Iconic Free Flowing Rivers | WWF
© Wild Wonders of Europe / Widstrand / WWF

Iconic Free-Flowing Rivers

Rivers are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet

Rivers underpin entire landscapes, and contribute to economic growth, food security and human well-being. Free-flowing rivers are uniquely important providing healthy floodplains, recreation, thriving freshwater habitats, abundant fish stocks, among others.  However, these rivers—and all that depends on them—are increasingly threatened by infrastructure development, extraction (especially for agriculture), and pollution. 

We are losing our free-flowing rivers. Only one third of the world’s longest rivers remain free-flowing, unimpeded by dams or other barriers.
© Jorge Garcia

The Iconic Free-Flowing Initiative

© Adam Oswell / WWF-Greater Mekong

Preventing Harmful Dams

WWF is working to stop dams that would devastate communities and wildlife that depend on them.

© Julio García Robles

Improve Policy Measures

This initiative will work to strengthen and promote laws that successfully protect and keep rivers flowing

© Elizabeth Kemf / WWF

Energy Planning

We will work to help local leaders develop sustainable energy plans that minimize the need for hydropower

© Spanish River Authority

Connecting Rivers

The initiatve aims to reconnect rivers through dam removal and other restoration efforts.

Learn more about free-flowing rivers & their importance to people, economies, and nature.