WWF International expresses its condolences on the passing away today of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99. His Royal Highness served for many years as president of the global conservation organization and was WWF International’s president emeritus at the time of his death.
Prince Philip was a pivotal patron of WWF, serving as a passionate voice, advocate and champion for the organization’s work from its creation and particularly as WWF International’s President from 1981 to 1996.
In 1970, WWF established its highest conservation award, eponymously named the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award, to recognize and encourage significant achievement in the global environmental field. The Prince was also the first president of WWF-UK, from its establishment in 1961 through 1982.
Pavan Sukhdev, President of WWF International, said:
“The Duke of Edinburgh has been a tireless champion for the environmental cause and a passionate ambassador for conservation issues around the world for decades. His Royal Highness helped chart the course of WWF from its very beginning and has truly made enormous contributions to the organization.
“Across more than 50 years, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip’s efforts on behalf of WWF have been inestimable – visiting WWF projects in over fifty countries on five continents, promoting conservation issues at the highest government and corporate levels, and helping with essential fundraising and awareness promotion.
“On behalf of all of us at WWF, I extend my sincere sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen, to the Royal Family and to the family of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip at this very sad time.”
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said:
"Today we mourn the loss of a lifelong advocate for the environment. Engaged with WWF since its foundation, the Duke of Edinburgh also extended his patronage to various other environmental causes and organisations.
“His Royal Highness believed we must safeguard the planet and its resources for future generations, and dedicated his life, and position, to inspire individuals and world leaders to protect nature and wildlife."