Mankind 'a threat to rivers of civilisation'

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Mighty rivers that inspired religions, civilisations and explorers are among the ten most threatened in the world.

Rivers such as the Nile, the Indus and the Ganges are dying because of stresses put on them by mankind, the [World Wildlife Federation] says in a report published today.

Each of the ten river systems identified in the report is beset by man-made problems, including water being siphoned off, dams destroying ecosystems and pollution. They flow across six continents and the damage threatens the lives of people and wildlife, the WWF says.

The ten most endangered river basins are said to be the Danube, Yangtze, Rio Grande, Salween, Nile, Indus, Ganges, Plata, Mekong and Murray-Darling. About 41 per cent of the world’s population live in threatened river systems, and of the 10,000 species of freshwater animals and plants at least 20 per cent are already extinct.

Related Links

  • WWF 10 Rivers report (PDF)

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