Safeguarding the natural world
We're all part of the natural world. How often do we think about that?
Even if you feel a bit detached from 'nature' day-to-day (when you're not watching David Attenborough films), the truth is we all depend on what nature provides - fresh air to breathe, water to drink, food, fuel, raw materials for all the things we need. (Even most 'man-made' products have natural origins.)
So that's why WWF's work isn't just about saving endangered tigers and pandas - crucial though we believe that is. It's about creating a sustainable relationship with our one and only planet.
The uncomfortable reality is that a lot of the damage done to the natural world in recent times has been mainly because of pressures from people - especially the increasing demand for natural resources.
The consequences have been really worrying. Did you know:
- nearly a quarter of the world's mammal species and a third of all amphibians are at risk of extinction
- every year an area of forest the size of England is lost - that's not only bad for forest wildlife and communities, but increases climate change
- freshwater wildlife has declined about 30% in 30 years
- 40 million tonnes of bycatch (including 300,000 marine mammals) are caught and killed accidentally each year.
Around the world, WWF is working with a wide range of partners in business, government and local communities to create sustainable solutions that take account of the needs of both people and nature.
Protecting the world's species and their habitats is at the heart of our mission to conserve the Earth's biodiversity, and was the prime reason for WWF's foundation in 1961.
Forests contain as much as 90% of the world's land-based biodiversity - from charismatic mammals like great apes, tigers and pandas to millions of kinds of plants. To conserve species in the wild, we need to look after their habitats.
Without water there would be no life on Earth. Freshwater ecosystems - rivers, wetlands, lakes and aquifers - clean and store the water that's essential for people and wildlife.
Some 250 million people earn their living from fishing. Up to 70% of the world's population relies on fish as their primary source of protein. More than 90% of trade is carried by ship – but less than 1% of the world’s seas are protected.