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Conserving Places

Overview

WWF works to conserve life on Earth by protecting its most exceptional ecosystems and habitats. Places which are rich in biodiversity. Places with unique animals and plants. Places like no other.

By working with partners on global and local levels, WWF aims to conserve many of the world’s most ecologically important regions. In Namibia, we’ve supported a new approach to protect wildlife and habitat—communal conservancies. To save tigers, WWF worked with the governments of the 13 nations that are home to wild tigers to commit to doubling populations in the next 10 years.

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Sand dunes in Namibia

WWF partners with local communities in Namibia to help them manage their natural resources and ensure a future for wildlife populations and sustainable economic growth.

What WWF Is Doing

Arctic

From sea ice to coastal wetlands, mountains and the sea itself—the Arctic supports scores of wildlife and many cultures. One of WWF’s highest priorities in the region is permanent protection of Bristol Bay from offshore oil and gas production. Without permanent protection, the region is subject to a trail of destruction. In 2010, the Obama Administration removed Bristol Bay from the nation’s 2012-2017 oil and gas leasing plan. But oil and gas drilling has now been approved for Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. As a result, WWF is focused on identifying the most important and sensitive places for Alaska’s wildlife—which often the same places indigenous people and communities depend on for food and other resources. Once identified, we will work to ensure these areas are off limits for industrial development, including oil and gas drilling.

Arctic landscape
Brazilian Amazon

One in ten known species lives in the Amazon landscape. Its dense forests are home to half of the planet's remaining tropical forests. The health of the Amazon is clearly linked to the health of the planet as its rain forests help stabilize local and global climate. WWF collaborates with governments across the Amazon to create and manage protected forest areas. In Brazil— through the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA)—WWF works to create a network of parks covering 150 million acres of forest. This area would be over 50 percent larger than the U.S. National Parks system.

Mist

The Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra are the only places on Earth where tigers, rhinos, orangutans, and elephants live together. The forests are home to a staggering array of biodiversity. At the same time, the vast wealth of natural resources has attracted industries determined to extract its precious hardwoods and minerals to palm oil, rubber and coal. WWF works on the ground with local communities and governments, but also takes action to address the relentless global forces that threaten the region. We focus specifically on safeguarding species, enforcing responsible forestry, encouraging sustainable agriculture and protecting the Heart of Borneo— an area of equatorial rain forest that includes some of the most biologically diverse habitats on the planet.

Coral Triangle

A marine area located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Coral Triangle is home to 75 percent of the world’s coral species, thousands of reef fish and six of the world’s seven marine turtle species. Additionally, more than 120 million people live in the Coral Triangle and depend on its resources. To ensure a vibrant future for the region’s people and wildlife, WWF works to create a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Coral Triangle. MPAs protect coral reefs and sea grass beds from destructive fishing. They let fish reproduce and grow to their adult size so that depleted fish populations recover and fish catches increase in surrounding fishing waters. MPAs also provide refuge for other marine species, such as endangered marine turtles and dugongs. WWF works to ensure protected areas are designed and managed well. We monitor fish spawning areas and the health of coral reefs, and study the impacts of protected areas on local communities.

Namibia.

Amid Namibia’s ocean shores, woodland savannas and deserts, there is an extraordinary array of marine and terrestrial life, including the largest free-roaming population of black rhino in Africa and the largest cheetah population in the world. WWF’s work in Namibia focuses on supporting their communal conservancy program—a successful model for balancing the needs of people and wildlife. WWF partners with local communities to help them manage their natural resources and ensure a future for wildlife populations and sustainable economic growth. Today, there is a direct relationship between the health of wildlife populations and prosperity of local communities. Poaching has declined dramatically and there are restored populations of numerous species, such as lions, cheetahs, black rhinos and zebras.

Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to WWF project site. Montana, Northern Great Plains, United States

The Northern Great Plains crosses five states and two Canadian provinces. The bison, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn antelope that once shared its grasslands have all seen population declines. WWF is working in the Northern Great Plains to conserve wildlife and help local communities recognize the benefits from their contributions. WWF helped launch the American Prairie Reserve, an independent, Montana-based land trust focused on bringing bison back to the northern Montana prairie. Since the first bison arrived in May 2006, WWF has welcomed more than 200 bison on the American Prairie Reserve.

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