The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was founded in Switzerland in 1961, and this year marks their 60th anniversary. Within those six decades, they’ve become the world’s largest conservation organisation, raised millions of dollars to support conservation projects, and done a lot of good.
Their goal? « To conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. » To them, this means protecting our…
As our population continues to grow, so does the need for food. But we are already eating more than the earth can handle, and the solution isn’t as simple as building more farms. The WWF realises that we could be engineering our crops to use less water, be denser in calories, and yield more produce. They also understand that we need to minimize waste. The 1.3 billion tons of food that no one eats every year could be feeding the hungry.
Their food related projects include:
- The AgWater Challenge: Created to encourage food and beverage companies to make transparent commitments that protect our freshwater.
- The Journey to Sustainable Sugar Begins Here: Sugar cane is one of the most water intensive crops. The WWF works with farmers, processors, industry specialists, etc. to raise expectations for sustainable sugarcane production.
A healthy earth is a biodiverse earth. All species on our planet play important roles in their respective food chains, and help keep nature balanced. But we risk tipping the scales: As humans continue poaching, abusing natural resources and contributing to habitat loss, we are losing our animals. Within the last 40 years, mammal, bird, fish, reptile, and amphibian populations have shrunk by a frightening sixty percent. (WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018)
What has the WWF been doing to change these statistics? They’ve saved species like the black rhino and the Indian antelope from extinction. They’ve made efforts to double the world’s tiger population, and shut down ivory markets to protect elephants. And they’ll continue to help.
Their wildlife projects include:
- Conserving Snow Leopards, Securing Water Resources, and Benefiting Communities: Within 6 of the 12 countries the Snow Leopard is native to, the WWF will run the Conservation and Adaptation in Asia’s High Mountain Landscapes and Communities project. It includes conducting field research and building alliances among participants.
- Shutting Down Tiger Farms: The WWF wants to fight back against facilities that breed tigers for parts, and to ensure the safety of all captive tigers.
- Thirty Hills: This valuable Sumatran rainforest is under the WWF’s protection. It is « one of the last places on Earth where elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist in the wild. »
Forests clean our air, store carbon, and are home to 8/10 non-aquatic species and hundreds of millions of people. The largest forest in the world, the Amazon, is fondly referred to as the « the lungs of the planet ». But because of developing agriculture and the demand for paper, we risk losing many of them.
WWF is helping by creating « multi-million dollar funds to properly manage forests that are designated as protected. The funding is to train park officials about responsible forest management, buy satellite GPS collars to monitor and track endangered wildlife, and more. » They also work with governments to help them understand the value of their forests and conserve them.
Their wildlife projects include:
- Transforming the global rubber market: To make room for rubber trees, many forests in Asia that house endangered species are chopped down. To prevent this, WWF supports the people that grow rubber sustainably, and the companies who use it.
- Transforming Peru’s forest sector: Most of the wood in Peru is harvested illegally, but the WWF and the Peruvian government are trying to change the country’s forest sector.
- Hariyo Ban: Mitigating and adapting to climate change in Nepal: A program that promotes « strategic approaches for biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation and adaptation in Nepal. »
In conclusion, WWF clearly lives up to their name. By funding conservation projects all over the world, they’ve saved habitats, animals and essential resources. Without their work over the past 6 decades, the world would be worse-off. To be a part of the good they do, you can make a donation at https://www.worldwildlife.org/.
« Together, we can address the greatest threats to life on this planet. »WWF
All images and information were found on https://www.worldwildlife.org/