More than for any other biome, freshwater biodiversity is increasingly imperiled, particularly due to poor stream flow management and increasing demand for water diversions. The adoption by the world's governments of targets to extend water services to the poor and at the same time to conserve biodiversity increase the need to better direct investments in freshwater management. In this paper WWF draws on examples from its work to identify areas where investment can be focused to assure efficient water use and improve stream flow management, namely:

  • • Prioritize and target those river basins and sub-catchments that are most critical for conservation of freshwater biodiversity to maintain stream flows;

  • • Link strategic field, policy and market interventions at different scales in river basins to maximize the impact of interventions;

  • • Implement the World Commission on Dams guidelines to minimize investment in large scale and costly infrastructure projects;

  • • Apply market mechanisms and incentives for more sustainable production of the world's most water consuming crops;

  • • Enhance statutory river basin management organizations to draw on their regulatory and financial powers;

  • • Implement international agreements, such as the Convention on Wetlands;

  • • Integrate environment and development policies.

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