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The Annual Report

© Bluebottle Films / WWF-Aus; © WWF Central Kalimantan; © WWF-Australia and WWF

Together possible

We believe there is no better time to be working in conservation. Together, we find ourselves at a defining moment, full of opportunity, to create a sustainable planet.


To build a world in which we live and prosper in harmony with nature.


A world where plants, animals, oceans and the places we love flourish. A world where our food is secure and our climate is stable.


We have the power to create a safe and vibrant future for us all.


Together, it’s possible.

© WWF-Aus / Kerry Trapnell

© WWF-Aus / Kerry Trapnell

President & CEO Message

June 30, 2016 marked the conclusion of a successful year for WWF-Australia and the last year of our FY12-FY16 strategic plan. We have increased our conservation spend by 41% over the five years, from $11.6m in FY11 to $16.4m in FY16. This is a reflection of our growing and generous supporters and partners. We are proud that WWF-Australia now has a supporter community of 900,000 individuals and that this year, we were the only environmental NGO to feature in the top 20 of Australia’s Most Reputable Charities.*


The year started with a strong outcome for the Great Barrier Reef. We mobilised millions of people across Australia and around the world to secure a decision by the World Heritage Committee to place the Australian Government firmly on ‘probation’ until the health of the Reef improves.

© WWF-Aus / Dermot O’Gorman

© WWF-Aus / Dermot O’Gorman

The momentum behind clean technology and climate change solutions continues to build. On the global stage, WWF played an important and constructive role in delivering a binding agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. At home, we worked with partners to bring more than 100,000 Australians from all walks of life together and onto the streets in a visible show of support, and celebrated the ‘Places We Love’ for Earth Hour. And in our office, we launched our new ‘zero-carbon hub’ for start-ups.


Market transformation work with industry remains a key focus for WWF. In Australia our business partners continue to transform their supply chains in powerful ways. John West Australia, for example, achieved MSC certification across its entire skipjack tuna range. That’s 43% of the Australian canned tuna market (or 100 million cans each year!) that is now independently certified as sustainable.


Our on-ground wildlife conservation programs continued to grow throughout the year. As part of our new five-year plan we have increased our commitment to wildlife conservation with a goal to save 21 threatened species by 2021.


This year also marked the retirement of Directors Dr Dedee Woodside and Mr Paul Harris. We want to thank them both for their valued contribution and welcome Professor Chris Dickman to the Board.


Conservation is a team effort and we would like to take this opportunity to thank supporters, partners, Governors, staff and the Board for their continued support of this wonderful organisation. Together, we will continue to strive to build a world in which we live and prosper in harmony with nature.


© Fredrik Christiansen / Murdoch University

A green turtle swims off Heron Island Research Station, Queensland, Australia © WWF / James Morgan

© WWF / James Morgan



To truly create a world where humans can live and prosper in harmony with nature, WWF-Australia developed six conservation goals. Overall, they will ensure we deliver our Impact Goals for Sustainable Development.


Conservation Highlights

Build a sustainable future

On 25 September 2015, 193 member countries of the United Nations voted unanimously to adopt a new Sustainable Development Agenda, which has at its core 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the next 15 years, these new SDGs will require and empower all countries and all sectors of society, to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and reverse environmental degradation.


The SDGs recognize that the environmental, economic and social elements of sustainable development are interconnected and mutually dependent. Ending poverty can only be achieved through strategies that build economic growth, address social needs, tackle climate change and protect the environment. The aims of the SDGs are succinctly expressed in WWF’s global mission to “build a future in which people live in harmony with nature”.


As WWF-Australia embarks on the next ambitious phase of its conservation mission with the launch of a new 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, we have embraced the SDG framework for delivering socially responsible and economically viable conservation and aligned our own conservation Impact Goals for Sustainable Development with this new global agenda.


Through science, consultation, partnerships and working with our supporter community, we are determined and optimistic about building a sustainable future for Australia and for the planet.


Together it is possible.

  • End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

  • Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.

  • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

  • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

  • Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

  • Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Barracudas swimming © Ocean Ark Alliance

© Ocean Ark Alliance

Conservation Highlights


WWF-Australia’s work to protect our marine life extends from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, to the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal and island communities of the Pacific.


