Rivers are vital for countless species and important habitats in their own right. Unfortunately, Swiss rivers suffer from urbanisation, agricultural intensification, and flood and hydropower infrastructure.

While Switzerland has made some progress in river restoration and reducing hydropower impacts, much remains to be done. More than 90 per cent of the country’s alluvial zones have disappeared, and 60 per cent of the fish and aquatic plant species are on the IUCN Red List.

We aim to improve the quality of Swiss rivers and reduce the number of threatened species by:

  • advocating legislation and practice that protects rivers from unsustainable hydropower
  • highlighting the shortcomings in implementation of current laws and regulations on environmental flow and river restoration
  • supporting administrations and the private sector
  • motivating citizens and decision-makers
Sarine (c) Suzanne Amrein

Intervention Areas


  • WWF

Focus on one of our partners

At the heart of our work are passionate people dedicated to delivering effective and lasting conservation.
These inspirational partners are our greatest asset.

Lukas Indermaur

Lukas Indermaur

WWF Switzerland
Hydropower schemes are one of the biggest threats to the living river because they radically alter natural water flow. Unfortunately, they’re like zombies – just when you think you’ve seen the last of them, they come back from the dead!

Annual Budget

MAVA has allocated CHF 1.6 million annually

The Action Plan annual budget is estimated at CHF 2.4 million

Remaining needs are covered by other sources


Holger Schmid

Director, Switzerland Sustainable Economy

More details

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