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About Inland Waters Biodiversity

Inland water systems can be fresh or saline within continental and island boundaries. They include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, groundwater, springs, cave waters, floodplains, as well as bogs, marshes and swamps, which are traditionally grouped as inland wetlands.

The biodiversity of inland waters is an important source of food, income and livelihood, particularly in rural areas in developing countries. Other values of these ecosystems include: water supply, energy production, transport, recreation and tourism, maintenance of the hydrological balance, retention of sediments and nutrients, and provision of habitats for various fauna and flora.

  • What is inland water biodiversity?
    Simply put, it is biodiversity associated with inland water ecosystems. This ecosystem diversity is very complex and includes both aquatic and terrestrial influences. More»

  • Importance of inland water biodiversity
    Water supports all life on Earth – including the entire human population, both rich and poor. It is the most important resource on the planet. More»

  • What's the problem?
    The biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems is declining faster than for any other biome. More»

  • What needs to be done?
    The degradation and loss of inland waters and species has been driven by infrastructure development (such as dams, dikes, and levees), land conversion, water withdrawals, pollution, overharvesting, and the introduction of invasive alien species. More»

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme