The Salween is a 2,000-mile-long river that flows through China, Myanmar, and Thailand. It is one of the longest and last un-dammed rivers in Southeast Asia.
The Salween begins at the Songluo Glacier in the Chinese province of Yunnan. It then flows for roughly 700 miles and empties into the Andaman Sea in Myanmar.
The Salween River is one of the most biodiverse rivers in the world and is home to over 320 fish species, many of which are threatened.
The Salween supports the livelihoods of over 10 million people and is a major water source for the three countries it flows through.
Its diverse and abundant ecosystem provides an important refuge for species like the Asian elephant and the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.
In 2010, the Chinese government began constructing the first hydroelectric dam on the Salween, prompting an international outcry and protests.
The Salween River is also home to a variety of birds and waterfowl, including the Black-headed Ibis and the Grey-crowned Weaver.
The Northwestern Yunnan Salween Nature Reserve has been created to protect the Salween basin's biodiversity and promote sustainable development.
The Salween basin is also an important agricultural region for the mountain communities living along its banks, primarily growing crops such as wheat, corn, and rice.
The Salween is one of the few remaining rivers in East Asia where traditional river cultures and practices are still kept alive.
The Salween is an important part of global efforts to protect and restore East Asian rivers and the biodiversity they support.