Our work spans hard-hitting campaigns to stop outdated practices and secure protections for species; cutting-edge conservation science and technology partnerships; and sustainable development programs focused on healthy communities, healthy economies and a healthy environment.

Protect Our Marine Life


In October 2015, we finally saw the practice of dumping millions of tonnes of dredge spoil from industrial developments banned from the waters of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Previously, around 50 million tonnes of mud, rock and sand were set to be dumped in the Reef’s waters to facilitate massive coal and gas developments along the coast.


For more than a century, dumping huge amounts of dredge spoil in Reef waters was the norm, but the joint WWF/Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) Fight for the Reef campaign helped inspire a global campaign that nally ended this outdated and damaging practice.


Signi cant progress was also made to ensure the major industrial Reef ports are constrained to their established footprints, that ports management is at World Heritage standard and that ships which fail seaworthiness or seamanship safeguards are prevented from entering Reef ports.


The importance of taking these actions was reinforced by the catastrophic coral bleaching event that hit the Great Barrier Reef from late February to May 2016. This event was the worst in the Reef’s history and resulted in the death of an estimated 22% of the corals in the GBR World Heritage Area, with the majority of the impact occurring in the northern section, previously the healthiest section of the Reef.

Black-flanked rock-wallaby banner video background © WWF-Aus / Simon Cherriman

© WWF-Aus / Simon Cherriman

Conservation Highlights


Our planet is experiencing the highest rate of species extinction since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the historic rate with literally dozens going extinct every day. In Australia, more than 1,780 threatened plant and animal species are currently listed under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Thanks to geographic isolation, many of our plants and animals are unique to Australia – which means their future is entirely in our hands.


WWF’s vital work to save threatened species in Australia and Asia-Pacific involves working at three levels to effect change: delivering eld-based solutions, transforming markets and business, and influencing policy. We also know that winning the battle against extinction requires teamwork, so we partner with a wide range of not-for-profit, government, community and corporate partners to protect our precious plants and animals.

Save threatened species


Efforts by WWF-Australia and the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife over several years have seen the black-flanked rock-wallaby population in the WA Wheatbelt  flourish. In May 2016, we undertook one of the most significant projects to date. Our team captured and airlifted 23 rock-wallabies from the Wheatbelt to Kalbarri National Park to establish what will one day become a large and important population.


All animals were radio collared so they could be tracked upon release, and they have been doing remarkably well with only one known death due to misadventure. This bodes very well for a successful translocation, and WWF-Australia staff  will continue to be involved in monitoring these animals.


This translocation was made possible thanks to the valuable financial support WWF receives from corporate partners and donors. We are now working towards another translocation of rock-wallabies to Kalbarri in 2017.

Planet Earth from space © European Space Agency

© European Space Agency; © Ocean Ark Alliance

Conservation Highlights


This year was a critical one for action to avoid dangerous climate change, with world leaders, including Australia, reaching a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution – the Paris Agreement. Signed by Australia in April 2016, the Agreement includes a goal to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and pursue a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This goal is critical if we are to save the species and places we love, such as the Great Barrier Reef.


The Paris Agreement is a recognition that the world has fundamentally changed and for the first time is united on a common pathway toward a safer climate. It is an acknowledgement of the need to limit pollution from fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewable energy.


In the lead-up to the signing of the Agreement by Australia, WWF-Australia played a lead role in building momentum among Australian people, businesses and decision-makers. We coordinated the Sydney People’s Climate March, held in November 2015, and across the Sydney and Melbourne marches we helped create the largest climate marches in the world.


WWF also worked with the Carbon Disclosure Project, United Nations Global Compact and Ernst & Young to host a business summit to send a clear message that business wanted a strong global climate agreement. Multiple businesses signed up to a range of climate leadership commitments, including setting emission reduction targets based on science. Working with our international colleagues, WWF-Australia was critical in engaging and influencing key decision- makers to develop solutions to shape key elements of the Paris Agreement.

Create a low carbon future


WWF launched Earth Hour in Sydney in 2007 and in 2016 it was celebrated in nearly 180 countries. In Australia this year we engaged people around the theme ‘Places We Love’. Earth Hour worked with Network 10’s Amanda Duval to produce a stunning documentary exploring the impacts of climate change on some of Australia’s much- loved natural places, and people all over Australia sent us photos of their favourite places they want to protect from climate change. Thousands of people and hundreds of schools and councils held their own events during Earth Hour.


