Freshwater biodiversity is in a state of crisis due to large dams, water diversions and pollution.
In the last forty years, freshwater species have lost, on average, over 80% of their populations; they’re declining twice as fast as land and marine species.
Large dams fragment rivers and habitats, isolating species, interrupting the exchange of nutrients between ecosystems, and cutting off migration routes. They reduce water and sediment flows to downstream habitat, and can decimate a river’s estuary, where many of the world’s fish species spawn. Dams also increase ecosystems’ vulnerability to threats like climate change.
What We Can Do to Protect Freshwater
Free-flowing rivers are the safety net that supports our existence. To reverse the biodiversity crisis, we must stop dam-building and destructive development in biodiversity hotspots, legally protect the most biodiverse rivers from development, and decommission the planet’s most lethal dams.
Sign the Petition:
Protect critical rivers now!
The earth’s water cycle is under attack, led by corporations that are damming and polluting rivers. Sign the global call to permanently protect Patagonian rivers that help us fight climate change.
Since 1970, the global populations of freshwater species have declined by more than 80%. Without immediate action to protect rivers, we’ll lose an immense amount of freshwater biodiversity.
- Migratory river fish populations plunge 76% in past 50 years (The Guardian, 2020)
- Why river protection needs to be addressed at this week’s Amazon SummitBy Flávio Montiel, International Rivers – Brazil The Amazon Summit, one of the most important environmental meetings of the year, is taking place this week in Brazil. Representatives from the…
- Indigenous leader and river defender, Mariluz Canaquiri Murayari, receives the 2023 Terre de Femmes International AwardThe award recognizes women around the world who are working to preserve the planet. The theme this year is wetlands and natural areas at risk. Paris, France, April 11, 2023…
- On World Water Day, new briefing paper calls on banks and financiers to prohibit harmful financing to free-flowing riversInternational Rivers, Friends of the Earth US, and Rivers without Boundaries co-published a new briefing paper, called, “Protecting biodiversity from harmful financing: Free flowing rivers.” Published on World Water Day, the briefing…