WWF

World Wide Fund For Nature

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. It is the world’s largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 90 countries, supporting around 1300[4] conservation and environmental projects around the world. It is a charity, with approximately 60% of its funding coming from voluntary donations by private individuals. 45% of the fund’s income comes from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.[3]

The group says its mission is “to halt and reverse the destruction of our environment”.[5] Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the world’s biodiversity: forests, freshwater ecosystems, and oceans and coasts. Among other issues, it is also concerned with endangered species, pollution and climate change.

History

The idea for a fund on behalf of endangered animals was initially proposed by Victor Stolan to Julian Huxley in response to articles he published in the Observer. This proposal led Julian Huxley to put Victor Stolan in contact with Max Nicholson, a person that had had thirty years experience of linking progressive intellectuals with big business interests through the Political and Economic Planning think tank.[1][6][7] Max Nicholson thought up the name of the organization. WWF was conceived on 29 April 1961, under the name of World Wildlife Fund, and its first office was opened on 11 September that same year in Morges, Switzerland. Godfrey A. Rockefeller also played an important role in its creation, assembling the first staff.[2] Its establishment marked with the signing of the founding document called Morges Manifesto [8] that lays out the formulation ideas of its establishment. A separate organization, The American Conservation Association, was merged into the WWF.[9]

“…They need above all money, to carry out missions and to meet conservation emergencies buy buying land where wildlife treasures are threatened, money, for example, to pay guardians of wildlife refuges …for educations among those who would care… For sending experts to danger spots and training… Making it all possible that their needs are met before its too late.” -Morges Manifesto

WWF has set up offices and operations around the world. It originally worked by fundraising and providing grants to existing non-governmental organizations, based on the best-available scientific knowledge and with an initial focus on the protection of endangered species. As more resources became available, its operations expanded into other areas such as the preservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of natural resources, the reduction of pollution, and climate change. The organization also began to run its own conservation projects and campaigns, and by the 1980s started to take a more strategic approach to its conservation activities.

In 1986, the organization changed its name to World Wide Fund for Nature, to better reflect the scope of its activities, retaining the WWF initials. However, it continues to operate under the original name in the United States and Canada.[10]

In the 1990s, WWF revised its mission to: “Stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:

• conserving the world’s biological diversity

• ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable

• promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.”

WWF scientists and many others identified 238 ecoregions that represent the world’s most biologically outstanding terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats, based on a worldwide biodiversity analysis which the organization says was the first of its kind.[11] In the early 2000s, its work was focused on a subset of these ecoregions, in the areas of forest, freshwater and marine habitat conservation, endangered species conservation, climate change, and the elimination of the most toxic chemicals.

We shan’t save all we should like to, but we shall save a great deal more than if we had never tried. — Sir Peter Scott [12]

In 1996, the organization obtained general consultative status from UNESCO.

 

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