The following year, building on lessons learned in the decade since the launch of the World Conservation
Strategy, WWF, IUCN, and UNEP joined forces again to publish Caring for the Earth- A Strategy for
Sustainable Living. Launched in over 60 countries around the world, Caring for the Earth lists 132 actions people
at all social and political levels can take to safeguard or improve their environment, while
simultaneously increasing the quality of their life.
One of the most important ways in which people can help
ensure the future health of the planet is to cut down their consumption of fossil fuels. This
will reduce the damage that air pollution and acid rain inflict on people, animals, and plants, and slow down
the rate at which the world's weather patterns are changing. WWF works to make people and governments
aware of the implications of climate change and to persuade them to reduce polluting
activities to a minimum.
The organization works with governments in two ways as collaborator and
lobbyist. For example, it cooperates with the government of Madagascar on an environmental syllabus for use in
the island's primary schools, and with the Chinese Ministry of Forestry on a giant panda management plan.
In 1990, WWF helped bring about an international moratorium on the ivory trade. And in 1992, it played a
part in pressurizing governments to sign conventions on biodiversity and climate change at the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It is now
working to ensure that those conventions are implemented in an effective manner.
Perhaps more than any
other event in recent years, the Earth Summit alerted politicians and business people to the urgency of the
environmental crisis facing the modern world. Since the conference, WWF has been working to
build stronger relationships with the business community. In the UK, for example, WWF is working with a group
of retailers and manufacturers who are committed to phasing out the sale of wood that does not come from
independently certified, well-managed forests.
WWF also maintains links with other non-governmental
organizations both national and international. It makes a particular point of responding to
local conservation needs, and working with local people. More and more projects involve rural communities in
making decisions as to how their environment should be both used and conserved, while providing economic
In Zambia's Kafue Flats, WWF has helped the government forge an important
link between development and conservation. Local people are trained as wildlife scouts to monitor and report on
the area's rapidly declining population of lechwes antelopes adapted to living in swamp-like conditions. Thanks
to the scouts, and improved management techniques, lechwe numbers have now increased to a
level that permits culling. Trophy hunters pay to hunt animals, and the money raised is reinvested in community
development and wildlife management.
WWF has always recognized the importance of working in partnership.
Cooperation is crucial whether it is with governments, other conservation organizations,
local communities, or with the millions of people whose financial and moral support enables WWF to carry out
conservation work throughout the world.
At the end of 1993, Claude Martin took over as Director General of WWF
International, replacing Charles de Haes who had served in this position for the previous 18
years. At the same time, the organization completed a two-year network-wide evaluation of its conservation
work. On the strength of this study, it resolved to focus its activities on three key areas:
forests, freshwater ecosystems, and oceans and coasts. WWF believes that in pursuing the new goals via
carefully planned strategies, it will be able to make the best use of its resources.
individuals remain the organization's most important source of funds, making up 53 per cent of its annual
income. If you care about the welfare of our planet, and the people, animals, and plants that live on it,
perhaps you would like to join those who support WWF's conservation work by contacting either the Fundraising
Director or the Membership Officer at WWF International or your local WWF National