WWF Annual Review 2011
Download for your eBook device
2011 at a glance
1. Sustainable energy
The Energy Report, launched in February, outlined our vision for a 100 per cent renewable energy future by 2050. It included a detailed analysis by energy experts Ecofys showing how this was technically feasible, while debating the crunch issues a transition to sustainable energy raises. This year, Denmark embraced this vision, and set concrete milestones toward its goal of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
At the first TEDxWWF, sponsored by Lombard Odier and the City of Geneva, forward-thinking speakers shared ideas and insights on the big challenges we face and the changes we’ll need to make to sustain life on our one and only planet. The talks reached a global online audience.
3. Protecting “Europe’s Amazon”
Urged on by WWF, countries in Eastern Europe made major commitments toward protecting the Danube-Carpathian region. Progress this year included a declaration by Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia to create the world’s first five-country protected area around the Danube, Drava and Mura rivers, and a seven-country sustainable forestry protocol that will protect old-growth forests.
4. Tigers bounce back
The number of wild tigers in India rose to 1,706 – an increase of well over 200 since the last census in 2007 – showing that tigers can recover with the right conditions in place. Several countries developed plans for conserving tigers as part of the WWFsupported strategy to double tiger numbers by 2022, as agreed at the International Tiger Forum in late 2010.
5. Himalayan summit
Supported by WWF’s Living Himalayas Initiative, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Bangladesh agreed a plan for adapting to climate change in Bhutan in November. It includes wide-ranging cooperation on issues such as energy, food, water and biodiversity in this vital, fragile region.
6. Dam delay
The mainstream of the lower Mekong remains free-flowing for now, after WWF’s evidence helped delay a controversial dam in Laos. Ministers from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam – which objected to the scheme – and Laos have agreed to delay a decision on building the Xayaburi dam until its impact is properly assessed. We’re supporting a 10-year delay on any Mekong dams and investigating alternative energy options.
7. Borneo debt deal
New investment worth US$28.5 million will be available to protect Borneo’s tropical forests after WWF helped to broker a “debt-fornature swap” between the US and Indonesian governments. The deal will create models for forest conservation and sustainable economic development in one of the world’s most biodiversity-rich places. In a further boost for the island, 291,000 hectares of forest achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, safeguarding important habitat for orang-utans and pygmy elephants.
8. Earth Hour
As clocks ticked over to 8:30 p.m. on 26 March, many of the world’s landmarks and cities were plunged into darkness for Earth Hour 2011. An estimated 1.8 billion people in 135 countries witnessed this massive demonstration of global unity, while countries, cities, companies and individuals pledged to go “beyond the hour” in taking action for the environment.
9. Aquaculture advances
A tilapia farm in Honduras became the first in the world to be certified as complying with the standards of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). We were a founding member of the ASC, which is in the process of setting sustainability standards for the world’s most important farmed fish species.
10. Certified firsts
In June, Brazilian producers sold the first batch of soy certified by the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), and the first sugar to meet the new Bonsucro sustainability standard. WWF has helped to develop both initiatives as part of our work to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural commodities. Meanwhile, production of certified sustainable palm oil reached a million hectares, while Better Cotton – which hit the market in 2010 – was being grown by 150,000 farmers in Brazil, India, Pakistan and Mali.
11. Sustainable hydropower
A new tool to help define where – and where not – to build dams was launched at the International Hydropower Association congress in Brazil in June. The protocol, which WWF is helping to oversee, takes account of local people and a river’s cultural, economic and ecological values, to prevent harmful development.
12. Forest declaration
Leaders of more than 35 tropical forest nations promised action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forest ecosystems and their biodiversity. The joint declaration came at the end of a summit in Brazzaville in June bringing together countries from the Amazon, Congo, Borneo and Mekong rainforests.
13. Bank cooperation
In July WWF signed an agreement with the African Development Bank, the most important multilateral institution financing development on the continent. We’ll be working closely together on issues such as sustainable development, “green economics” and combating climate change.
14. Gift to the Earth
WWF presented Mozambique with a Gift to the Earth – our highest accolade – in June after the southern African country created a large protected area on Lake Niassa, Africa’s third largest lake. Mozambique is also finalizing plans for Africa’s largest marine protected area around the Primeiras and Segundas archipelagos.
15. Climate conference
At the last minute, governments at the UN climate change conference reached a weak agreement – it fell far short of the ambitious global plan of action on climate change the world needs. The emergence of a large group of high ambition countries, led by the most vulnerable developing nations and small island states, and supported by the EU, offered some encouragement for future talks.