© Santiago Gibert/WWF
Free-flowing Rivers
Just one-third of the world's longest rivers remain free-flowing. Unobstructed, fish swim freely up and downstream to complete their life cycle. Unobstructed, these waterways support healthy floodplains, thriving freshwater habitats, productive agricultural fields, abundant fish stocks, a place for recreation and so much more for diverse communities.

However, today, most rivers have now been dammed, diked and their natural hydrology significantly altered. As countries in Asia-Pacific emerge, infrastructure development and agricultural expansion is eating away these natural streams. Dams are disrupting river flows and the migration routes of many aquatic animals — such as river dolphins and migratory fish — destroying their habitats, while threatening the people who depend on them. Meanwhile, roads, dikes, buildings and industrial zones obstruct the floodplains and cause the deltas to sink and shrink, and disconnect aquifers from rivers.

What WWF is doing

To keep rivers across Asia-Pacific free-flowing, with our partners, WWF is: 

  • Promoting the values of rivers for food security, climate resilience and economic development
  • Promoting alternative income generation and energy generating option to dams that would devastate communities and wildlife that depend on them
  • Strengthening science and promoting regulation and governance frameworks that successfully protect rivers
  • Working with communities and governments to better manage river related resources