Ecologically, Central Indus Wetlands Complex (CIWC) is one of the most significant stretchesof wetlands in the country. It includes braided, and meandering river channels, islands, dhands or oxbow lakes and seasonally flooded depressions in the floodplain. This region covers three wetlands protected areas under the provincial wildlife legislations: i) Chashma Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary, ii) Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary, and iii) Indus Dolphin Reserve. The first two are located in Punjab Province and the third in Sindh Province. Because of their socio-ecological significance, these protected areas are also designated as Ramsar Sites.Part of the CIWC is included in the Indus Eco-region, a Global 200 Eco-region that serves as an important migratory route, the famous Indus Flyway, and also the habitat for several threatened bird and animal species.
Majority of the people living in CIWC are below the poverty line without any basic facilities. Further, low development in the area perpetuate a variety of socio-economic problems such as poverty, limited income earning opportunities, income disparity, and dependence on agriculture, fishing and other natural resource based income sources. Fishermen residing along the banks of the River Indus have a key stake in the sustainable use of these wetlands and associated biodiversity resources.
With the financial support of Department for International Development (DFID) under its Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF), WWF - Pakistanis implementing a project titled “Improving Livelihoods of Fisher Communities in Central Indus, Pakistan”. The project spans over a period of three years for the entire 780 km long stretch of Central Indus focussing at improving the livelihoods of at least 1,700 households of fishermen with an average size of 10 person per household. The project plans to support poverty-environment nexus.;