Sustainable development in the Laguna de Fúquene

Sika has sponsored projects for the protection of Lake Fúquene in Columbia since 2005. The lake, spanning 3,000 hectares, is the largest freshwater system in the eastern Andes Cordillera, the 2,540 meter high Bogotá plateau. The lake is increasingly threatened by untreated and polluted water from the surrounding communities and from fertiliser runoff from animal husbandry.

This led to the increasing growth of two foreign plant species, water hyacinths and waterweeds that remove the oxygen from the lake. The Colombian GNF partner organisation Fundación Humedales realised a number of measures meant to inform the local population about the environmental problems and to showcase sustainable economic practices.

Information and best-practice projects

The Fundación Humedales worked together with the Andina community to build an organic fertiliser production facility. The organic fertiliser is based on water plants. An informational bulletin about the organic fertiliser was prepared and distributed to almost all of the greenhouse owners in Bogota and the surrounding areas. Handicrafts also continued to be supported. Handicrafts are an important source of income for over 150 families in the region.

The Fundación Humedales built a new tree nursery with twelve different tree types. The trees are planted at the edge of farmed fields that lie at the lake in order to rebuild the habitat linkage structures between isolated forests. Organic fertiliser is used here also. 2,500 alder trees and 1,500 other tree types such as laurel trees were planted at Fúquene and Carmen de Carupa.

Lobbying in favour of the lake

In 2011 the Fundación Humedales and the GNF organised a conference for the local government and international organisations in order to put the spotlight on the lake’s critical condition. Beyond this, a petition will increase the pressure on the Colombian environmental ministry and the local administration to contribute to saving the lake.