Conservation Pulse Feb 2020 | WWF
© Justin Jin / WWF-US

Our latest conservation wins

© WWF-Australia / Rohan Kelly / Newspix

WWF responds to Australian bushfire tragedy

We have been greatly saddened by the tragic impacts on people and nature as Australia is ravaged by one of the most devastating bushfire seasons the country has ever seen. With the fire season still not over, firefighters continue to battle bushfires that have burned about 12 million hectares of land – killing at least 33 people, destroying thousands of homes, and leading to the deaths of more than 1 billion animals. WWF-Australia is responding to the immediate impacts of the crisis, partnering with wildlife rescue and care organisations that are caring for wildlife injured or displaced by the fires. But it is also working on the long-term recovery, assessing the impacts on species and implementing an ambitious plan to save and grow two billion trees by 2030. Please donate now to support our ongoing work. The current bushfires are also a tragic reminder of the growing impacts of climate change – making droughts more severe and fires hotter and more frequent. We must expect more extreme weather crises unless we tackle the global climate emergency.

© WWF

A New Deal for Nature and People

With human activities pushing nature to the brink, we need world leaders to commit to a New Deal for Nature and People – and set nature on the path to recovery by 2030. There were welcome signs at the recent annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, attended by leaders from government, business and civil society. Environmental issues dominated the agenda and an increasing number of businesses joined the Business For Nature coalition, which brings together a business voice for a New Deal. Read our article on how business can help tackle the crises of nature loss and climate change – and help build momentum for a New Deal by pledging to raise your voice for the planet

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Good news for Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands

For the past two years, WWF – together with 375,000 citizens, 5,500 scientists and 130 other civil society groups – has been championing vital EU water protection legislation while the European Commission discussed its future. We are pleased to say the Commission has now announced that the EU Water Framework Directive is still fit for purpose together with plans to create a European nature restoration plan – good news for protecting freshwater environments and the people and wildlife who rely on them. However, we know much more needs to be done. With a new report highlighting the huge efforts still needed to make EU waters clean and healthy, we will continue working for healthy European rivers, lakes and wetlands so they can provide benefits ranging from adapting to climate change to fuelling sustainable food systems and boosting biodiversity.

© Justin Jin / WWF-US

Investors commit to carbon-neutral investments

Climate change, alongside the interlinked crisis of nature loss, is one of the key environmental challenges facing our planet right now.  So we are delighted that a WWF-backed alliance of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers – responsible for directing nearly US$ 4 trillion in investments – has committed to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050. This means that members of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance will only invest in companies that are not causing a net release of carbon into the atmosphere. We have long recognized the importance of the financial system valuing nature – whether it’s improving the way they consider environmental risks, supporting more green investment, or reducing support for environmentally harmful activities. Find out more about our finance work.

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Three new protected areas in Russia

Protected areas are an important way of ensuring that we put nature on the path to recovery. So WWF-Russia is delighted to report that their year-long efforts have helped create three new areas with a total area of almost 2.2 million hectares – that’s just over half the size of the Netherlands. The pristine wilderness of the Kytalyk National Park in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the main nesting place for the critically endangered Siberian crane population. The Tokinsko-Stanovoy National Park in the Amur basin helps protect mountain forests and alpine tundra as well as supports the ways of life of the Evenki indigenous communities. And the establishment of the Samurskiy National Park in the Caucasus, home to a Persian leopard reintroduction programme and distinctive coastal liana forests, also took strong account of the needs of local people.

© naturepl.com / Andy Rouse / WWF

Positive news for iconic species

Protecting iconic species like mountain gorillas, facing risks ranging from habitat loss to poaching, can have broader positive impacts on people and nature in the places where they live. So we are pleased to report an increase in mountain gorilla numbers in their central African homeland. There are now 1,063 living in the wild – further good news for the species, which last year was reclassified from Critically Endangered to Endangered in recognition of its ongoing recovery. We are part of a partnership striving to protect mountain gorilla, which still faces many threats, and to ensure local communities benefit from their survival. In recent months, another iconic species, the tiger, has shown signs of recovery in India and Nepal as the WWF-backed Tx2 partnership across 13 tiger-range states strives to double wild tiger numbers by 2022.