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WWF UK: defending nature and reversing climate change

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The aim of WWF is to fight against the degradation of the environment through conservation and awareness raising throughout the world. Currently, thousands of volunteers mobilise every day to act in favour of the planet, protect the environment, do their part to reverse climate change, and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.


What is the WWF?

Founded in 1961, the WWF is today one of the largest NGOs (non-governmental organisations) for the protection and conservation of the environment in the world. The WWF is present in over 100 countries, including in the UK.

Its aim is to reconcile human development and the preservation of the environment. For this, the organisation tries to raise awareness about the impact of human activities on the environment and global warming.

Who founded the WWF?

The WWF was founded by Luc Hoffmann, Julian Huxley, Max Nicholson, Peter Scott and Victor Stolan- five men whose goal was to change the way we interact with the environment, and make the world a better place.

What does WWF stand for?The WWF, previously the World Wildlife Fund, in 1986 became the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Where did the WWF panda logo come from?

The organisation has, perhaps, one of the most identifiable logos in the world - the giant panda. The inspiration for the logo came from a giant panda called Chi Chi who lived at London Zoo in the same year WWF was founded. It was agreed by the founders of the organisation that the logo needed to appeal on a worldwide level - breaking down language barriers and other cultural issues. Therefore, they decided a big, furry animal with appealing black eyes would be a good choice.

Sir Peter Scott, one of WWF’s founders, was also a talented painter and was responsible for designing the first logo. While it has changed in style over the past five decades, the giant panda’s distinctive features remain a key part of the logo.

What does the WWF do?

WWF began focusing on the protection of animals, but as the world has become more aware of the impacts of climate change, it has branched out and works across a whole range of issues. These include:

protecting the environment
  1. Putting nature first: As well as campaigning to raise awareness of the protection of animals, WWF also works towards stopping deforestation, restorating forests and river flows, protecting the world’s oceans, and creating green corridors for wildlife to thrive.
  2. Making the food production process sustainable: According to WWF, food production accounts for 60% of the planet’s biodiversity loss. That’s why it is doing work to ensure the whole process becomes more environmentally friendly such as collaborating with companies such as Sodexo and Knorr to increase consciousness of more plant-based foods.
  3. Tackling the climate crisis: WWF works with the UK government on bringing forward policies to help reduce the nation’s carbon emissions. Examples of projects it is involved with across the country include promoting the increase of wind farms around the Scottish coast as a way to harness more renewable energy.
  4. Ensure habitats and species thrive: the final part of the core work carried out by WWF is to ensure habitats and the species that live in them continue to thrive. Across the world, animal habitats and ecosystems are being destroyed, whether that is due to cutting down trees in the rainforest or plastic waste being dumped in the ocean. WWF works with governments across the world to ensure policies are in place to protect habitats, and to ban activities that put animals under threat, such as ivory poaching.

Protecting and maintaining biodiversity.

Every day, human activities destroy the environment a little more (deforestation, unsustainable agriculture, desertification, etc.). Climate change and its multiple consequences on biodiversity are evidence of this:

  • Affected ecosystems;
  • Rising sea levels;
  • Decreased agricultural production;
  • Increased health risks;
  • Increase in climatic events.

The example of the Great Barrier ReefClimate change, by provoking an increase in the average temperature of the upper layers of water of the oceans, has provoked numerous episodes of coral bleaching, especially in 2016 and 2017. In fact, when waters remain warm for too long, corals bleach and die, which provokes an alteration in the ecosystem.

WWF against plastic pollution

One of the main battles of WWF is the fight against plastic pollution. Each year, over 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans and, according to a study by the University of Newcastle, we ingest nearly 5 grams of plastic each week.

The vast majority of plastics are single-use plastics which then become waste. In fact, only about 9% of plastic waste in the world is recycled.

Micro plastics, the small particles from plastic residue spread throughout the environment, especially in oceans, threaten human and marine health. For this reason, it is essential to make way for a future without plastic: reducing the production of plastic, the progressive elimination of single-use plastic and by recycling plastic.

Reducing your environmental footprint with WWF

ecological footprint

To limit global warming, WWF is raising awareness with regards to reducing one’s environmental footprint. This starts with small and simple daily actions, both at home and at work, in cities or in the countryside. These are just some of the things we can all do to reduce our damaging impact on the environment:

  • Eating a healthier diet: by cutting down on meat products and buying locally sourced food;
  • Optimising energy usage: switch to a green energy provider, turn off lights when they are not needed, switch of electronic items such as computers and televisions rather than leaving them on standby, switching to LED light bulbs;
  • Encouraging sustainable movement: such as walking or cycling to work rather than using the car, using public transport where possible, car-sharing, taking a boat or train instead of aeroplane;
  • Reducing waste: get into the habit of recycling at home - there are many items that can be recycled, including plastics, clothing, and glass;
  • Avoiding water waste: by using run off water from baths or showers to water plants, collect rainwater and use it in the garden etc.

WWF carbon footprint calculator UK

In the same way Selectra uses a carbon footprint calculator allowing users to analyse the impact their actions have on the environment and make the necessary changes to improve, WWF offers individuals the possibility to calculate their environmental footprint in equivalent CO2 per year.

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How many tonnes of CO2 do you emit each year?

Discover the impact and amount of carbon to offset in less than 5".

Go to the quiz

The calculator consists of a questionnaire containing areas such as eating habits, transport and travel, home energy use and appliances, consumer habits such as spending on clothing and shoes, etc. Once completed, you are given a score as a percentage of how you compare to the UK average in terms of carbon emissions, as well as the number of tonnes of CO2 you are likely to have emitted over the past 12 months, based on the answers provided.

What is the difference between carbon and environmental footprint?Carbon footprint relates to the impact of human activities on the environment, whilst the environmental footprint is defined as the pressure humans place on the Earth’s biocapacity in order to satisfy their needs.

In 2021, Earth Overshoot Day took place on the 29th of July. It is the date from which the environmental footprint overtakes the planet’s biocapacity. According to the Global Footprint Network, we would need 1.7 planets to maintain all the humans on Earth.

WWF UK: How to contact them?

WWF in the UK has many ways to contact them. The best place to start is the website, which has the option to chat with a member of the support team online. There is also information to contact them via telephone, email, and by post. In addition, the organisation is also present on social media including WWF Twitter, WWF Facebook, and WWF Instagram.

Should you need to visit in person, please be patient - due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the offices in England, Scotland, and Wales are closed to members of the public.

There are already more than 5 million people around the world defending nature with WWF!

Become a member of WWF

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