Those of us who are very concerned about preserving animals and habitat, especially the most endangered species, feel deeply the need to work in favor of their various causes. A major roadblock to our efforts is a lack of generous funding.
Facing the default modes of pollution, urbanization, human population explosion, warfare, and now climate change, is a very costly proposition. There have been far-sighted groups of concerned scientists, ecologists, religious organizations, and individuals wanting to help preserve and conserve our delicately balanced world. A solution for coordinated fundraising was finally met in 1961.
The concept of a financial clearinghouse on behalf of endangered animal species was formulated by Victor Stolan as a response to articles that Julian Huxley had printed in the “Observer” newspaper. Stolan was then referred to networker Max Nicholson who had the skills necessary to connect major businesses with progressive intellectuals through think tanks.
An organization was conceived called the “World Wildlife Fund”. On September 11, 1961, Godfrey Rockefeller assembled a staff and opened the WWF’s first office in Morges, Switzerland. These actions culminated in the signing of the WWF’s founding document named the “Morges Manifesto”.
The organization hired its first project administrator, Dr. Thomas Lovejoy. Among his first projects for funding was an in depth study of tigers, by the Smithsonian Institution, at the Chitwan Sanctuary in Nepal. In the mid 1970s, WWF helped establish the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Later, the organization helped devise a network that monitors wildlife trade and trafficking to halt the threats to preservation that such traffic causes.
The instantly recognizable logo of the WWF is the image of a Giant Panda. The inspiration was Chi Chi the Panda transferred from the Beijing Zoo to the London Zoo in 1961. Because the Giant Panda was an endangerd species and the fact that its coloration is a stark black and white appearance made for a striking look when used in black and white printing for letterhead and pamphlets.
The main goals of current WWF work is centered on improving the ecological footprint regarding carbon buildup, water quality, agricultural cropland and grazing, fishing areas, and forestry. These efforts are most stressed in regards to population restoration of mainly 36 species.
World Wildlife Fund primarily concentrates their works in a multilevel effort. Foremost are the animals and hatitats. Then local communities and people, to national governments and finally through global networking. The WWF now works in around 100 nations and boasts a membership base of over 5,000,000 members around the world.
Today’s mission is summarized as a threefold statement. “To protect natural areas and wild populations, to minimize pollution, and to promote efficient, sustainable use of natural resources.”
The latest mailing, sent to me, stated that they spent their money carefully. 79.4% goes towards their conservation projects. 13.1% is spent on fundraising. And 7.3% is used for adminstration costs.
The Blue Jay of Happiness notes there has been a dispute with the World Wrestling Federation over the rights of the initials, “WWF” The wrestling organization is now mandated to use the initials, “WWE” for World Wrestling Entertainment. Last year, the WWE was again given permission to use their own WWF logo.