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First Online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas Now Available

26 February 2014

GLOBAL - A new online Atlas of freshwater biodiversity presenting spatial information and species distribution patterns is now available online.

Freshwaters are incredibly diverse habitats: they cover less than one per cent of the Earth’s surface, yet are home to 35 per cent of all vertebrate species. Sadly, freshwater life is declining at an alarming rate faster than any other component of global biodiversity.

A challenge for policy is how to integrate protection of freshwater life and the ecosystem services it provides with real and pressing demands on freshwater resources from the energy, food and sanitation sectors

This new online Atlas is a response from freshwater scientists to this policy challenge. It provides policy-makers, water managers and scientists with an online, open-access and interactive gateway to key geographical information and spatial data on freshwater biodiversity across different scales. The Atlas is a resource for better, evidence-based decision making in the area of water policy, science and management.

The Atlas is an output of BioFresh – an EU-funded project that is putting together the scattered pieces of information about life in our rivers and lakes, to better understand, manage and protect our freshwaters for generations to come. It is edited by a pan-European group of freshwater science and conservation experts from 12 research institutes and supported by key international organizations active in the field of freshwater biodiversity research and conservation, including WorldFish.

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