Conservation Highlights
June 2015
Recent achievements and challenges in WWF’s work to protect
biodiversity and reduce humanity’s footprint in priority areas of the
global conservation programme
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF’s Earth Hour started in Sydney in 2007 as a citizen action
to protest against climate change and a call for urgent action.
Earth Hour is now the world’s largest mass participation
environmental initiative, active in over 7,000 cities and 160
countries, and is now a platform to mobilise action on climate and
other environmental priorities.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Earth Hour takes climate challenge
In the build up to the year end climate
summit in Paris to agree a global climate
deal that avoids the worst consequences
of climate change, Earth Hour 2015 took
up the climate challenge supported by UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and
many leaders and celebrities. Over 70
countries took climate change actions.
© Jiri Rezak / WWF-UK
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Andy Murray backs WWF’s Earth Hour
Andy Murray, Scottish tennis player and
WWF global ambassador, is an Earth
Hour supporter. WWF’s Earth Hour is a
simple but powerful idea,” he said, “a
global moment to show we care about our
brilliant planet and want to protect the
amazing people and wildlife that depend
on it.”
© AP
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF’s Global Ocean Campaign calls for the protection of vital
marine habitats for food security, livelihoods and sustainable
development. The flagship campaign action is to save the Great
Barrier Reef from the threat to dump seabed waste from port
dredging within the GBR World Heritage Site.
“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the planet’s richest ocean
habitats, home to endangered species, a valuable economic asset
for Australia, and a natural treasure for the whole world” said
WWF-International Director General Marco Lambertini.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Save the iconic Great Barrier Reef
Dredging for port expansion within
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) could
cause severe damage according to a new
WWF report, smothering corals and
threatening marine life. WWF calls for a
ban on all dumping of dredged material
within the entire GBR World Heritage Site.
© Xanthe Rivett/CAFNEC/WWF-Australia
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Australia denies Great Barrier Reef’s dire decline
An Australian Government report to
UNESCO in January portrays the Great
Barrier Reef (GBR) as being in good
condition and fails to acknowledge the
serious decline of the GBR’s health -despite scientific evidence of decreases
in marine species and a 50% decline in
coral cover.
© National Geographic Stock /Steve Winter / WWF
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF launched a campaign in 2011-12 to address a massive
escalation in illegal killing and trade of threatened species such
as elephants, rhino and tiger. The campaign showed
governments that wildlife crime is serious and must be addressed
effectively and urgently for the sake of wildlife, their habitats,
sustainable economic development and national security.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Asian countries commit to stop wildlife poaching
Asian governments have committed to
stamp out poaching at a landmark meeting
in Nepal on how to protect their wildlife.
Inspired by Nepal’s success in achieving
zero poaching, 13 countries agreed key
actions including improved cooperation
plus adoption of a zero poaching toolkit.
© WWF / James Morgan
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Campaign to reduce Thai ivory trade goes viral
Over a million people have joined an antiivory campaign in Thailand - Chor Chang
Can Save Elephants. People are
protesting the killing of elephants for ivory
by symbolically removing the letter ‘Chor
Chang’ – a common letter in the Thai
lalphabet similar to ‘e for elephant’ – from
their names.
© Frederick J. Weyerhaeuser / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF supports and organizes different campaigns aimed to
stop degradation of natural habitats and raise awareness on
hot environmental issues.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Oil exploration in Virunga remains a threat
The BBC reported in March that the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is
seeking to alter the boundaries of Virunga
National Park, a World Heritage Site, to
allow oil exploration. WWF urges the
Committee to maintain full protection of
global treasures such as Virunga.
© Brent Stirton / Reportage by Getty Images / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Opposition increases to controversial Mekong dam
More than 250,000 people signed a
petition calling for a halt to Laos’ Don
Sahong dam on the Mekong River. By
blocking fish migration, the dam
threatens the world’s largest inland
fishery on which 60 mill people depend.
WWF calls for independent studies of
impacts and sustainable alternatives.
© WWF-Cambodia
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Efforts underway to save world’s smallest porpoise
The Mexican government is taking action
to protect the 100 remaining vaquita, the
world’s smallest porpoise, threatened by
being trapped in gillnets used for
catching shrimp. The gillnets will be
phased out and US$36 million provided
annually to compensate fishers for lost
income and boost conservation efforts.
© Thomas A. Jefferson
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF’s “Year of the Tiger” campaign in 2010 was central to
mobilizing global efforts to save the tiger. With many partners,
WWF helped shape both the global strategy to double tiger
numbers and the national plans in the tiger range states. The first
results are encouraging.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Report finds India’s tigers are roaring back
A new survey of India’s tiger population
shows intensive conservation efforts are
working: Tigers have increased from 1,411
in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014. Key to success
are improved tiger reserves, undisturbed
and connected core habitats, and protection
of tigers and their prey from poaching.
