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CLIMATE-CHANGE/TITICACA
RTS2PCRZ
September 06, 2019
Isaac Callizaya grew up with the sound of waves lapping on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a giant body...
QEWAYA, Bolivia
The Wider Image: Lake Titicaca, once considered Andean deity, faces pollution threat
Isaac Callizaya grew up with the sound of waves lapping on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a giant body of water on the border between Bolivia and Peru that at 3,800 meters (12,500 ft) above sea level is the highest navigable lake in the world. The island fishing community near Titicaca's southern tip that he was born into has seen big changes over the years. Many have moved away from the village on Pariti island, while urban sprawl from nearby cities has created a rising problem of pollution, altering the lake's landscape and forcing those that live around it to adapt. Environmentalists are getting worried about the long-term impact to the lake, a popular destination for visitors to the region, who come to see its icy azure waters with their Andean mountain backdrop and traditional communities, some of whom live on manmade islands constructed entirely from reeds. The lake was once considered a deity by the pre-Columbian people that lived on its shores. Its high-altitude environment is of major interest to climate change researchers, too, because ecosystems of its kind are highly sensitive to global warming, making it an early-warning marker of changes happening more broadly to the planet. The photographer on this story was part of the 2018 Reuters photojournalism grant program. REUTERS/Manuel Seoane SEARCH "TITICACA CLIMATE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: CLIMATE-CHANGE/TITICACA
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