© Ranjan Ramchandani / WWF
Mekong in BALANCE
Mekong in BALANCE is 'Building Ambition for Lasting Action in Nature Conservation with Equity.'

The Mekong region is facing urgent challenges that threaten its rich biodiversity and the well-being of millions of people who rely on its ecosystems. Unsustainable production and consumption, along with rapid economic development, are driving these threats. As a result, the region's natural habitats are rapidly disappearing, leading to a loss of irreplaceable and iconic biodiversity

The situation is dire: only 30 per cent of the Greater Mekong Region's original forest cover remains, leaving many species increasingly vulnerable. This loss of habitat also puts immense pressure on wildlife populations and ecosystems. Currently, around 25 per cent of all known species in the area are at risk of extinction. 

The region also harbours some of the world’s most diverse communities and cultures — encompassing millions of people who are directly impacted by biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. Many of those hardest-hit are Indigenous peoples, local communities and vulnerable groups who rely on these ecosystems for their livelihoods and cultural heritage.

It's clear that immediate action is necessary to protect the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the region and ensure the well-being of its people. 

© Ranjan Ramchandani / WWF
What WWF is doing
At WWF, we are fully dedicated to supporting the comprehensive implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) adopted in December of 2022.

We are committed to fostering a conservation approach that respects and promotes the rights of all stakeholders, including those historically underrepresented or vulnerable.

Our extensive work in the region has shown us that conservation is most effective when those directly impacted are at the heart of decision making. By prioritizing human rights considerations and Gender, Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) in our approach, we aim to achieve biodiversity conservation that is equitable, just, and sustainable for all while delivering more effective results for climate, nature and people. At WWF, we are fully dedicated to supporting the comprehensive implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) adopted in December of 2022.

The KM-GBF is a crucial international effort to combat biodiversity loss and foster sustainable development on a global scale. It provides a strategic framework for countries to set targets and take action to conserve biodiversity. Our goal is to ensure that all stakeholders are included in the process and provide guidance to ensure the most urgent biodiversity and climate challenges are effectively addressed. 

Through the Mekong in BALANCE project, we aim to:

  • Work with regional and national partners to conserve biodiversity, promote sustainable development and address climate change

  • Support the strengthening of National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans (NBSAPs) as part of Mekong countries commitments to delivering the KM-GBF

  • Advance inclusive and effective progress of KM-GBF Target 3 on land and inland waters, including the identification and registration of Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs)

  • Integrate biodiversity priorities into transnational river governance in the Mekong river basin

  • Enhance civil society inclusion in policy processes and promote equitable governance of natural resources

This is how we are building ambition for lasting action in nature conservation with equity in the Mekong region. By working together, we can make significant strides towards a more sustainable and biodiverse future for our planet. We can achieve ambitious targets and deadlines geared towards reversing nature’s decline in some of the world’s last remaining biodiversity hotspots.

Partnership statement