© Martin Harvey / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Video gives hope for restoring tigers to China
A video of a tiger family shows wild Amur
tigers are returning to China. The images
captured by a WWF camera trap in
northern China, 30km from the Russian
border, inspire efforts to establish a
breeding tiger population in China where WWF has helped reintroduce tiger
prey and restore habitat.
© Vladimir Flonov / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Road plans threaten Cambodian tiger reintroduction
WWF has called for the cancellation of a
planned road that would cut through 36km
of Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Protected
Forest. The forest is the proposed site for
tiger reintroduction which would
strengthen conservation efforts and
support tourism with revenues to benefit
local communities.
© Nick Cox / WWF_Greater Mekong Programme
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF’s biodiversity meta-goal is to ensure the integrity of the
most outstanding natural places on Earth. This includes the
protection of biodiversity in high conservation priority areas, and
restoring populations of those species with the highest
ecological, economic and cultural value.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
New survey shows increase in wild panda numbers
The wild giant panda population has
increased by 268 over the last decade to
1,864, and their range has expanded.
WWF says this shows the value of
establishing panda reserves to protect
habitat, benefit other species, and secure
the forests and watersheds that service
the Yangtze River.
© Michel Gunther / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Signs of recovery for Amur leopard
The number of Amur leopards, perhaps
the world’s rarest wild cat, has doubled
since 2007. From just 30, new data
shows at least 57 leopards in Russia using 10,000 images from camera traps
across 500,000 ha - and up to 12
leopards across the river in China.
© WWF-Russia / ISUNR
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Court victory saves historic Doñana National Park
After a 15 year battle, Spain's Supreme
Court has ruled against plans to dredge
a 90 km shipping channel in Doñana
National Park, one of Europe’s most
important wetlands. A World Heritage
and Ramsar site, Doñana shelters over
six million migratory birds.
© Jorge Sierta / WWF-Spain
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
South Africa battles rhino killers
South Africa continues to lose rhino to
aggressive poaching by criminal gangs
- 1,215 rhinos were killed in 2014, 21%
more than 2013. South Africa is home
to 80% of the world’s rhino. WWF
commended the efforts of the rangers
risking their lives to protect vulnerable
© WWF-South Africa
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
WWF’s second meta-goal is to reduce humankind’s Ecological
Footprint so that we live within the renewable resource limits of
our planet. This builds on strong foundations and targets
humanity’s carbon, commodity and water footprints which have
the greatest impact on biodiversity.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Europe issues warning on illegal fishing
The European Commission has issued
warnings to 17 states worldwide for not
complying with strict new EU fisheries
rules aimed at combatting illegal,
unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing - a major cause of overfishing. Sanctions
include bans on importing fish to the EU.
© Francois Xavier Pelletier / WWF-Canon
© Paul Sunters / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Spain takes on pirate fishing
Spain has launched an investigation into
pirate fishing – known as illegal,
unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing
– which makes many fisheries
unsustainable. WWF applauds this
initiative, which links to European Union
(EU) rules to stop IUU fishing, and keep
illegally-caught fish out of the EU market.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Sustainable seafood increasingly on the menu
Demand for sustainable seafood is
increasing around the world, according to
an independent report commissioned by
the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
which questioned 9,000 people in 15
countries worldwide. A third of people
asked recognised the MSC Ecolabel.
© WWF / Elma Okic
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Asia’s first shrimp farm certified as sustainable
One of the biggest shrimp farms in
Vietnam, the world’s third largest shrimp
exporter, is the first in Asia to be certified
by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council
(ASC), the leading global programme for
responsibly farmed seafood. ASC sets
sustainability standards, protecting
wetlands and reducing pollution.
© Francois Xavier Pelletier / WWF-Canon
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Conservation gains for sharks and rays
Twenty-one species of shark and ray
have received international protection.
The Convention on Migratory Species
(CMS) committed to protect the reef
manta, nine varieties of devil ray, five
types of sawfish, all three species of
thresher shark, two types of
hammerhead, and the silky shark.
