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The World Wildlife Fund and Global Poverty

The World Wildlife Fund is one of the most recognizable organizations in the world, working in over 80 countries with more than 5 million members and 2,500 staff. It has a long and illustrious history, involving members as powerful as Prince Phillip from the earliest days of its foundation. The World Wildlife Fund, or WWF as it is more commonly known, was created in 1961 in response to a dire shortage in funding towards conservation issues. At any given moment, the WWF is said to be running 1,300 projects, cooperating with other powerful agencies like the UN, USAID and the World Bank.

The organization’s current practice is focusing on the preservation of species that are important to humankind (e.g. elephants, tuna, whales, dolphins) as well as working to reducing countries’ ecological footprints. (This is a measure of an impact on the environment through commercial activities, like carbon emissions from factories, fishing, forestry and water treatment.)

They also maintain a significant level of outreach to the public by educating on endangered species, environmental degradation, pollution and the state of the planet by aggressively promoting and publishing articles and factsheets. They also offer individuals many opportunities to get involved, not only through donation but also through campaigns, pledges, tips for greener living and adopt-an-animal programs. They are a highly active and interactive organization, attempting to harness public power as well as directing their own considerable influence.

Organizations such as the WWF are integral in the alleviation of poverty. Though it is not a link that is immediately recognizable, sustaining a healthy environment is necessary to provide the world’s population food, shelter and water.

For many in the developed world, conservation is somewhat distanced from our everyday lives; living, as we do, in an urbanized environment, we get our food from supermarkets, we live in concrete houses, we work in the third sector and the weather is largely inconsequential to us. Yet for many, subsistence farming is their only source of food, droughts and floods are a matter of life and death and disturbances in the delicate balance of nature have an immediate and devastating impact on their daily lives.

– Farahnaz Mohammed

Sources: WWF, The Guardian
Photo: WWF