Many people think that WWF is only concerned with saving animals. But people are central to our work; it's impossible to separate the well-being of people from the protection of nature. A future in which humans live and prosper in harmony with nature is WWF’s vision. It’s what distinguishes us from other environmental non-government organisations.
Poverty and the environment are closely linked. Both WWF-Australia and the Australian Government's overseas aid program (managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)) appreciate that the poorest people are often the most vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation and that climate change now threatens to worsen their problems.
DFAT and WWF-Australia have worked together since 1994. WWF-Australia holds "Full" level DFAT accreditation under its Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). The rigorous accreditation process provides a high level of assurance that DFAT is funding a professional, well-managed, effective, community-based organisation capable of delivering development outcomes on the ground.
WWF-Australia is also a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct and is committed to adhering to the high standards of corporate governance, public accountability and financial management it sets out for NGOs. Our suite of policies demonstrate WWF's strong commitment to effective, inclusive, sustainable development.
OUR CURRENT PROJECTS
WWF currently works with DFAT to improve the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea by developing sustainable fisheries and projects that provide economic empowerment to women (known as ‘women’s financial inclusion projects’). These projects focus on improving the livelihoods and food security of communities around Ghizo and the Kolombangara Islands, in the Solomon Islands, and in the Madang Lagoon and North Coast Region of the Madang Province in PNG.
In these regions we are co-managing sustainable community-based fisheries. Through community-based microfinance schemes we are also working to empower local women who sell fish to expand their livelihood opportunities.
Why is it important?
Around the world, 70% of people living in poverty rely on natural resources for their livelihoods, so a healthy, functioning environment is crucial to their well-being. Working with struggling communities can therefore be the key to improving natural resource management.
The new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) create both an opportunity and an obligation to drive socially responsible conservation. Sustainable development has been defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
The SDGs call for action by all countries — poor, rich and middle class — to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. The goals recognise that ending poverty has to go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth, address social needs, tackle climate change and protect the environment.
Ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss are threatening human well-being, and poorer populations are more directly and disproportionately at risk. Gaps in wealth and social exclusion is increasing, and so are local conflicts over natural resources.
WWF can’t succeed in conserving nature unless we bring people with us. This means creating a more equitable and economically secure society in which our initiatives deliver positive outcomes for both nature and people.
WWF’s vision is literally reflected in the vision of the SDGs — “a world in which humans live in harmony with nature”.