Consumer campaign tackles ivory demand
A new WWF campaign has helped to tackle the poaching crisis that kills more than 20,000 elephants a year. Chinese consumers have been a major driver of demand for ivory products – and despite the welcome introduction at the end of 2017 of a domestic ban by China on selling and buying ivory, surveys tell us that people continue to buy ivory products when they travel abroad. Our #TravelIvoryFree campaign therefore focused on Chinese travellers to Thailand and Vietnam, where there are still ivory markets, during the world’s busiest travel period, the Lunar New Year. We achieved 57 million views on Chinese microblogging website SINA Weibo and 20 million views through the #TravelIvoryFree hashtag. Our pop-up market in Bangkok helped by encouraging people to buy alternative, sustainable souvenirs that are locally crafted. And two airlines flying from China also joined in the campaign. These efforts are part of a joint campaign with other NGOs, the travel industry and government agencies to change travellers’ behaviour.
Success for Turkish clean air campaign
WWF and partners in Turkey have successfully prevented coal-fired power plants from continuing to operate without the introduction of environmental safeguards. The Right to Clean Air Platform, a coalition of 17 professional and civil society organizations including WWF-Turkey, has been working together since 2015 to tackle air pollution and the threat it poses to people’s health. Last month’s proposal in the Turkish Parliament would have meant that coal-fired power plants could delay investing in environmental facilities until the end of 2021. The coalition responded quickly, organizing a petition that gathered support from 70,000 people in less than a week. Awareness of the issue was also raised through social media campaigning, highlighting the issue with media outlets, and advocacy with MPs in the Turkish Parliament.
Myanmar and Zambia, like many other countries, urgently need to increase investment in sustainable projects to improve water security, enhance the health of their river basins, and support economic growth. But they both face a major stumbling block: a lack of viable, sustainable and bankable water projects for companies and financial institutions to invest in. Our new agreement with the Dutch Development Bank sets out to tackle this head-on by providing us with seed funding to develop wastewater treatment projects in both countries. In Myanmar, the funding will promote green technologies for industrial wastewater treatment − and identify innovative investment options to improve wastewater treatment and reduce pollutant discharges into the Irrawaddy river basin. In Zambia, the bank will invest in similar efforts in the Kafue river basin, which provides most of the water for Zambia’s capital Lusaka, much of the country’s electricity and sustains the livelihoods of huge numbers of people in rural and urban communities.
Water crises, ranging from droughts to floods, pose a growing risk to people and nature. Tackling this is a global priority for WWF, and so we are delighted to announce a major upgrade to our online water risk tool for companies and financial institutions. The Water Risk Filter continues to be a trusted tool for assessing water risk but now links assessment results to a set of recommended responses. Aligned to leading water stewardship agreements, over 150 actions are available to help address the diverse physical, regulatory and reputational risks. Fifty of these responses are freely accessible online, while users can get even more comprehensive and tailored recommendations and access 100+ other response options by contacting the Water Risk Filter team. Stuart Orr, Leader of WWF’s Freshwater Practice, said: “Now companies can receive a tailored set of recommended actions to tackle their water risks and safeguard their bottom line: there is no longer any excuse for inaction.”
WWF and the World Organization of the Scout Movement teamed up last year to inspire young people around the world to take action for nature. We are now building on this commitment in Africa – agreeing to develop education programmes, projects and resources that will help five million young people across Africa take action on sustainable development in their schools, homes and communities. WWF Africa Regional Director Frederick Kwame Kumah said: “We are passionate about preserving the Earth's natural environment and building a future in which we live in harmony with nature. By working with the scout movement to educate young people to conserve biodiversity, ensure that natural resources are used sustainably, and promote a reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption, we hope to play our part in leaving a better word for future generations.”