Bendigo Bank, inspired by its gold sponsorship of Earth Hour, launched a new Green Home Loan product. Green Loans make it more a ordable to buy or build a sustainable home and help raise more funds for Earth Hour to reach an even bigger audience. This year a new sponsor, Green Standard, came on board. Their products display the Earth Hour logo and for every purchase of a Green Standard LED lighting product, Green Standard will donate $1 to Earth Hour Australia.

© WWF-Australia

Grains in hand © WWF-Australia

Conservation Highlights


Food is fundamental to our lives, but food production and waste is also a leading cause of environmental harm. Over the past year, WWF-Australia launched a new program of work on Sustainable Food. Building on our successful Market Transformation Initiative, the new program continues our focus on sustainable production, voluntary standards and responsible sourcing of high-impact commodities – especially for beef, palm oil, seafood and sugar cane.


We are also expanding our work to address the alarming levels of food waste in Australia, help consumers make more sustainable food choices, and improve the governance of natural and  financial capital, so we can meet the growing demand for food while protecting our planet.

Secure sustainable food


Since 2009, WWF has worked with many of the world’s (and Australia’s) biggest corporate buyers of food and other commodities to assess environmental risks in their supply chains, adopt ambitious targets for more responsible sourcing and help their suppliers meet these targets. Highlights over the past year include:


John West Australia Switches to MSC-Certified Tuna

Through a partnership with WWF, and together with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), John West Australia has achieved MSC certification for 100% of its canned tuna. This means tuna stocks are more likely to last for future generations and bycatch of other species is significantly reduced, due to improved fishing practices.

Global Food Production

  • Occupies 33% total land area

  • Uses 70% of all fresh water

  • Generates 20% of greenhouse gas emissions

  • About one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted

  • The proportion is even greater in Australia


© Brent Stirton / Getty Images

Conservation Highlights


More than 75% of the world’s poor and food-insecure people depend directly on natural resources for their livelihoods, and it is these people who are most affected by environmental degradation and climate change. At the same time, poverty, food insecurity and lack of economic resilience can all be drivers of unsustainable natural resource use and ecosystem management.


WWF-Australia has a long history of ensuring that conservation efforts bene t people and the planet. Across Queensland, for example, we work with cane growers to test and validate farming practices that are good for farmers and good for the Great Barrier Reef. We also partner with the Gidarjil Development Corporation, Yuibera Aboriginal Development Corporation, Gudjuda Aboriginal Reference Group, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and other representative bodies of Traditional Owner groups to ensure our conservation programs are both beneficial to their communities and strengthened by the application of local and traditional knowledge.


Social equity is also central to our international work, from promoting women’s financial inclusion and sustainable  fisheries in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, to developing community-based ecotourism opportunities in Nepal.


Our commitment to conserve nature with equity runs through everything we do because we know addressing poverty and marginalisation is critical to our vision for a future in which humans live and prosper in harmony with nature.

Conserve nature with equity


Completed in June 2016, the Indigenous Cultural and Environmental Capacity- Building program (ICECK) improved the Natural Resource Management capacity of more than 150 Indigenous Rangers across 14 ranger groups in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. As well as their critical role in conservation, Indigenous Ranger groups provide important economic and social opportunities for some of Australia’s most remote and disadvantaged Indigenous communities.


Using innovative technology to record scientific and traditional ecological knowledge and on-the-job training by scientists, ICECK collected important data for healthy country management and species conservation and improved on- ground management of key threatening processes (such as re and feral animals) across the Kimberley. The ICECK program has evolved to become Australia’s largest threatened species conservation program, stretching over approximately 355,000km2, with the generous help of Lotterywest.


The Kimberley Indigenous Ranger Threatened Species program (KIRTS) is a collaborative project led by WWF that monitors 10 culturally important threatened species and manages threatening processes in key locations. The project aims to halt the decline of these threatened species by utilising the significant capacity and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Rangers across the Kimberley.

© Diana Scalfati / WWF-Aus

© Diana Scalfati / WWF-Aus



Over the past year, WWF-Australia continued to reduce its ecological footprint with a focus on carbon emissions, paper usage and waste. These improvements were only possible thanks to the unwavering commitment of our staff , volunteers and interns, working together to ensure our organisation treads lightly.


