WWF and AusAID

Poverty and the environment are closely linked. Both WWF-Australia and the Australian Government's overseas aid program managed by AusAID recognise that the poorest people are often the most vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation (such as forests, fisheries and water degradation) and that climate change now threatens to worsen these problems and set back progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Globally, 70% of people living in poverty rely on natural resources for their livelihoods, so a healthy, functioning environment is fundamental to people’s well-being. Working with poor people can be the key to better management of natural resources.

Climate change in particular will affect the poorest and most vulnerable people the hardest – the very people least responsible for the problem.

Working together

AusAID and WWF-Australia have worked together since 1994 to:
  • address the environmental concerns that matter to the poor
  • ensure poverty is reduced sustainably
  • achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDG 7, the goal which aims to ensure environmental sustainability.

WWF-Australia is accredited by AusAID through their Australian NGO Cooperation Program and our current agreement started in April 2009. The accreditation process provides AusAID and the Australian public with confidence that where the Australian Government provides grants to Australian NGOs to implement their own aid and development programs, it is funding professional, well-managed, community-based organisations capable of delivering good development outcomes. Under the agreement, AusAID is contributing $150,000 per annum to WWF-Australia programs which aim to reduce poverty in the Asia Pacific and improve on a sustainable basis environmental and natural resource governance - including soils, water, fisheries, habitat and forests; at community, regional, national and international levels.

Our work aims to strengthen environmental governance to ensure positive environmental impacts and improve the well-being of people – especially poor and marginalised groups.

Environmental governance refers to the ways in which resources are allocated, how decisions that impact on the environment are made, and other political processes that relate to environmental goods and services. Striving for good environmental governance requires WWF to work on some of the main global challenges we face today, including poverty, climate change, consumption, trade and economic growth.
Children taking advantage of newly built water pump in the village of Karikkattukuppam in India, ... / ©: Yoshi Shimizu / WWF-Canon
Children taking advantage of newly built water pump in the village of Karikkattukuppam in India, Asia.
© Yoshi Shimizu / WWF-Canon