Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, shared between the countries of Bolivia and Peru. In recent years population growth and the pressure from several anthropogenic activities have increased degradation of the lake's environment. There has been international concern about the restoration and maintenance of this valuable ecosystem and the preservation of the natural services the lake provides to the human populations that depend on it. Several initiatives and projects have been carried out to solve the problems that the lake faces.
In this article, the Peruvian aquaculture and fisheries governmental policy in Lake Titicaca for the period 2007–2011 will be assessed. The policy aims to promote the sustainability and competitiveness of Lake Titicaca fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Financial and technically supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, this policy is implemented in association with a complex network of local, regional and national governmental, social, scientific and economic stakeholders. The article describes and analyzes the different components, projects and results of this national policy at the light of the ecosystem based management paradigm.
This national policy has contributed towards an ecosystem management of Lake Titicaca, solving human needs through fisheries and aquaculture activities while giving great importance to ecological integrity and promoting the cooperation among different governmental levels and research institutes. The continuity of the activities and projects supported by this policy might be at risk in the short term due to the dependency on international financing, the changes in the political administration at a national, regional and local level, as well as the instability and high human resource turnover in several partner institutions. A transversal aspect still pending in Lake Titicaca ecosystem management has to do with being a developing country/region which is still structuring new government policies for conservation and restoration.