WWF's latest conservation wins | May | WWF
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Our latest conservation wins

© WWF-US / Keith Arnold

Working for a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

It’s hard to think right now beyond the tragic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. But now is the time to act if we are to deliver a recovery that benefits people and nature – rather than one that results in yet more inequality and environmental destruction. WWF is playing a leading role in calling for such a green and just recovery from the pandemic. Our recommendations, published last month, are now being widely used by policymakers across the EU, while the petition we launched with partners has already been signed by over 300,000 citizens and backed by 95 NGOs from 19 countries. We’re also an active supporter of the Green Recovery Alliance, which was launched in the European Parliament – helping to shape its powerful messages on the need for climate and nature action as well as bringing business and financial leaders on board. So far, more than 50 CEOs from the banking and insurance sector, together with business associations, NGOs and think tanks, have joined the Alliance. Please read the blog, written by WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini, which looks at the deep links between the health of nature and humanity.

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Good news for world’s most endangered species group

Sturgeon have been around since the age of the dinosaurs but are now on the brink of extinction due to overfishing, a flourishing illegal trade in wild-caught sturgeon and their eggs (caviar) and the blocking of migratory routes by dams and other structures. So we’re pleased to announce some key steps forward in Europe’s Danube River as part of our global efforts to safeguard the world’s most endangered species group. One WWF-backed initiative involved releasing 300 juvenile Russian sturgeon to strengthen two highly endangered populations in the Danube, one of only two rivers in Europe where migrating sturgeon still reproduce naturally. In another innovative crowdfunding initiative, members of the public are being invited to donate money so that we can buy and release 15,000 beluga sturgeon. Both releases involve tagging the sturgeon with microchips to provide important information about the populations and their environment. Of course, much more needs to be done and so our work continues to protect key habitats and tackle the poaching of caviar. 

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Two Chinese cities join plastics pollution campaigns

It’s great to hear that the Chinese cities of Sanya and Yangzhou have joined our Plastic Smart Cities Initiative, meaning that a grand total of 21 cities globally have now pledged to eliminate plastic pollution by 2030. With people and wildlife around the world threatened by the eight million tonnes of plastic that end up in the oceans each year, cities have a key role to play given that an estimated 60 per cent of plastic marine debris comes from urban centres. However, we also need government action, which is why we are calling for a globally-binding agreement to end the plastics pollution crisis. Progress is being made, with European Commission recently joining a number of governments in pledging their support for such an agreement. And you too can help by signing our petition, which has already been backed by 1.75 million people around the world. Remember, plastic is a hazard to wildlife – but microplastics are also finding their way into the human food system, which is a cause for concern for all of us.

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Boost for future of Peruvian Amazon

Each year, more than 120,000 hectares of forests disappear in the Peruvian Amazon due to causes ranging from agricultural expansion to mining. A new initiative, with the support of WWF-Peru, seeks to tackle this problem in the Tahuamanu province of Peru’s Madre de Dios department, where 12,000 hectares of forest – home to indigenous peoples, including those who wish to remain isolated, and incredible species such as the jaguar and tapir – are lost each year. Currently, 10 cattle producers are taking part in the pilot, implementing sustainable practices that encourage healthier soils on their farms – helping to increase productivity and reduce pressures on the forests. “As a technical ally of the initiative, we seek to promote the integrity, transparency and participation of the authorities, producers and citizens of Madre de Dios. In this way, we hope to increase the positive impact and be able to scale this pilot in order to implement good practices in other cattle raising farms,” said María Eugenia Arroyo, Monitoring Specialist for WWF-Peru.

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Helping people understand biodiversity’s vital importance

There needs to be a rich variety of life – biodiversity – on our shared planet if nature is to continue providing us with essentials ranging from fresh air and clean water to healthy soil and nutritious foods. Complex interactions between this rich web of life make all this possible so we grasped the opportunity to raise awareness about how everything’s connected during the International Week of Biodiversity (18-22 May). We invited people around the world to get involved in a variety of ways – from a Facebook watch party for the incredible WWF-backed Netflix Our Planet series, which shows how many natural wonders are under threat, to an Insta Live conversation with some of those who helped bring the series to life. People were also invited to share their biodiversity-related videos, join a photo competition, take part in a live quiz, and much more. In more good news, our awareness-raising efforts have been boosted by the international awards that recognize excellence on the Internet. A Webby Award went to ourplanet.com, which has given people around the world insights into the issues raised by the Our Planet series.