© Zig Koch / WWF
WWF's biodiversity meta-goal is to ensure the integrity of the most outstanding natural places on Earth. This includes the protection of biodiversity in high conservation priority areas, and restoring populations of those species with the highest ecological, economic and cultural value.
In the last 50 years, we have altered ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any other period in history. Rapid population growth, economic development and industrialization have led to the unprecedented transformation of freshwater ecosystems and consequent biodiversity loss. Today, 41% of the world’s population lives in river basins under water stress. And the threats to freshwater ecosystems are immense. More than 20% of the world’s 10,000 freshwater species have become extinct, threatened or endangered in recent decades. Thus there is an ever increasing need and urgency for improved management of freshwater ecosystems.