WWF is working at many levels to integrate conservation and social equity into development policies, especially those related to poverty, basic needs, food, and energy.
Development & poverty reduction
However, policy makers often fail to consider the value of natural habitats and ecosystem services – which can lead to unanticipated social and environmental costs resulting from seemingly sensible economic and development policies.
WWF has a specific programme, the Macroeconomics for Sustainable Development Program Office, dedicated to promoting the integration of environmental sustainability and social equity into economic development strategies at national and international levels.
We also work closely with government aid agencies to integrate conservation into sustainable development goals.
Our Global Forest, Freshwater, Marine, and Species Programmes address the integration of specific ecosystem services and environmental and social justice issues – and run a number of projects aimed at improving livelihoods and alleviating poverty.
We support indigenous and traditional peoples to sustainably manage their resources, and to maintain, use, and strengthen their traditional ecological knowledge.
And we integrate the close connections between population issues, health, and gender into our efforts to build a sustainable balance between people and nature.
These services are particularly important for the world’s poorest people. Degradation of ecosystem services is a driver of poverty and social conflict and a significant barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health, and achieving environmental sustainability.