A Brief History of WWF
WWF was officially founded on 11 September 1961 amid fears that habitat destruction and hunting would soon bring about the extinction of much of Africa’s wildlife. Among the distinguished group of founders were Sir Julian Huxley, the renowned biologist, and Sir Peter Scott, the naturalist and painter, who designed the original panda logo.
The organisation’s international headquarters were established in Switzerland, and WWF offices were set up in many countries, starting with the UK.
By the end of the 1970s, the focus of WWF’s work had broadened to encompass not only the conservation of wildlife and habitats, but also the wider implications of man’s activities on the environment.
In 1980 WWF’s World Conservation Strategy warned that humanity had no future unless nature and the world’s natural resources were conserved. It also introduced the concept of sustainable development – living within the limits of the natural environment without compromising the needs of future generations – which has been central to WWF’s thinking ever since.
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. We do this by:
– conserving the world’s biological diversity.
– ensuring that the use of renewable resources is sustainable.
– promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
WWF is the world’s largest independent global conservation organisation. We work to address global threats such as climate change, the consumption of natural resources and the use of toxic chemicals, and we influence attitudes and behaviour through lobbying, campaigning and education. However, we are best known for our programmes to protect endangered species and their habitats, and much of our work is in areas where the most critically endangered wildlife and the least protected habitats are found.