We are proud of our sustainability achievements over the course of our  five-year strategic plan. Our commitment in this area will remain a focus into the future as we work to deliver on our supporter expectations of excellent workplace sustainability practices.

Sustainability Report


WWF’s Sydney office maintained its 6 star NABERS rating during the year. We highlighted the impact of standby power usage in offces with an education campaign that encouraged staff  to turn o devices when not in use. While we reduced overall electricity consumption through various initiatives, necessary IT infrastructure upgrades led to an increase in per capita electricity consumption.

Photo by Mario Purisic / Unsplash

Photo by Mario Purisic / Unsplash

The WWF Donor


The WWF donor community is the foundation of our work and is at the heart of our mission. We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all our supporters – donors who fund major initiatives, bequestors who leave a legacy and more than 90,000 regular donors who give what they can each month. Their support of WWF this year has made an incredible contribution to conservation and helped protect species, habitat and create positive change for so many beautiful, threatened animals around the world.

The WWF donor community


Giant Pandas Increase

Giant pandas are no longer classified as endangered. They’ve been downgraded to vulnerable on the global list of species at risk of extinction after their population increased by 17% in a decade. This vital outcome shows that conservation efforts are working and provides hope for the world’s other threatened wildlife.

© WWF-Aus / Caitlin Crockford

The WWF donor community


Each year WWF is joined by philanthropic individuals and trusts in our mission to build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Their partnership is vital to the preservation of our natural environment and wildlife. This year we gratefully acknowledge the commitment of:


  • Anita and Luca Belgiorno- Nettis Family Foundation
  • Catherine Gray Trust
  • Christiana Stergiou & Sean Triner
  • Christopher Grubb
  • Darrell Wade, the Intrepid Foundation
  • David & Penny Gri th
  • Denis & Vee Saunders
  • Gita Bellin
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • James Fairfax, AO, Bridgestar Pty Ltd
  • James Pope
  • John T Reid Charitable Trusts
  • Letcombe Trust
  • Megan Davis & Tony Isaacson
  • PACE Foundation
  • Purves Environmental Fund
  • Richard Middleton
  • The Ann Macintosh Trust
  • The Coca Cola Foundation
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • The Marich Foundation
  • The Norman Wettenhall Foundation
  • The Skipper-Jacobs Charitable Trust
  • The Thomas Foundation

The WWF donor community


The rapidly changing nature of communications creates both great opportunities and challenges for WWF-Australia. We now connect with our supporters in more ways than ever before and the rapid generation and consumption of content has created a growing demand for authentic, engaging and personally relevant communication.


This means it is more important than ever to nurture our network of supporters across all channels, to harness their energy and influence in achieving our conservation goals.


Our focus is on telling the stories that matter to a wider and more engaged audience. In 2016, we consolidated our digital supporter base to achieve a total community of almost 900,000 people. Once again social media proved to be a strong channel for growth, with our Facebook community increasing by 50% and our Instagram following more than doubling.


Based on the results of our independent annual brand health research, familiarity with the brand remains high at 89% while WWF-Australia is still Australia’s most reputable environmental charity and the only environmental NGO to feature in Australia’s Top 20 Most Reputable Charities, according to RepTrak 2015 AMR Charity Reputation Index.

© WWF-Aus / Karen Kalpage

© WWF-Aus / Karen Kalpage



In its final year of the five-year strategic plan, WWF-Australia had a strong  financial year with total income 5.3% more than the previous year. The main driver for this performance was unexpected bequest income that was received close to the end of the financial year. Regular giving was in line with the prior year. As a result of disruptions to supply, fundraising income was lower than last year but was o set by lower spending.


Following the record conservation expenditure of $18.8m in FY15 and $2.5m loss, a focus in FY16 was on controlling costs and returning to a pro table position to preserve the organisation’s reserves. Nevertheless, WWF-Australia spent $16.4m in conservation expenditure in the FY16 year.


WWF-Australia recorded a surplus of $1.2m in FY16. The reserves and equity continue to be within the WWF International benchmarks.

Income Analysis 2016

The percentage analysis opposite is derived by dividing the relevant type of income by the total income for the year and expressing it as a percentage.


© WWF / James Morgan

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