To stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by:
conserving the world’s biological diversity;
ensuring the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable;
promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
In 1961 a group of distinguished naturalists from several countries founded the World Wildlife Fund, meaning it to serve as a ‘Red Cross for Nature’, reaching out to assist wildlife in trouble. Based in Switzerland, and later changing its name to the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF has grown into a global network with affiliates in more than 100 countries. WWF first came to China in 1979, invited by the Chinese government to collaborate on giant panda conservation. Joint ecological studies led to the development of a national management plan for the panda and its habitat, and to the designation of many new protected areas. WWF has continued to this day to collaborate with government partners on the conservation of pandas and other species, but has also ventured into other areas of environment protection. Moreover, although the organisation continues to emphasise rigorous scientific research, it has over the years increasingly encouraged multi-sectoral approaches to conservation, encouraging collaboration between government agencies and also involving local communities in conservation efforts.
From the late 1980s WWF began to provide material and technical assistance for nature reserve staff in Xishuangbanna, in the tropical forests of southern Yunnan. This project later expanded to include agro-forestry training for villagers living close to the reserve. In northwest Yunnan, from 1991-1994, WWF supported a team of researchers to document the habitat and ecology of the snub-nosed monkey. It also provided training, technical and planning assistance to a nature reserve at Poyang Lake, in Jiangxi. This marked the beginning of long- term work on wetlands management, including support for development of a Wetland Conservation Action Plan, finalised in 1998, and an ongoing ‘living rivers’ programme to restore wetlands in the Central Yangtze.
WWF launched its revitalised tiger programme in 2010, the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar. We intend to support efforts to stop the decline and double the number of tigers in the wild by the next year of the tiger in 2022.
WWF also encourages the financial sector to formulate and adopt green lending policies. Chinese banks and financial institutions are increasingly investing in developing countries, presenting both an opportunity and a challenge for sustainable development and poverty reduction.
We are also working to safeguard sustainability in the trade of natural resources by promoting the best international practices and rigorous environmental standards for Chinese companies operating overseas.
As of early 2021, WWF-China has 9 field offices, located in Changsha, Chengdu, Kunming, Lhasa, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi’an, Xining and the Northeast. Their projects focus in 5 critical regions, including Yangtze River Basin, Amur-Heilong Ecoregion, Tibetan Plateau, Upper Mekong Ecoregion and Yellow Sea Ecoregion.