A delicate balancing act
With booming economies, the countries of the region must now balance legitimate needs for development while safeguarding a natural treasure that is under growing threat.
This is why WWF takes a comprehensive approach to seek this balance in the region.
What is the Greater Mekong?The Greater Mekong spans Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern province of Yunnan in China. The landscapes of this vast area are just as diverse as the countries that it enshrines, from dusty savannahs to dense rainforests, and from slow-moving rivers to icy torrents.
Since 1997, over 1,500 new species have been described by science in the jungles, rivers and even urban areas of the Greater Mekong. This is in addition to rare species including crested gibbon, tigers, Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin and the elusive saola, described as the most remarkable large mammal discovery of the last 70 years.
The Greater Mekong also contains the largest combined tiger habitat in the world—540,000 km2 or roughly the size of France. But over the last 10 years or so, numbers of this amazing feline have crashed by 70% in this part of the world.
► About the Greater Mekong region
► WWF's conservation work in the Greater Mekong
A close human connectionFew places on Earth show such a strong link between human and ecosystem connectivity, as the Greater Mekong. The Mekong River basin accounts for up to 25% of the global freshwater catch, making it the world's largest inland fishery. It is a vital source of food and income for over 60 million people living there.
Protecting the Greater MekongThe unprecedented social and economic development of the Greater Mekong makes conservation work here especially urgent, significant—and hugely challenging.
We are spearheading efforts to protect species, encouraging sustainable forestry and non-timber-forest product management, helping communities and governments with climate change adaptation, and promoting the sustainable use of freshwater resources.
With offices in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the WWF Greater Mekong programme is working with government, industry and NGO partners to secure a future where people's daily actions support biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources—the foundation upon which depends the Greater Mekong region's quality of life for humans.
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© David Harvey / WWF
Pseudoryx nghetinhensis - Saola 4 to 5 month old female. An endemic ...
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© Zeb Hogan / WWF
Giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© CK Wong
Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is only found in the ...
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong©
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© Zeb Hogan / WWF
Giant freshwater stingray or Freshwater whipray (Himantura ...
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© WWF-Cambodia / Gerry Ryan
This Irrawaddy dolphin was photographed swimming in the Mekong ...
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© Vipoj Sinprasert
Wild Asian elephants in Kuiburi National Park, Thailand.
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© Fletcher & Baylis / WWF-Cambodia
Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary are ...
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© WWF-Greater Mekong / WWF-Cambodia SWAP team
A male dhole. The dhole is a competitor to the leopard.
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© WWF-Cambodia
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© WWF / Gerald S. CUBITT
Siamese crocodile. Crocodylus siamensis. Thailand.
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© WWF Greater Mekong
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© Babu Ram Yadav
Gaur is the largest wild cattle species in the world. There are 37 ...
Wildlife of the Greater Mekong© WWF / Indonesian Forest Protection and Nature Conservation / Virginia Tech
Red muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak). Also known as the barking deer due ...
WWF Urges Cancellation of New Road Plan That Threatens World Renowned Cambodian Forest
WWF urges cancellation of proposed new road and border crossing that would do irreversible damage ...
Vietnam has the first shrimp farm in Asia certified to Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard
Major shrimp producer Quoc Viet is the first corporation in Asia to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship ...
WWF will not participate in Don Sahong dam consultation, citing failed process
Conservation group says Lao dam will proceed regardless of meeting outcome, threatening livelihoods ...
WWF Officially Opens Office in Myanmar
WWF opened its new Myanmar office November 1 in the presence of Myanmar dignitaries and civil ...
A new monkey, a self-cloning skink, five carnivorous plants, and a unique leaf warbler are among the 208 species newly described by science in the Greater Mekong region in 2010 and highlighted in a new WWF report, Wild Mekong.
► Find out more