This is the first World Organisation in the series of posts that can hold its head up high, because we cannot separate the well-being of people from the well-being of the ecosystems where they live.
World Wildlife Fund was conceived in April, 1961, and set up shop in September, 1961, at IUCN’s headquarters in Morges, Switzerland. H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands became the organization’s first president.
In its first year, the Board approves five projects totaling $33,500.
TO DAY IT is one of the largest environmental and conservation groups with worldwide affiliates. The panda drawn for the first time in 1961 by Sir Peter Scott, artist and co-founder of WWF, remains until today the organization’s symbol.
Its mission is to use scientific knowledge and advance that knowledge; to “work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life and the health of ecological systems by protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species”; to promote “sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources”; and to promote “efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution.”
In 1973 WWF grants $38,000 to the Smithsonian Institution to study the tiger population of the Chitwan Sanctuary in Nepal.
WWF begins awarding the annual $50,000 Getty Prize for outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation in 1974. The Prize increases to $100,000 in 1999, and now focuses on the education of future conservationists.
During the first three years of its existence, “WWF raised and donated almost US$1.9 million to conservation projects.”
HUMANITY’S FOOTPRINT IS OUTSTRIPPING EARTH’S ABILITY TO PROVIDE
Already, 60% of ecosystem services—things like water supplies, fish stocks and fertile soil— are in decline because of human impacts on the environment.
Already, we need the equivalent of 1½ Earths to meet the demands people make on nature. We are eating into our natural capital, making it more and more difficult to sustain what will be needed by those who come after us.
THE PLANET IS CHANGING. WE ARE TOO. EVERY DAY, THE THREATS FACING THE PLANET BECOME MORE STARK.
TARGETING SPECIFIC PLACES AND SPECIES IS NO LONGER ENOUGH.
Fortunately, making connections—between the health of the planet and the health of humanity, between sustainability and a strong bottom line, between the sources of energy we choose and the water we drink—is one of WWF’s greatest talents.
Today, the WWF International is focused on six global issues, each critical to the health of our world and its inhabitants. The organization’s Web site lists the focus and need for each of the six programs.
The challenge comes in establishing that connectivity in a way that inspires action from people everywhere, on all levels.
ONE IN NINE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET SUFFERS FROM HUNGER.
90% OF THE OCEAN’S FISH STOCKS ARE OVER FISHED OR BEING FISHED TO THEIR LIMITS. AMERICANS CONSUME NEARLY 5 BILLION POUNDS OF SEAFOOD A YEAR NOT TO MENTION JAPAN, SPAIN. OCEANS FEED MORE THAN 1 BILLION PEOPLE. THEY GUIDE US TO ADVENTURE AND CONTEMPLATION, ABSORB CO² , AND HOLD THE PLANET’S GREATEST DIVERSITY OF LIFE.
GLOBALLY, OVER FISHING IS HAVING A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON THE SEA.
WILDLIFE POPULATIONS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE DECLINED BY AN AVERAGE OF 52% OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS.
BY 2030, GLOBAL DEMAND FOR FRESH WATER IS PROJECTED TO EXCEED CURRENT SUPPLY BY MORE THAN 40%.
573 MILLION ACRES OF FOREST WILL BE GONE BY 2050 IF WE DO NOTHING TO STOP DEFORESTATION.
THE CONCENTRATION OF CO² IN THE ATMOSPHERE IN 2013 WAS HIGHER THAN IT HAD BEEN IN AT LEAST 800 THOUSAND YEARS.
FORESTS ARE AT THE HEART OF LIFE ON EARTH. BILLIONS OF ANIMALS, PLANTS AND PEOPLE DEPEND ON THEM. THEY PROTECT OUR WATERSHEDS AND SUPPLY THE OXYGEN WE BREATHE. BETWEEN 46,000 AND 58,000 SQUARE MILES OF FOREST ARE LOST EACH YEAR ROUGHLY EQUIVALENT TO 36 FOOTBALL FIELDS EVERY MINUTE.
FRESH WATER IS CENTRAL TO OUR SURVIVAL. RIVERS, WETLANDS, LAKES AND STREAMS SUPPORT MORE THAN 10% OF ALL KNOWN SPECIES. WATER IS A CONDUIT FOR HEALTH, ENERGY AND FOOD. VIRTUALLY NO FRESHWATER SYSTEM REMAINS UNAFFECTED BY HUMAN ACTIVITIES.
WILDLIFE INSPIRES US. ANIMAL POPULATIONS ANCHOR A WEB OF LIFE THAT IS INTEGRAL TO EVERY HEALTHY ECOSYSTEM ON EARTH. IN THE SPAN OF JUST TWO HUMAN GENERATIONS, HALF OF EARTH’S WILDLIFE HAS DISAPPEARED.
FOOD SUSTAINS AND RENEWS US. ITS CREATION, PRODUCTION, PACKAGING AND TRANSPORT ENCROACH ON NATURE IN HARMFUL WAYS.
IF CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE,WE WON’T BE ABLE TO REPLENISH THE WORLD’S FOOD SUPPLY FAST ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH DEMAND.
A HEALTHY CLIMATE IS A PRECARIOUS GIFT. CLIMATE CHANGE IS UPSETTING THE BALANCE THAT PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE NEED TO THRIVE.
The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris is fast approaching—and with it, our best chance to secure meaningful global climate change action. But the decisions that define our day-to-day lives have a huge impact as well.
Now, the 21st century and social media have ushered in a new set of trends. Younger generations respond less to formal affiliation and gravitate to supporting stand-alone causes and initiatives to get things done. The same is true of some sectors of philanthropy. Increasingly, successful individuals, along with foundations and corporations, see giving as a tool to confront and mitigate some of the biggest problems of our day.
Taking into account the above conditions that are currently prevalent to our plants and the consequences to all living creatures, included us, you would think that our World Governments and Large Multinational Corporations would be funding the WWF work and projects.
You would be wrong. It has to beg, steal and borrow.
84% of WWF’s spending is directed to worldwide conservation activities.
(32% of its Funding comes from Individual Contributions, 19% from Government grants & contracts, 19% from in-kind and other revenues, 10% from other/non operating contributions, 9% foundation contributions,7% WWF network revenues and last 4% from corporate contributions.)
There is a lot of room for some corporation like Apple, Microsoft, or Banks to step up to the plate or it could be funded by the establishment of a World Aid Commission of 0.05% on all High Frequency Trading, on all Foreign Exchange Transactions (over $20,000) and on all Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisitions, and Drilling Licences. (see previous posts)
(WWF’s FY14 financial performance remained steady, with total revenues and support at $266.3 million. WWF’s programmatic spending represented 84% of total expenses, with management and administration costs accounting for a modest 5% of total expenses. Total net assets of $357.9 million represented a 12% increase over FY13.)