Conceived by WWF with the Chinese government, the Yangtze Forum was held in Wuhan from April 16-17, 2005 and marked the first time that so many major stakeholders convened to discuss a blueprint for the Yangtze basin's development and conservation crossing administrative and sectoral boundaries. Four key national government authorities, 4 river basin authorities, 11 provincial governments along the main stem, 3 academic organizations, and 200 people from 14 countries participated.
Participants agreed on a joint statement of shared priorities and goals, the Yangtze Declaration on Protection and Development, which calls for the revision and updating of the Master Plan for Comprehensive Utilization of the Yangtze river basin, and the addition of ecosystem health as a key target.
Restoration of floodplain wetlands in the central Yangtze region has been a focus of WWF’s field work to restore wildlife habitats, reduce flood risks, and improve livelihoods of local people.
Since 2002, the connections between 11 lakes (including Hong Lake, Zhangdu Lake, Baidang Lake, and Tian-e-zhou Oxbow) and the Yangtze River, for example, are being restored through the WWF-HSBC Yangtze Programme.
WWF is supporting and demonstrating new sustainable agricultural practices such as organic farming and eco-fishery to reduce agricultural pollution in the Dongting Lake and Hubei Province.