The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the world’s leading conservation organization—striving to conserve both habitats and wildlife. An overarching giant, the WWF has over 5 million members worldwide. Over one-fifth of those members are in the United States.
The WWF was first started in 1961, when several conservation group leaders came together with the aim of raising more funds to support the conservation movement on a worldwide scale. Its first president was H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
Among the 51-year-old organization’s great accomplishments are projects like the establishment of Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park, 103,000 acres located on the Osa Peninsula containing 13 major habitat types.
The WWF has dedicated itself to the preservation of nature and all its creatures, and its main mission is to help create a world where humans and nature can live in harmony with each other. The WWF has also focused on science, working to develop more innovative approaches to advance conservation. Using biology, hydrology, oceanography, and the social science, the WWF seeks to produce effective programs and results.
The WWF-U.S. leg of the organization is currently led by President/CEO Carter Roberts, who has been a member since 2004. The nonprofit has made valuable partnerships with corporations and humanitarian organizations, as well as marketing partnerships to garner public awareness and revenue for conservation.
Currently, the WWF is pursuing conservation of 15 of the world’s most ecologically important regions. They hope to accomplish this by 2020 by taking the following steps, taken from the WWF website:
1. Protect/restore species and their habitats
2. Strengthen local communities’ ability to conserve natural resources
3. Transform markets/policies to reduce the impact of production & the consumption of commodities
4. Ensure that the value of nature is reflected in decisions made by individuals, communities, governments, and businesses
5. Mobilize hundreds of millions of people to support conservation