WWF’s priority places and species face a range of direct and indirect threats.
Our conservation work addresses these threats directly. But that is not the end of the story...
Tackling the drivers behind the threats
However, adressing the threats alone is not enough to conserve biodiversity and reduce humanity’s ecological footprint.
We also need to tackle the drivers behind the threats
... the social
, and political
reasons why these threats exist in the first place.
There are many such drivers. And they are complex. And they are interlinked.
There are 5 (listed below) that are particularly relevant at the global level to natural resource overexploitation, pollution, and climate change.
It is these 5 that play a vital role in achieving WWF’s twin goals of
Drivers in action
- conserving biodiversity and
- reducing humanity’s ecological footprint.
It’s easy to see how, for example, a huge tourism resort could threaten an as yet undeveloped coastline, or how poaching is a threat to tigers.
WWF and many other groups have had much success in conserving particular places and species by fighting inappropriate and even illegal developments and activities such as these.
But to ensure long-term biodiversity conservation and sustainable footprints, we need to go to the root of the threat: the factors that currently favour or allow damaging or unsustainable activities.
In the case of the resort, for example,
- Is the local or national government prioritizing short-term economic development at the expense of long-term, sustainable development?
- Will tomorrow’s tourists prefer mass tourism over more eco-friendly options?
- Are investors supporting the resort for short-term profits?
- Are national laws not strong enough to protect important natural areas?
- Do tour operators not have adequate standards to ensure their activities are not damaging the environment?
These are the ultimate drivers which need to be addressed
so that developments and activities are routinely carried out in a sustainable manner in appropriate places – and we no longer need to fight individual battles.