UN Water Conference side-event (virtual): registration and agenda

21 February 2023

A magic bullet: ensuring healthy rivers for river dolphins and people

River dolphins are amazing. Six species exist, roaming eight large river systems in South America and Asia, of which they are apex predators. Yet, all are endangered.

This virtual site event will show how protected areas are protecting river dolphins and their rivers. With CA|RDS, Conservation Assured| River Dolphin Standards, 34% of all protected areas that host river dolphins in Asia and South America has been assessed: 40 sites, teaches us: are these sites doing the job they were designed to do? Some do: let’s celebrate! Some don’t (yet): how can we improve?

Knowing that thriving river dolphin populations mean healthy rivers for other biodiversity and for millions of people depending on them, the new tool CA|RDS  is not ‘just’ supporting river dolphin conservation – it supports the protection of rivers, and riverine peoples.

On October 24th 2023, we will celebrate World River Dolphin Day. On this day, all 14 range state governments will be invited to sign the Global Declaration for river dolphins. CA|RDS will be a great tool for stakeholders involved to measure their effectiveness in site-management, and how to improve. Please, join us on this journey!

Date and time of the side-event: 23rd of March, 10:00-11:00 EST (15:00-16:00 CET)
Register here in advance to participate in this event: https://wwf.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0vd-qqqDIsH9eyF7mMTEwBeYwtumhql71V. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


– Welcome & Opening by facilitator
Philip Leonard; WWF deputy freshwater lead
– Introduction to river dolphins (video)
– Presentation on CA|RDS and results of the global quick scan assessment of site management effectiveness;
Daphne Willems, Global River dolphin rivers initiative lead, WWF
– CA|RDS Lite field example: Yangtze finless porpoise;
Professor Wang Ding,  Chinese Academy of Sciences
– The lessons learned from the CA|RDS Lite assessment for South America;
Paul van Damme, Faunagua Bolivia
– Conclusions and Closing