Tackling the Causes | WWF

Tackling the Causes

WWF's conservation work tackles not just threats to biodiversity, but the drivers behind these threats – the social, economic, and political reasons why these problems exist in the first place.
WWF engages with international instruments – such as conventions, commissions, agreements and treaties – for strong international laws and policies that ensure the sustainable management, equitable use, and adequate protection of biodiversity and natural resources. From global to local, WWF also engages with the communities governing natural resources that they depend on. WWF is active in all these spaces in between.

We are currently active in a variety of international conventions, commissions, agreements and other instruments, where we:

There are many drivers of environmental degradation – and they are complex and interlinked. 
 
In addition to our six global goals, we are already focusing our efforts on three cross-cutting drivers - Markets, Finance and Governance. These Drivers are both responsible for and part of the solution to many of the most significant environmental challenges we face. They are topics that touch upon every facet of our work and that are particularly relevant at the global level to natural resource overexploitation, pollution, and climate change. Impacting upon these drivers is vital to achieving our overarching goals of conserving biodiversity and reducing humanity's ecological footprint.

WWF engages with the key actors involved in Markets, Finance and Governance – companies, finance institutions, public authorities, communities, and consumers - to try and shift current trends toward more sustainable ones.

Transforming international markets so that goods and services are produced and consumed more sustainably to meet the needs and aspirations of 2-3 billion additional consumers over the next 30 years

Today, nearly everything we buy – from beef to lipstick to mobile phones – relies on raw materials that come from some of the planet’s most fragile and ecologically valuable places. These travel along complex supply chains and involve manufacturing processes that have important impacts in terms of freshwater use, pollution, and energy use. Consumer use and disposal then create a further set of challenges to be faced depending on the specific product. 
 
That’s why WWF works with business to improve the production and consumption of products derived from vital natural resources. 
 
Together with partners, we’re transforming multi-billion dollar industries, helping them produce the goods and services we need in ways that avoid damaging the natural systems on which we all depend.  

More information on Markets

Financial institutions do understand that consuming capital as opposed to income is not sustainable. It is the same with the Earth’s regenerative capacity. Business-as-usual is no longer acceptable and change to a more sustainable global economy is necessary. That requires financial institutions to fully integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria into their into their core products, services via their daily business processes.
 
As financial flows shape all private and public sector activities that have an impact on the Planet and depend on its natural capital -  from infrastructure development to commodity production - it is clear that a range of ESG risks and opportunities are increasingly becoming important and material to financing decisions.
 
We are interested in the way money, public or private, moves and our aim is to push for a measurable increase in public and private financial flows toward sustainable development in support of our six major goals and more generally toward sustainable development goals. Redirecting those financial flows to ensure that money is only invested in sectors that protect the Planet and moving away from financial systems that favour short-term returns over long-term wealth creation that supports inclusive development and protection of natural assets.
 
More information on Finance


Ensuring a healthy natural resource base into the future requires effective governance at local, national and global levels. WWF engages with partners across the world to build local and national development plans that ensure sustainable natural resource use and human well-being for current and future generations. WWF also engages on international instruments – such as conventions, commissions, agreements and treaties – for strong international laws and policies that drive the sustainable management, equitable use, and adequate protection of biodiversity and natural resources.
  • From global to local level, WWF is active in a variety of governance settings, where we:
  • provide advice and technical information on relevant issues
  • demonstrate concrete actions governments can take
  • advocate for stronger laws and regulations and their implementation
  • help governments to implement their commitments under international conventions/commissions and follow their progress
  • build civil society capacity to effectively contribute to sustainable natural resource governance
Click here for more information on Governance

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