The purpose of WWF is to conserve the natural environment and ecological processes worldwide. This is taken to include fauna and flora, the landscape, water, soils, air and other natural resources, with particular emphasis on the maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems, and on the preservation of genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, and on ensuring that the utilization of wild species and natural ecosystems is sustainable...
This apparently simple act laid the foundations for one what has grown into the world's largest independent conservation organization.
More then 50 years on, the black and white panda is a well known household symbol in many countries. And the organization itself is lucky enough to have won the backing of more than 5 million people throughout the world, and can count the actions taken by people in support of its efforts into the billions.
The world on which we live
Having invested well over US$1 billion in more than 12,000 conservation initiatives since 1985 alone, WWF is continually working to bring a balance between our demands on our world, and the variety of life that lives alongside us.
- What has WWF achieved over the last 50 years?
- What does WWF hope to achieve over the next 50?
With so many key places and critical species to save, where do you begin to focus your efforts?
Given limited resources, restricted funds and the fact that we're running out of time, WWF is focusing its efforts on 13 Global Initiatives.
These are visionary, large-scale efforts that can have the potential for the broadest positive impacts across the widest spectrum of priority species and ecoregions.
They are the centre-piece of delivering our strategic conservation plan.
Conservation efforts are needed for threatened species whose survival cannot be guaranteed by conserving their habitat alone.
WWF is focusing efforts on a select group of priority species that are especially important, either for their ecosystem...
- Species forming a key element of the food chain
- Species which help the stability or regeneration of habitats
- Species demonstrating broader conservation needs
...or for people
- Species important for the health and livelihoods of local communities
- Species exploited commercially
- Species that are important cultural icons.
These species fall into two groups:
- Flagship species – iconic animals that provide a focus for raising awareness and stimulating action and funding for broader conservation efforts
- Footprint-impacted species – species whose populations are primarily threatened because of unsustainable hunting, logging or fishing.
Strategially focusing efforts on these species will also help conserve the many other species which share their habitats and/or are vulnerable to the same threats.
WWF is working to reduce humanity's ecological footprint – the amount of land and natural resources needed to supply our food, water, fibre and timber, and to absorb our CO2 emissions.
We are specifically focusing on 5 priority footprint areas that we believe need addressing most urgently:
- Carbon, Energy & Climate: (energy use, impact of forest loss, and the need for a new global policy on climate change)
- Farming: (food, fibre, grazing, aquaculture, and biofuels)
- Fishing: (over-fishing, illegal & unregulated fishing, bycatch, poor management and procurement)
- Forestry: (timber, paper, pulp, and fuel wood)
- Water: (dams, irrigation, and drinking supplies)
To reduce humanity's footprint in these areas, we are developing and implementing new ways of growing crops, managing fisheries, forests and wetlands, generating energy, and dealing with waste.
We are also looking at ways to transform markets: where and how companies and their supply chains obtain and process these vital commodities.
The aim is that everyone lives within the Earth’s capacity to sustain people and nature, and has equitable access to, and use of, natural resources.
We tackle the causes.
In order to achieve large-scale, long-lasting impacts, we must tackle the underlying causes to environmental degradation. WWF has identified 5 drivers that fuel environmental change -both good and bad. By engaging these key actors, we seek to reverse current trends and to drive greener policies and practices.
We focus our efforts.
Given limited resources, restricted funds and the fact that we're running out of time, WWF is focusing its efforts on 13 Global Initiatives. These are visionary, large-scale efforts that can have the potential for the broadest positive impacts.
We capitalize on our expertise
WWF's on-the-ground work is powered by the dedicated people in our expert programmes – including leading conservation scientists, policy experts, economists, lawyers, and communications experts.
We build strong partnerships.
WWF cannot achieve its goals alone. Strong partnerships with businesses, governments, finance institutions, local communities, academia and other NGOs are essential for driving change at the scale needed.
The diversity of life on Earth is not simply something to marvel over – it’s also vital for our own health and livelihoods.
Plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms form a complex, interconnected web of ecosystems and habitats that provides our life support system. They give us clean water, breathable air, food, medicine, energy, and much more. We simply cannot survive without them.
There’s a problem however.
We are using nearly 30% more natural resources than the Earth can replenish and our activities are drastically changing the planet’s climate.
As a result the life support system is starting to break down. Millions of people are already feeling the consequences. And things will get much worse if we keep going the same way.