WWF Manifesto: The Politics of Happiness

Posted on October, 18 2010

Towards one planet futures
WWF strives for a world in which everyone has a high level of well-being, and we can enjoy healthy and happy lives while using only our fair share of our planet’s resources. WWF defines well-being in accordance with the UN Millennium Ecosystem Approach.

Human well-being depends on a number of factors: basic material needs, freedom to engage in meaningful activity, freedom of choice, health, good social relationships and safety. The eradication of poverty is also essential to the objectives of environmental preservation. Improving quality of life and well-being is a way to put a stop to the dwindling of natural resources.

Human well-being and the well-being of the environment are closely interdependent. The diversity of nature forms ecosystems that offer ecosystem services. These include nutrient cycling, soil formation, climate regulation and the production of natural resources such as food, potable water and raw materials.Ecosystem services also comprise cultural services such as beauty, spirituality and free time. Together they make life on our planet possible.

Human activity causes both direct and indirect changes to ecosystems. Due to the interdependent nature of the relationship, these changes affect human well-being. Human activity also has an impact on other species and on ecosystems as a whole. The well-being of people and the planet is dependent on the well-being of ecosystems. We have reached a point at which increasing raw material-intensive consumption no longer produces well-being in the Western world. On the contrary, it endangers the well-being of ecosystems, people, other species and our future generations.