Updated 10:16 PM EST, Mon, Nov 23, 2020

Peru & Bolivia Sign 10-Year Deal Worth $400M to Restore Lake Titicaca

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The governments of Bolivia and Peru have signed a 10-year bilateral deal worth $400 million to restore and preserve Lake Titicaca, South America's largest fresh water lake.

The agreement was signed on Saturday in La Paz, Bolivia's capital, by both of the countries' environment ministers, teleSUR reported. The deal was the result of high-level political meetings held in June 2015.

"On June 23 we had a historic meeting in an expanded cabinet between Peru and Bolivia, we are proud that the environmental sector is the first to give concrete, direct results and with the signing of this agreement that sets the guidelines of action for the recovery of Lake Titicaca," said Bolivian Environment Minister Alexandra Moreira, as quoted in teleSUR's report.

Moreira said that the agreement highlights the environmental recovery, teleSUR wrote. In addition, the deal will improve the organization of the shared lake through bi-national, integrated environmental management programs.

Lake Titicaca is situated 4,000 meters above sea level, the news outlet noted. The close proximity of mining and industrial activities over the past five years has greatly contaminated the lake. Aside from the three million people in Bolivia and Peru depending on Lake Titicaca resources, tourists also flock on the site.

Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said that the two countries would work to create a bi-national research center aimed at restoring Lake Titicaca's biological diversity.

Bolivia's environmental ministry announced that there will be an initial investment of $63 million to improve water treatment, as well as a medium-term investment worth $117 million, teleSUR further reported. Both of Peru and Bolivia's government aim to invest over $400 million on the lake's development by 2025.

"I applaud the fact that the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Peru are already taking concrete actions and concrete investments for plants' wastewater treatment to address the main problems that the lake is facing," said Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar, as quoted by teleSUR.

Puerto Perez, a small Bolivian fishing village located along the shores of Lake Titicaca, is one of those locations experiencing the lake's downfall. According to a separate report from teleSUR, the waters of Puerto Perez "are not contaminated but they are severely polluted." This was being blamed on the factories in the nearby city of El Alto.

TeleSUR reported that 70 percent of the factories in El Alto have illegal operations, with no standards to check for pollution levels whatsoever. Estimations said that 80 percent of these factories' waste and raw sewage is slowly seeping to the shores of Lake Titicaca and to the towns such as Puerto Perez.

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