WWF will be focusing its activity on protecting five key river basins. These basins sit at the heart of communities’ livelihoods through providing food security, income and valuable eco-system services.
Projects for the HSBC Water Programme will:
- Work with local authorities, businesses and communities to implement new practices and policies that will help to protect five key river basins; the Yangtze, the Ganges, the Mekong, the Pantanal and the Rift Valley (Mara and Ruaha)
- Take action to improve 1500km of river and 350,000 ha of wetlands
- Help 1,500 small to medium businesses to tackle water risks, including efficiency and pollution
- Support 115,000 people to reduce fishing or farming impacts on water which can help to improve food security and local livelihoods
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Case Study: Securing water supply in China’s heartland
The Yangtze is one of the longest rivers in the world. Its basin drains an area that is home to over 400 million people. It is also vital to industry and agriculture, and businesses in the basin account for 30 - 40 per cent of China’s gross domestic product. The central Yangtze basin was once described as the land of the 1,000 lakes, because of its many floodplain lakes and oxbows, which were particularly rich in biodiversity. But during the 1960s, demand for urban and agricultural land meant many lakes were disconnected from the river and left to dry up.
Case Study: Protecting the Pantanal Headwaters in Brazil
Reserva do Cabaçal is situated in the Upper Paraguay basin, Central West Brazil. Its river provides an important source of water for the Pantanal, the world’s biggest continental wetland. With WWF support, a community-based movement is working to restore and protect headwaters in the area. The Cabaçal River, along with other headwater streams, plays a vital role in regulating seasonal floodwaters to the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal.
Case Study: India, helping farmers build resilience against climate risks to water security
The Ganga Basin is considered as the food basket of India. In the Upper Ganga Basin there are numerous rivers and canals, rich in water availability and with fertile lands that encourage the farmers to grow rice, wheat and sugarcane in large quantities. This production adds to the food self sufficiency that India has achieved over the last many years, but it has come at a price for the Ganga River.