Lake Brief: Lake Fúquene

Author(s): Julia Pérez Sillero
Email (s):
Institution or organization of origin: Fundación Humedales
Country: Colombia


Fúquene Lake is located in the central part of the Colombian Eastern Cordillera at 2,600 metres above sea level. It is one of the most important fresh water bodies and the second largest ecosystem above this altitude in the Northern Andes of Colombia. It was a sacred place for the Muiscas (the original inhabitants of the region), of great historic-socio-environmental importance and crucial for the daily lives and prosperity of the basin’s communities. Fúquene is habitat of endemic flora and fauna, supports fish populations and regulates water flow in the basin. This ecosystem provides freshwater to 105,000 rural and 76,000 urban inhabitants, agricultural activities and represents an essential source of food sovereignty for the 17 municipalities in its area of influence. Fúquene had an area of 12,000 hectares which, has been reduced to only 3.260 due to the development of unsustainable anthropic activities and inadequate management policies. Climate crisis poses a threat to the lake’s ability to provide ecosystem services. Comprehensive catchment policies, restoration efforts, sustainable activities and wastewater treatment are some of the mitigation and adaptation measures that can ensure the health of this significant ecosystem for future generations.

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