WWF in 2023: A year of conservation action

Posted on February, 14 2024

WWF and the development organization CARE have together been backing women to make their local communities and environment resilient to climate change impacts.

In challenging times, find out about WWF’s ambitious programme of work for people and nature over the past 12 months and its commitment to ongoing urgent action.

Writing in WWF’s global review of our work in 2023, WWF International Director General Kirsten Schuijt is positive about the opportunities to build a sustainable future for people and nature.

She warns, however, that continued urgent action is needed if we are to face up to the interlinked crises of biodiversity loss and climate change amid the division and turbulence afflicting many communities around the world.

She says: “We must embrace the strong, collective urge amongst many of us to focus on the opportunity in front of us: leading with courage to act and deliver conservation impact. 

“The difference we make for nature and people in the land-, water- and seascapes we deeply care about, through the local communities and Indigenous Peoples who live there, is where our true accountability lies as an organization.”

Satellite tagging an Amazon river dolphin to provide critical conservation information. 2023 saw a vital new commitment by 11 states to safeguard river dolphins.

WWF's strong progress in 2023

The past year has seen exciting examples of WWF working alongside others − from Indigenous Peoples and local communities to business and government – to act decisively for people and nature.

These include:
  • Wide-ranging conservation efforts on the ground, such as working with communities in Africa’s Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) and Greater Virunga landscapes to promote nature-based climate solutions; supporting community efforts to declare Fiji’s Nukuvadra and Katawaqa islands as community protected areas and turtle sanctuaries; and securing extensive new protected areas around rivers in Mongolia.
  • The groundbreaking UN High Seas Treaty – after almost two decades of urging by WWF, there is now a legal framework for conserving marine life and restraining harmful activities in areas of the ocean beyond national jurisdiction.
  • The landmark new EU deforestation law, which makes it illegal for companies to place products on the EU market linked with deforestation. Hundreds of NGOs and 1.2 million people worldwide backed our campaign for a tough new law.
  • The first ever Global Declaration for River Dolphins − driven by WWF, the historic agreement was signed by 11 countries from Asia and South America, committing them to take urgent measures to safeguard their river dolphins and make the great rivers where they live healthier.
  • The launch of WWF’s Biodiversity Risk Filter − an online tool that enables companies and financial institutions to find out their impacts on nature and how much they depend on it, as well as helping them to tackle nature-related risks.

However, our work is far from done − and we will use the progress made in 2023 as inspiration for further action for people and nature in the coming year.