The Greater Mekong region is one of the biologically richest places on the planet; its varied natural resources support the livelihoods and well-being of millions of people in mainland Southeast Asia.

WWF-Greater Mekong – on the ground in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – is working to conserve the region’s biodiversity and build a secure and sustainable future for people and wildlife.

WWF is implementing a comprehensive, large-scale conservation programme that spans 600,000 km2 of the most biologically diverse, economically important and seriously threatened forests and rivers of the Greater Mekong region.
Misty mountains in Kuiburi National Park, Kayah Karen Tenasserim, Thailand

© Supol Jitvijak / WWF Greater Mekong

 rel= © Noy Promsouvanh / WWF Laos

Our conservation programme is built on 4 key conservation strategies.

  • Strategy 1: Securing landscape integrity and climate change resilience through integrated conservationeconomic development planning and implementation.
  • Strategy 2: Ensuring sustainable hydropower development to maintain ecosystem integrity of the Mekong
  • river, priority tributaries and other rivers in priority landscapes
  • Strategy 3: Strengthening law enforcement and protected area management to secure priority habitats and species
  • Strategy 4: Securing sufficient sustainable & leveraged financing for conservation

The region comprises 4 ecoregions:
These ecoregions contain large intact tracts of forest; critically important
populations of globally threatened species such as the tiger, Asian
, and the Mekong River dolphin; and the Mekong River system
itself, which holds 3 times more fish species per unit area than even the
Amazon River and provides food security and livelihoods for at least 60
million people.

Within the 4 ecoregions, WWF has identified 8 priority landscapes.

The primary rationale for the selection of place targets is to ensure that a representative sample of an area’s biodiversity is maintained through the application of conservation and sustainable management.

In addition to ensuring that representative biodiversity is effectively conserved,  effective landscape conservation can contribute to a number of other desirable conservation outcomes. These including increased resilience to and ability to adapt to climate change and the maintenance of ecological services such as carbon sequestration and the provision and regulation of water supplies.

The priority landscapes include:

1. Dawna Tenasserim Landscape: Thailand/Myanmar
2. Eastern Plains Landscape: Cambodia/Vietnam
3. Southern Laos / Central Vietnam Landscape:
4. Southern Annamites Landscape: Vietnam
5. Mekong Source Area: China
6. Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Bolikhamsay, Khammeun: Thailand/Laos
7. Siphandone, Stung Treng, Kratie section: Cambodia/Laos
8. Mekong River Delta: Vietnam

Securing priority species.

Many of the region’s species face extinction in the next 5 years unless urgent measures are taken to safeguard their populations and habitats. While WWF-Greater Mekong's focal species - tiger, saola, Asian elephant, Irrawaddy dolphin (Mekong subpopulation), Mekong giant catfish, Crested gibbons - represent many of the region’s most threatened mammals, they also have been selected to represent some of the world’s most unique and imperilled habitats and thus provide a basis for conserving these habitats.

WWF has a long history of engagement in the region.

The organization helped establish conservation programmes in Thailand in the early 1980's and has been active in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam since 1990.

WWF has both the experience and credibility to deliver the critical interventions needed. We are fast reaching a conservation crisis - with several flagship species on the verge of loss and habitats under unprecedented threat levels.

Partnerships are more essential than ever before, and a sustainable livelihoods approach is vital with more than 80% of the region’s population dependent on increasingly scarce natural resources.
Greater Mekong news

14 Dec 2022

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), WWF and the Marine Department of the Royal Thai Government with support from GIZ, USAID, UNDP, and WCO ...

224 New Species Discoveries in the Greater Mekong Region

26 Jan 2022

Conservation organisation urges protection from shrinking habitats and exploitation

A new species is discovered every 2 days on average in the Greater Mekong.

Find out more

Projects in focus

► CarBi
► Sustainable rattan

© WWF Vietnam
In 2011, WWF and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) have confirmed the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) in Vietnam.
© WWF Vietnam

Gone but not forgotten

On 25 October 2011, WWF and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) confirmed the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam.

Genetic analysis of 22 dung samples collected by a Cat Tien National Park - WWF survey team from 2009 – 2010 affirm that the samples all belonged to a rhinoceros that was found dead in the park in April 2010, shortly after the survey was completed. More

WWF on the ground