© Matt Garvey and Chris Gardner
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Efforts to increase uptake of sustainable palm oil
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
(RSPO) which promotes sustainability
across the oil palm industry, announced
member companies failing to meet
agreed targets will be expelled. While
20% of global palm oil is RSPO-certified,
buyers are failing to buy all the certified
palm oil, hampering further sustainability
© / Juan Carlos Munos / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
IKEA’s 2015 catalogue printed with FSC paper
The IKEA 2015 catalogue is the world’s
largest print production to be printed on
paper certified by the Forest Stewardship
Council (FSC). In 2014, 217 million copies
of the IKEA catalogue were printed in 32
languages. The catalogue also informs
customers that FSC stands for responsible
wood products from well-managed forests.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Local communities help restore an African nature jewel
Community-based efforts supported by
WWF are helping recover the 4,4 million
ha Dzanga-Sangha Protected Area
complex in the Central African Republic,
two years after civil war. Swift actions of
anti-poaching teams and neighbouring
communities, alerting authorities to
suspected poachers, are improving
security in the area.
© S. Demian / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Conservation methods support sustainable food production
International development NGO CARE
and WWF are helping communities
around Mozambique’s Primeiras &
Segundas protected area use
conservation methods to improve crop
yields and fish catches: Cassava harvests
are four times larger and no-take fishing
zones help increase fish numbers.
© WWF / Althea Skinner
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
The climate crisis tests WWF’s ability to leverage political
commitment across the planet at huge scale. WWF aims for a
legally-binding, science-based agreement that will equitably
address issues such as finance and vulnerable countries, while
achieving rapid emissions reductions that can limit global
average temperatures rising above 1,5°C, beyond which
catastrophic impacts are inevitable
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Climate talks waste opportunities as planet heats
WWF’s climate team leader Samantha
Smith said the 2014 climate summit in
Peru had failed to agree 2020 targets for
emission cuts, lacked clarity on funding
and overlooked vulnerable countries.
Smith urged governments to use 2015
summits to define actions and financing.
© Sandra Otoya / WWF-Peru
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
US$10 billion pledged to fight climate change
Contributions of US$10.2 billion were
pledged to the Green Climate Fund for
use by developing countries to reduce
carbon emissions and cope with
impacts. Created under the UN
Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC), the fund aims to
mobilize US$100 billion by 2020.
© Shutterstock / Pryzmat / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
India announces renewable energy commitments
India has announced major new
commitments on renewable energy,
including the world’s largest solar power
plant, to reduce dependence on fossil
fuels. The country’s share of renewable
energy is set to double from 6 to 15 per
cent of its electricity mix by 2020.
© Kevin Schafer / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
World’s largest home developer is WWF Climate Saver
China Vanke, the world’s largest housing
developer, has committed to reduce CO2
emissions by joining WWF’s Climate
Savers. Vanke will support transformation
of Chinese cities to low-carbon
development through green buildings,
solar heating and shared technology.
© WWF-China
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Arctic sea ice at record low
Arctic sea ice is reported to have shrunk
to the lowest winter extent ever recorded
- a major climate change impact - and
follows news that 2014 was the warmest
year since record keeping began. WWF is
helping identify and protect regions where
sea ice is predicted to last longest, to
support ice-dependent species such as
polar bears.
© / WWF
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
By highlighting champions for the environment, WWF recognises
their contribution and leadership, while profiling conservation
success and, above all, showing what can be achieved by
committed individuals who inspire others to take up the challenge
to secure a living planet.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Jared Leto becomes WWF Global Ambassador
Academy Award-winning actor, musician
and director Jared Leto has agreed to
become a WWF Global Ambassador
and focus attention on urgent
environmental issues facing our planet.
“I’m honoured to join with WWF and do
my part”, he said, participating in a rhino
translocation exercise in South Africa.
© Jennifer Bornello / WWF-US
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Top African musician champions renewable energy
Tanzanian musician Richard (Rich)
Mavoko is to champion WWF’s Solar for
Education (S4E) campaign, an initiative
to demonstrate how renewable energy
solutions can improve peoples’ lives.
Only 15 % of Tanzania’s 50 million
people have access to electricity, while
many use kerosene which is a health
© Laura George / WWF-Tanzania
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
On the Horizon looks at a couple of the important events and
developments coming up which WWF can use to progress
our conservation aims.
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
Environment is key focus in new development goals
United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon is calling for the environment
to be central in new global development
goals. The Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) will guide global
development over the next 15 years,
and prioritise investment in
© UN Photo / Evan Schneider
Conservation Highlights, June 2015
A crucial climate deal needed for the Earth’s future
The UN Climate Summit in Paris at year
end aims for a legally-binding agreement
on climate to cut emissions which limit
global temperature rise to less than 2°C
and avoids the worst impacts of climate
change. WWF calls for a fair agreement,
with adequate financing to limit global
temperature increase to less than 1,5°C.
© Rebecca Greenfield / WWF US
Thank you

Conservation Highlights May 2013