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WWF has been working on freshwater conservation in five river basins – the Ganges, Mara, Mekong, Pantanal and Yangtze – over five years of a programme funded by HSBC. WWF has been working in partnership with HSBC for 15 years, most recently as part of the HSBC Water Programme. The five years, five rivers report (PDF) 2017 summarises WWF's work in these basins.

The five river basins WWF worked in as part of the HSBC Water Programme are collectively home to more than a billion people and are some of the planet’s most biodiverse areas. The Ganga, Mara, Mekong, Pantanal and Yangtze river basins are in many ways representative of the problems facing freshwater ecosystems worldwide. 

Freshwater ecosystems and human societies are now interdependent. WWF’s approaches in the five HSBC Water Programme river basins reflected this mutual reliance and involved working with governments, companies and local communities both to protect freshwater ecosystems and to ensure that freshwater resources continue to deliver benefits to human societies, their communities and businesses.

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Ganges river basin

The Rivers for Life programme covered: habitat and biodiversity conservation, targeting seven key species; sustainable water management, via environmental flows; water stewardship and urban water management; and climate change adaption work aimed at local farmers.

Read the following case studies about our work in the Ganges river basin:

Find out more about our work in the Ganges river basin

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Mara river basin

WWF strengthened the capacity of water user groups, restored riverbanks, improved farmers’ land management practices, involved hotels and mines in pollution control practices, started a transboundary water allocation dialogue and helped to protect vital wetlands.

Read the following case studies about our work in the Mara river basin:

Find out more about our work in the Mau-Mara-Serengeti

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Mekong river basin

WWF supported community-based fish conservation and alternative livelihoods; studied the river’s biodiversity and the impact of human activities on the river and delta; and undertook analysis to demonstrate the dependency of economic sectors and society on the river system.

Read the following case studies about our work in the Mekong river basin:

Find out more about our work in the Mekong river basin

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Pantanal wetland

WWF created a political agreement involving the public and private sector and civil society to protect the Pantanal wetland’s headwaters. In addition, WWF supported spring restoration and sanitation improvements and reached millions through a communications campaign.

Read the following case studies about our work in the Pantanal wetland:

Find out more about our work in the Pantanal wetland

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Yangtze river basin

The programme’s vast scope included: sustainable aquaculture and agriculture; a protected area network and nature schools; finless porpoise conservation; environmental flow releases; water stewardship collective action with SMEs; and integrated river basin management.

Read the following case studies about our work in the Yangtze river basin:

Find out more about our work in the Yangtze river basin

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