A new report from WWF France warns of the decline in biodiversity in French rivers

Every two years, the WWF publishes a report measuring the state of biodiversity. In 2024, we are presented with the state of France’s rivers.

The report states that “Despite spending an estimated €500 billion on water policies over the past 20 years, freshwater bird and fish populations are stagnating at a worrying rate, and only 43.1% of rivers and water bodies in France are in good ecological condition”. It also highlights “a slight decline in bird and fish populations observed in rivers (-0.4% in 20 years), with emblematic species such as the river trout and the great crested grebe particularly threatened. This virtual stagnation masks an overall deterioration in the quality of small rivers in rural areas, offset by an improvement in the water quality of rivers downstream of large towns”. River trout populations, which depend on upstream areas of rivers, are a good illustration of this phenomenon, with a 44% drop in populations in 20 years, as a result of serious deterioration in many rivers at the head of the basin.

With 3 years to go before the deadline set by the WFD, we need to think again and give a major boost to improving the resilience of the water cycle (preserving wetlands, overhauling the agricultural system).

Read Roberto Epple interview in the newspaper “Liberation

Read report (french)

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