this project. As mentioned above in the main objective of the project, the project will seek to expand the Living Lakes network to other countries in Latinamerica and Caribe.

Members / national partners

At present, the following lakes and countries in Latin America are members or national partners in the Living Lakes network:

 Lake Chapala in Mexico

Partner Lake 






Mar Chiquita

Amatitlan and Atitlán 

Laguna La Rocha

Canideyú Lagunita Complex







Bolivia, Perú

Brasil, Bolivia and Paraguay






Network of NGOs, Headquarter in Costa Rica



Concrete Activities of Living Lakes Network Latin America & the Caribbean

The networking and capacity building activities will focus mainly on the following aspects:

  • Legal framework for the protection of lakes and wetlands· Biodiversity (ecosystem, habitat, fauna, flora)· Agriculture and life stock farming
  • Fisheries
  • Sustainable tourism development
  • Land use planning
  • Environmental education
  • Social participation in conservation, and
  • Poverty alleviation through sustainable income generating activities.


Thus, training of at least 200 technicians, 150 educators, 250 political decision makers of local authorities and 2,000 local people in the above related issues is planned. Furthermore, the establishment of an internet platform, a website to allow participating NGOs to form on-line working groups; and the organization of a Central America workshop on “participation, conservation and poverty alleviation” are also planned.


Model projects


The Titicaca Lake is one of the most know wetlands in the world. Shared by two countries: Bolivia and Peru, this lake has different characteristics and levels of progress in relation with the management and conservation of biodiversity, culture and tourism services. This pilot initiative has the purpose  to create a strategy for sustainable tourism in Titicaca Lake - Bolivia; the development of a tourism guide, and two sustainable tourism trails. 



The wetlands in the high plateau of Cundinamarca and Boyacá – including the Lake Fúquene and the associated wetlands of Cucunubá and Palacio - are an important centre of biological diversity and endemic species in the north andean part of South America. These wetlands which are a biogeographical complex of the region, are being highly altered by human activities.This pilot initiative has the objective to create an environmental interpretation program for the Lake Fúquene, which will include the prepartaion of material for environmental education and visitor management to support sustainable management of aquatic fauna in areas of high ecological value.



The Lake Chapala is the biggest natural reservoir in Mexico, the second highest in America and the third biggest in Latin America. The Lake Chapala faces up environmental degradation problems and a big number of communities living around the lake have poverty problems.This pilot initiative will develop three training programmes in the following topics: (i) sustainable tourism development; (ii) use of renewable energies; and (iii) environmental education to sensitize local communities regarding the environmental values of Lake Chapala. Moreover, the organisation of the preparatory process for the installation of a sustainable development information and education centre is included.


Central America

Central America has one of the major biological diversities. A great number of its population are directly dependent from the use of the natural resources found in lakes and wetlands and live in natural protected areas. Due to its geographical, socio-economic, cultural and environmental characteristics; Central America is a region with high potential for the development of initiatives in social participation in the conservation of wetlands. This pilot initiative has the objective to create a regional program for social participation in the conservation of wetlands in Central America.


Dissemination and extension of the network

Relevant information regarding lake and wetland protection as well as the results of the model projects and reports of working groups can be found of the webpage “Living Lakes Network Latin America & the Caribbean” ( within the general website All partners involved will present the network and its objectives and activities in events on regional and national level. GNF will be responsible for the link between Living Lakes International and the Living Lakes Network Latin America & the Caribbean and disseminate information during the international Living Lakes Conferences and international events such as the World Water Forum, COPs of international Conventions (RAMSAR, Convention on Migratory Species, Convention on Biodiversity).

 Lake Chapala
 Titicaca Lake
 Laguna Fúquene
 Shoreline vegetation at Pantanal Wetland
 Pantanal Wetland


Network and Project Coordination



Global Nature Fund

Udo Gattenlöhner, Director

Marion Hammerl, President

Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4

78315 Radolfzell, Germany

Phone: +49 77 32 - 99 95 - 80 or +49 77 32 - 99 95 - 45

Fax: +49 77 32 - 99 95 - 88