WWF: More than just an organization

Every single thing you do has an impact on the world we all share.

Every item you buy, every trip you take, every piece of mail you receive, and every bite of food you eat.

Consider all the decisions you make in a day. Now multiply those decisions by 6.7 billion, and imagine the effect of all those choices on the world around us.

The Worldwide Fund for Nature [WWF] knows that the future is man made.

WWF Advert: The Future is Man Made

This ad is just one of many from the creative and provocative advertising department at the World WWF, all designed to remind us that with every new development, we take away habitat and resources needed by the populations that share our planet: animals, plants, and, well, everything. The ads are part of a global initiative to draw attention to the ways we all hurt every living thing.

Where it begins, Where it will never end

What started in 1961 as a World Wildlife Fund for the preservation of endangered species has expanded into a €447-million international organization that—according to its website—runs more than 11,000 conservation projects in more than 100 countries. The goal? To preserve animal and plant species in all habitats and to minimize the negative impacts people have on the environment.

How will they do this?

By changing the way we think, in a universal way.

How much water does it take to make one latte? Check out this video to find out how changing the way we think will affect our world.

The WWF uses television, print, and online advertising to get the message across the world that only a global sweep of changes to individual behavior will stop the effects of global warming and habitat degradation. With advertising and educational efforts, the WWF has created an international community online dedicated to changing how people interact with their environment. Online campaigns encourage individuals from all countries to join in petitions that may otherwise have been beyond their reach.

The WWF focuses on four primary efforts:

●   Conservation, efforts and projects (like preserving the habitats of tigers, which I will cover in a later post).

●   Lobbying governments worldwide to implement environmentally-friendly legislation.

●   Working with business partners to make their practices more sustainable.

●   Forming partners with like-minded governments, businesses, communities, and individuals.

But that’s all corporate public relations gibberish… What do they really do?

Well, here are just a few of their projects:

●   Preserving sea turtles in KwaZulu Natal: In an effort to monitor and preserve the sea turtle population, scientists and volunteers patrol the Maputaland coastline in South Africa during nesting season to protect nesting turtles and tag individual animals.

●   Conservation and Eco-tourism in Cambodia’s Srepok Wilderness: The WWF has worked with local communities to implement conservation measures and develop tourism based on low environmental impact activities like bird watching and hiking.

●   Changing agricultural methods in Maramures, Romania: WWF partnered with and funded local farmers to graze cattle in a sustainable fashion in mountain habitats, leading to sustainable grazing and meat production.

●   Encouraging businesses to change their practices: Partnerships with international companies like Coca Cola encourage businesses to reduce their carbon output and increase their water-use efficiency.

And funding for those projects makes up more than 50% of the WWF’s annual expenditures.

According to the WWF’s website, administrative fees and funding for its more than 4,000 employees make up only 9% of their annual budget. The rest of the money goes toward fundraising, awareness, education, and policy-making.

Think of it this way: if you donate $100, an animal, a rural farmer, or a conservation action will receive $50 of your money, so you know that you’re contributing directly to efforts to save our planet’s biodiversity.

How to Help

The WWF not only accepts donations on its website, but also encourages concerned individuals to participate in online actions, volunteer at a local office, practice sustainable living, or even plant a seed.

But the best way to help is by making permanent changes to your lifestyle:

WWF Advert: Stop Climate Change Before it Changes You

You can learn even more about WWF by visiting wwf.panda.org, or tuning in to The Socially Conscious Blog in the coming weeks for more posts featuring WWF initiatives.

WWF Advert: Imagine This is Yours

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