WWF’s role: Tackling the drivers of nature loss and accelerating our actions

To reverse nature loss, the world must protect and restore land, freshwater and marine natural habitats for the benefit of nature and people; at the same time we urgently need to reduce humanity’s footprint on earth and move to sustainable practices in agriculture and food systems, forestry, fisheries, energy and mining, infrastructure and construction.

WWF has set out its strategic direction led by three clear ambitions:



The role a philanthropic partnership can play

The estimated funds needed to be nature positive by 2030 are enormous. While the majority of the funding will come from governments, there are tremendous opportunities for philanthropic partners to make a difference too. And such partnerships have a rare value. They can add impetus to innovative and often higher risk ideas by providing the time and resources they need to advance, thus bridging vision and reality. Or they can be the catalyst that can accelerate the seed of a good idea into a fully-grown initiative. And they can also act as the key to unlock co-financing or finalising projects and thus maximise the returns for all of the stakeholders.

To give you an idea of the types of projects WWF International and our philanthropic partners have been collaborating on, below is a sample of our work.

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We have developed a plan to protect 70% of the world's climate resilient reefs by 2030.

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If we don't accelerate our actions, 70 - 90% of tropical coral reefs will be extinct by 2050. By joining as a partner, you can help change this.

Half of the world's coral reefs have already died leading to one of the biggest losses of biodiversity humanity has experienced. The collapse of these biodiversity "reservoirs" will lead to a rapid decline in fish stocks that will threaten the nutrition, health, and livelihoods of many of the world's most vulnerable coastal communities.

By eliminating local threats and empowering local communities who are at the forefront of managing reefs, the plan is to secure pre-selected resilient reefs - those which demonstrate regeneration potential - and use them as a foundation to re-establish our coral reefs.

WWF’s goal is to safeguard 70% of the world’s climate resilient reefs by 2030.

Regenerative reefs have been identified in seven countries that offer both local and global benefits. These seven ‘innovation hubs’ provide test beds which can refine and demonstrate the power of coral reefs to increase community resilience in coastal areas.

Next steps

WWF will scale successful approaches through the following actions:

  • Share knowledge and experiences - Accelerate and expand successful interventions in other key locations;
  • Peer-to-peer learning and community exchanges - Creating a learning and sharing network for best practices in reef conservation and sustainable development of coastal communities;
  • Leveraging public and private financing - Innovating financial solutions for a sustainable blue economy;
  • Raising awareness of coral reefs and their importance - Using a wide network of partners and collaborators, we will position the problem at the forefront of public consciousness and advocate for change at global and national levels.
To restore the world’s coral reefs, we need support from all sectors. It is time to come together to build climate-ready corals and a climate-ready future

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We helped to establish a US $43 million project finance for permanence fund covering 2 million hectares of Bhutan’s forests

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Around the world we are still losing 10 million hectares of forest per year.

Our trees, rivers and vegetation not only provide homes to the world’s wildlife but also help keep our air and water clean and generate energy. Mangroves, for example, serve as a barrier between people and large waves during coastal storms. And rivers supply us with fish—one of the most popular sources of protein around the world.

These beautiful areas are our lifeline.

Though often referred to as protected areas, most of these vital places are only protected on paper. Limited funding, government policies, and skills to ensure they are properly managed make it nearly impossible to keep the threats to protected areas—such as illegal logging and mining and wildlife poaching—at bay. If we let them become degraded, downsized, or erased altogether, we break our lifeline.

WWF’s Earth for Life (EFL) project works with government leaders, public and private sector donors, NGOs, and others to secure funding to create, expand and ensure proper management of large conservation areas. These areas include protected areas, community lands and other types of land designated for sustainable use or no development. The EFL model uses a financial approach called Project Finance for Permanence that addresses a common issue in the conservation community: piecemeal, insufficient and short-term funding for the management of conservation areas.

Once deemed eligible, the funds are allocated over long periods of time, e.g. 24 years in Brazil, to buy the many boats needed to patrol coastlines to look for people fishing illegally or to buy drones required to survey vast areas, such as the 20’234 km² network of parks and wildlife corridors in Bhutan or Brazil's 607,028 km² network of protected areas. Funds also are used to convene workshops to teach people about ecotourism opportunities in or near protected areas. And so much more.

Next Steps 

WWF has successful EFL programmes in Brazil, Bhutan and Colombia, but is looking to accelerate the programme in the approach to 2030 and expand into 10 new countries."

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A ban on free plastic bags in China has been introduced.

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We are still likely to be producing 40% more plastic by the end of the decade than we do today. With more philanthropic partnerships joining together to face the plastics problem, we can change this.

The progress we’ve made together…

Our ocean contains an estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic and kills marine life, smothers our beaches and makes its way into the food we eat. By the end of the decade, we’re likely to be producing 40% more plastic than we do today. And without urgent action, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. 
One of the most urgent issues right now is the need to tackle the threat of lost or discarded plastic fishing gear. So-called “ghost gear” is the deadliest type of plastic debris, trapping and entangling marine mammals, turtles, seabirds and sharks, as well as important fish stocks.
And there are other critical environmental issues linked to our use of plastic – from the way plastic production currently accounts for around 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions to the air pollution caused by burning plastic waste. 
So far, more than 30 cities, from Thailand to Tunisia, have committed to take action to stop plastic pollution – and we’re aiming to get 1,000 plastic-smart cities to join the movement by 2030. This is vitally important as about 60% of plastic in the ocean comes from urban areas. 
Next steps
The growing global movement for change is leading to progress in many. Over 65 governments have pledged their support for a global treaty to prevent plastic pollution, after more than 2 million people around the world signed our petition.
With consumers calling for action, businesses are getting onboard too. More than 500 organizations, including companies responsible for more than 20% of all plastic packaging, have signed the WWF-backed New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste. And through our ReSource: Plastic initiative, we’re helping them turn ambition into action. 

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Amur tiger numbers are on the rise in Eastern Russia, contributing to the global increase in wild tiger numbers.

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Poaching, the illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss remain a constant threat to their future. With more philanthropic partnerships we can continue to change this.

Just 10 years ago, wild tigers were heading towards extinction. From perhaps 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century.

Unwilling to let these iconic cats disappear, in 2010 the world united for one of the most ambitious conservation goals in history: double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
Whilst global tiger numbers are increasing, they haven't doubled yet, but they are close to reaching the target.

That's why this year, the Year of the tiger, is so important. It's a chance for us to come together and secure a future for tigers - and the wild places they call home.

Since 2010, WWF in collaboration with the governments of all 13 tiger-range countries, individuals, businesses, communities and NGOs have been trying to make this goal a reality. And tigers have made an incredible comeback in Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Russia. 

This success is the result of many efforts. Investing in protected areas. Creating best-practice global conservation standards for managing tiger habitats, which are being implemented in over 125 sites. Reducing poaching and challenging the trade in tiger body parts, from changing consumer behaviour and tackling criminal activities to helping phase out of tiger farms. And supporting the crucial role played by communities in protecting tigers.

Unfortunately, the many historic threats to the tiger, ranging from habitat destruction and fragmentation to the illegal wildlife trade, have not gone away.

Next steps

WWF is looking for philanthropic partners to accelerate our critical support to secure a future for tigers. Our priorities include:
- Increasing the resources to safeguard wildlife in protected areas;
- Stronger laws and enforcement to challenge the illegal wildlife trade;
- Improve resources to stop poaching and remove harmful snares;
- Increase education and awareness raising to tackle consumer demand for tiger parts.

If you want to join the fight for a future with tigers, find out more about the opportunities to collaborate with WWF by contacting our partnership team now.

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