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What can be done to protect freshwater biodiversity?

© Rune Evjeberg

Maintaining what remains of freshwater biodiversity is set to become one of the planet’s biggest challenges in the coming decades with up to 50 % of global wetlands already lost in the last century and habitat degradation continuing at an alarming rate.

This is also set to have a major impact on the ornamental trade in freshwater species since they’re currently declining more rapidly than either marine or terrestrial species.

May 22 was this year’s ‘World Biodiversity Day’ and the theme  ‘Water and Diversity’ was chosen to coincide with the United Nations designation of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.

One of the main problems in conservation of freshwater creatures is a basic lack of visibility both in basic physical terms but also in the media, which tend to concentrate on flagship groups such as birds, mammals or amphibians.

Check out this video interview with Will Darwall, Head of the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, chaired by Paul Jepson from the University of Oxford, in which the two discuss some of the major challenges facing freshwater environments and the difficulties conserving them.

Also join us on Monday for part 2 of the interview, in which potential solutions to the problem are discussed.

This interview first appeared on the Biofresh Blog.

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