Freshwater Programme: Conserving freshwater fish and ecosystems
The freshwater programme addresses an urgent but largely unrecognised conservation crisis in freshwater ecosystems. As industrial water use has risen, and human development pressures intensified, freshwater habitats have been pushed further and further away from the natural conditions in which species evolved. This has had dramatic implications for the survival of freshwater fish and other species. According to the Living Planet Report, between 1970 and 2012, from a sample of 3,324 populations of 881 species across the globe, the abundance of freshwater species has declined by 81%, and one third of these are now assessed to be endangered species at risk of extinction.