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One of the most immediate concerns for this region is environment. Increased tourism means increased pollution. Not just from trash thrown in the streets, and in the lake; or increased vehicular traffic.

At present, none of the main tourist areas around the lake have viable sewage or septic systems. This means that all human waste goes directly into the soil, and is then washed into the lake. When the number of people at the lake was small, this wasn't an issue. But as tourist traffic increases steadily, it is becoming more and more of an issue. If not addressed, this could lead to the destruction of Lugu Lake's ecology, which includes a number of plants and animals that are unique to that area.

Our organization seeks to work with other organizations with interest and expertise in this area; to find low-cost alternatives that can prevent this pollution before it becomes too serious.

There are other environmental issues, such as deforestation, overfarming, and the general impact of increased tourism and development. We will institute programs to increase awareness and knowledge of these issues, to encourage the Mosuo to take action and be involved in preserving their ecology. After all, if the beauty of the area is destroyed, they lose the tourists, as well.


© 2006 Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association

photos taken by Danny Gawlowski and Josie Liming