Towards a global river health assessment framework

Maintaining the state or health of rivers is a vital part of sustainable development. Healthy rivers are able to support and maintain key ecological processes and thus ecosystem services on which society depends. The monitoring and reporting of river health is well documented at a local scale, but at national, regional and global scales the existing methods are generally unable to provide useful information. This has resulted in a dearth of river health data and information in the likes of the SDGs, the CBD Post-2020 framework, the IPBES etc., reflecting a world-wide lack of appreciation of this vital natural resource. This report seeks to understand the present global situation of river health (RH) assessment and reporting to develop an understanding of the key attributes of successful approaches, especially in relation to the Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater biodiversity and GBO5 Sustainable Freshwater Transition.

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