“This is what success looks like,” says Sarita as she surveys a Brazilian wetland that has been restored to its natural habitat with support from HSBC’s Water Programme. “This was an area that was very badly eroded which has now been reforested.”

Sarita is one of a number of HSBC volunteers from around the world who feature in a new film about the work being carried out by global conservation organisation WWF to safeguard fresh water sources in the Pantanal river basin.

Spanning Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, the Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland. It is home to 3,500 plant and 2,180 animal species. However, intensive farming and industrialisation have polluted the area and affected the natural flow of the waterways. Deforestation has eroded the soil, choking rivers with sediment.

With support from HSBC, WWF has been working with the local community in Brazil to restore and protect the wetland. Local farmers, fisherman, industries and municipalities have signed a pact outlining their commitment to manage local water resources more effectively.

“What’s happening here in the Pantanal is really important not only for Brazil but for the whole world,” says Guillermo, an HSBC Water Programme volunteer based in Mexico.

The Pantanal project is just one of many initiatives that HSBC has been supporting through its five-year Water Programme. Since the start of 2012, the bank has donated USD100 million to provide and protect water sources and inform and educate communities in need.

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