While development undeniably brought about positive changes to those living along the Mekong, increased demand for water and economic growth are also leading to unsustainable infrastructure decisions. Compounded by climate change, these decisions threaten the river and all who depend on it.
Dams play a critical role in water resource management and electricity generation and, generally, they have a huge impact on freshwater biodiversity and sometimes on local communities. Surely it’s time for a consolidated research effort to provide big data on dams.
Information is power— at least according to conventional wisdom. But what if we lack access to reliable and scientifically sound information? WWF and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) have teamed up to create river basin report cards—very simple documents that demystify complex scientific information about river systems and take into account what different people value in any given basin.
Participants of the weeklong workshop, which was hosted by WWF and the Natural Capital Project, learned how to map out Mozambique’s natural resources, why the resources are important, how to build them into decisions about infrastructure and development, and more.
WWF conservation experts were thrilled to spot an mother Irrawaddy dolphin with her newly born baby on the banks of the Mekong River in Cambodia. Just last month, the dolphin family was found in Kampi pool, which is home to around 20 of the last remaining 80 Irrawaddy river dolphins in Cambodia. The river dolphins are beloved icons in Cambodia and females give birth only every two to three years, so any birth creates a sensation.
The king of India’s Himalayan rivers is the mighty mahseer. The mahseer are not just pretty; they're important too. The mahseer is a flagship species for India. A flagship species is a species selected to act as an ambassador, icon or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign or environmental cause. Today, five of India’s mahseer species are listed as “endangered” and two as “near threatened” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Fishers have been noticing dramatic changes to the Orinoco River, and the daredevil fish in particular. In short, they're harder to find and no longer travel as far upstream. In an effort to save Colombia’s migratory fish, WWF-Colombia, the National Authority for Aquaculture and Fisheries (AUNAP), and other partners are focused on promoting more sustainable fishing practices throughout the supply chain. And, with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), WWF is trying to shed more light on the health of rivers and their vast biodiversity through projects like the basin report card.
Species like red pandas, Bengal tigers, blue sheep, Argali wild sheep, and ibex are found in Asia high mountains. Learn more about the Asia high mountains and the work that WWF is doing to protect them.
Since 2011, photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz has travelled to eight countries capturing images for his long-term photographic project highlighting the global water crisis. Collectively, the photographs chart the diverse and far reaching effects of urbanization, poor sanitation, pollution, water scarcity, and the side effects of expanding industry and population.
Alaska's Lake Iliamna is home to a population of around 400 harbor seals, which feast on fish and bask on the rocky islands at the lake’s northeastern end. They are under threat from Pebble Mine, the enormous open-pit gold and copper mine proposed for headwaters just 17 miles northwest of the seals’ haul-out sites
Water touches our lives every day, and it’s not just what we use for drinking or bathing. We all must share our water sources with other users – and that means we all have a role to play in protecting the sources of our water for today and tomorrow.
More than a billion people make a living from wetlands across the world. Wetlands provide livelihoods, from fishing and eco-tourism, to farming and drinking water for communities. WWF is working to support some of the world’s most vital wetlands and the communities that depend on them across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
A healthy population of the critically endangered finless porpoises now lives in a safer part of the Yangtze River, thanks to dedicated efforts by WWF and our partners. Four adult porpoises—two male and two female—were carefully selected from a sample of 59 animals captured by a team of experts using specially designed nets from Tian-e-zhou National Oxbow Reserve.
WWF’s river basin report card could help protect the Orinoco for a future rich in green tourism. The report card will help everyone interested in the area—from ecotourism operators like Alejandro to industrial pioneers, to the public officials charged with managing the region—understand the current state of the Orinoco and how a healthy river is important to all.
The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America. The river and its surrounding forests teem with wildlife: the Orinoco crocodile, river dolphins, colorful parrots, the giant anaconda. But the river basin is also under threat from human development.
WWF and the Fundacion Defensores de la Naturaleza (FDN), which has official responsibility for managing the natural resources of Sierra de las Minas, work with local residents to protect the vast forests in the region—and the precious water that flows through them.
Rain is the only source of water for some farmers in Mexico. Warmer temperatures mean water supplies are shrinking and agricultural yields are dropping. Here's how a community in the Mexican state of Chihuahua harness rainfall and use it to grow their crops.
We depend on fresh water for everything from energy to power our cities to food to fuel our bodies and keep us alive. Yet less than 1 percent of the world’s water is fresh and accessible. This means we must work extra hard—together—to protect the invaluable finite resource.
WWF's Karin Krchnak is passionate about connecting the links between communities’ access to clean water and the role that individuals, especially women, can play in conserving the world’s freshwater resources. She has devoted much of her career to exploring how the sustainable management of rivers can benefit both people and nature.
Overlapping heavily with snow leopard habitat, the Third Pole encompasses the snow-covered mountains surrounding the Tibetan Plateau. The Pole’s thousands of glaciers and regular snow melt form the headwaters for 10 of Asia’s biggest rivers, which bring drinking water, power and irrigation directly to 210 million people, while these river basins indirectly support more than 1.3 billion people.
Big Bend National Park’s river ranger Mike Ryan is passionate about working to conserve the river for future generations. Growing up less than five miles from the river, Ryan has long appreciated its charm, power and role in sustaining life. As a park ranger, Ryan is primarily responsible for law enforcement and protecting Park visitors. However, he spends whatever extra time he can find assisting the Park’s and partnering scientists, conservationists and managers as they restore the river after decades of decline.
Known locally as El Cabezón de Julimes, several thousand pupfish take up exclusive residency in El Pandeño de los Pandos hot springs in this small municipality about 80 minutes southeast of City of Chihuahua, Mexico. Rarely more than two inches long, pupfish live in water that reaches 114 degrees Fahrenheit, earning it the title of “hottest fish in the world.”
Water plays a massive role for all living things. Yet fresh water—what we use for drinking, growing and cleaning, among many other things—makes up less than 1 percent of all water on the planet. That’s why we need to work extra hard to keep the resource safe, clean and available to all.