Tag: wwf

Asian infrastructure boom could be end of the road for tigers

With massive infrastructure plans threatening all tiger landscapes and risking recent gains in tiger conservation, Asian governments must adopt a sustainable approach to infrastructure planning and construction or drive tigers toward extinction, according to a new analysis by WWF.

Released at the halfway point of an ambitious global effort to double the number of wild tigers between 2010 and 2022, The Road Ahead: Protecting Tigers from Asia’s Infrastructure Development Boom highlights the unprecedented threat posed by a vast network of planned infrastructure across the continent.

Tanzanian president leads crackdown on elephant poaching

While inspecting the country’s seized ivory stockpile this week, Tanzanian President Dr John Pombe Magufuli ordered law enforcement officials to crack down on elephant poaching and trafficking syndicates.

“We are not going to allow our natural resources to be depleted,” Magufuli said, while offering federal security agencies his full support and urging them to “arrest all those involved in this illicit trade.”

World’s food and energy systems key to tackling global biodiversity decline

Global wildlife could plunge to a 67 per cent level of decline in just the fifty-year period ending this decade as a result of human activities, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2016. The report shows how people are overpowering the planet for the first time in Earth’s history and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled.

According to the report, global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the most recent year with available data. This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020.

Fortunately, 2020 is also a year of great promise. In that same year, commitments made under the Paris climate deal will kick in, and the first environmental actions under the globe’s new sustainable development plan are due. If implemented, these measures, along with meeting international biodiversity targets set for 2020, can help achieve the reforms needed in the world’s food and energy systems to protect wildlife across the globe.

Living ‘in the red’

Eight months into 2016, humans have already spent Earth’s ecological budget for the year.

Earth Overshoot Day – the approximate date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year – is on Monday, 8 August this year, according to the Global Footprint Network.

As global consumption rises, we are emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than our oceans and forests can absorb, and we are depleting fisheries and harvesting forests more quickly than they can reproduce and regrow. Put simply, at its current rate, the estimated level of resources and ecosystem services we require to support human activities exceeds what the Earth can provide – to continue living like this, we would require over 1.6 planets.

Changes in Russian Law Threaten World Famous Nature Reserves

World Heritage sites and critical nature reserves in Russia will face new and expansive threats following a vote on Friday to reduce environmental protections across the country.

The Russian parliament vote weakens protections for natural areas and favors the expansion of private ski resorts over caring for the environment. The legal changes on environmental protection, the first in almost five decades, allow a variety of infrastructure – from hotels to ski trails – to be built on some of the world’s most famous nature reserves.

Persian Leopard Cubs Born in Russian Reintroduction Centre

Triplets have been born to a captive Persian leopard in a Russian breeding centre. The cubs are in good health and may one day be reintroduced to the wild as part of a reintroduction programme supported by WWF, Russian authorities and other partners.

Persian leopards are endangered globally and have been extinct in the Russia’s Western Caucasus region for about 100 years. A breeding and reintroduction centre was established in Sochi National Park to train cubs to live independently in hopes that they can one day repopulate the area.

Living Amazon Report 2016

The Amazon is under pressure from unsustainable economic activities and is undergoing unprecedented change, according to WWF’s Living Amazon Report 2016 released today. The report highlights the regional and global realities that are impacting the Amazon and demonstrates why cooperation is so critical to the area’s future.

The Amazon spans eight countries and one overseas territory. It is home to 34 million people, 350 indigenous groups and one-tenth of the world’s species. According to the WWF report, more than 2,000 new species of plants and vertebrates have been described in the Amazon since 1999.

Despite the diversity and critical importance of the world’s largest rainforest and river system, the report warns about the dramatic increase in legislative actions to downgrade, downsize or degazette protected areas in the Amazon.

This World Environment Day, can the sum of our actions be ZERO?

Over the past 40 years, World Environment Day has inspired millions to take action to help protect our planet. This year, together with our partners, WWF is urging everyone to join the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

Poaching and illegal trade represent grave threats to the world’s wildlife and wild places. Increasingly driven by international organized crime, they also constitute a major danger to communities that depend on wildlife and natural resources for lives and livelihoods.

The situation is critical. A record number of rhinos were poached in Africa last year, while around a million pangolins have been trafficked over the last decade. Of the 110,000 elephants that roamed the savannahs, wetlands and forests of the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania less than half a century ago, a mere 15,000 remain today. If this historic trend continues, WWF estimates that the entire elephant population of one of Africa’s oldest reserves could disappear within six years.

Elephants Could Disappear From Tanzania World Heritage Site Within Six Years

One of Africa’s oldest reserves could see its elephant population decimated by 2022 if urgent measures are not taken to stem industrial-scale poaching, according to a new analysis by WWF.

Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania’s largest protected area, was home to one of the greatest concentrations of African elephants on the continent, but rampant ivory poaching has seen the population reduced by 90 per cent in fewer than 40 years. Nearly 110,000 elephants once roamed the savannahs, wetlands and forests of Selous, but now only about 15,000 remain in the ecosystem.

The analysis, produced for WWF by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, shows how the loss of Selous’ elephants would have a negative effect on Tanzania’s nature based economy, putting the livelihoods of 1.2 million people at risk. Travel and tourism in Selous generate US$6 million annually, and the industry represents a combined yearly contribution of US$5 billion to the GDP of Tanzania, which holds world renowned assets such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park.

Lack of Support Endangers Rangers and Global Wildlife

Battling a global poaching crisis, wildlife rangers believe they lack the necessary equipment, training and support from their governments to protect themselves and the world’s threatened wildlife from poachers, according to a new WWF study released today at the World Ranger Congress in Colorado, USA.

Ranger Perceptions: Africa surveyed 570 rangers across 12 African countries and found that 82 per cent had faced a life-threatening situation while on duty. But 59 per cent felt they were insufficiently equipped and 42 per cent felt they lacked sufficient training to do their jobs safely and effectively.

These results echo the findings of a similar survey of Asia’s rangers, the majority of whom had also risked their lives in the line of duty and felt equally ill-equipped to perform their critical frontline tasks. Preliminary results from a third survey suggest that rangers in Latin America face similar challenges.

World’s Smallest Porpoise Nears Extinction

Mexican authorities must immediately and indefinitely close all fisheries within the habitat of Mexico’s critically endangered vaquita porpoise – or we will lose the species forever.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico, referring to data from the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), said on Friday that only around 60 vaquitas remained in the upper Gulf of California — the only place the species exists — as of December 2015. This is a nearly 40 per cent decline from the 97 vaquitas that remained in 2014.

“We can still save the vaquita, but this is our last chance,” said Omar Vidal, CEO of WWF-Mexico. “The Mexican government must ban all fishing within the vaquita’s habitat now and until the species shows signs of recovery. Anything else is just wishful thinking.”

No Rhinos Poached in Nepal for Past Two Years

Nepal (WWF) – While Africa struggles to stem record-breaking rhino poaching, Nepal today marked two years since its last rhino was poached on May 2nd 2014 – as well as its 4th year of zero poaching of rhinos since 2011.

“This exceptional success is based on a combination of high-level political will, and the active involvement of the park authorities, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, conservation partners and local communities,” said Krishna P. Acharya, Chief-Planning Division and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.

This is the first time that Nepal has achieved two consecutive years of zero poaching, which has helped to increase its population of greater one-horned rhinos to 645, the highest recorded number in the country so far.