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12 Success Stories of 2012

WWF was hard at work over the last year. We marked victories for both local communities and priority wildlife populations, as well as game-changing, globally significant advances with corporations and governments. In places as diverse as the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, Gabon and the Greater Mekong, we made the most of scientific evidence and on-the-ground experience to guide thoughtful planning for a sustainable future.

WWF continues to prove that with diligence and focus, real advances—for tigers, coral reefs, whale sharks, rhinos, black-footed ferrets and more—can be achieved. These results offer insight into how protecting nature can be an indispensible tool for securing a better future for us all.

A Year at Work for Wildlife 

  • Carter Roberts joins US Secretary Hillary Clinton in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the 2nd Annual Friends of the Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting.

    1. Vision for Mekong's Millions

    WWF worked with Secretary of State Clinton; the foreign ministers of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar; the Asian Development Bank; and many others to outline a vision for the future of an economically and environmentally healthy Mekong region.

  • African Elephant

    2. Putting a Stop to Wildlife Crime

    In July, WWF launched its Stop Wildlife Crime campaign to end the growing threat to endangered rhinos, elephants and tigers and halt the global impact of illegal wildlife trafficking. We raised awareness and worked toward solutions through events such as our Fuller Symposium; meetings with international faith leaders; and work with the government of Gabon, which burned its stockpile of ivory in a show of intolerance for ivory poaching. Our efforts were elevated once again when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for an end to wildlife crime at a State Department event in November and with the announcement of a Google grant for new technology to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.

  • Local fishermen

    3. Africa's Second Largest Marine Protected Area

    The Government of Mozambique announced the creation of Africa's second largest marine protected area in November 2012. The Primeiras and Segundas marine reserve will cover more than 4020 square miles. WWF has worked for eight years to secure this marine reserve, which is home to five of the world's seven marine turtle species as well as corals and seabirds.

  • Polar Bear

    4. Conserving a Home for the Polar Bear

    WWF and its partner The Coca-Cola Company launched Arctic Home, a campaign to raise funds for defining a place in the Arctic that is key to the polar bear’s long-term survival. Through Arctic Home, public awareness about the plight of polar bears leapt from 38 to 52 percent during just the first two and a half months, and more than $2 million was donated to WWF by Coca-Cola and consumers to help protect the polar bear’s habitat.

  • Sugarcane

    5. Changing the Footprint of Sugar

    After years of WWF-supported planning, marked the first-ever sale of sustainably certified sugar and ethanol. In one year, sustainable sugar cane production grew from zero to more than 2 percent of the global area impacted by sugar production.

  • Sumatran Tiger

    6. Taking the Fight for Tigers Home

    WWF launched a public campaign to stop the sale of Paseo and Livi brand toilet paper—which are sourced from tiger-sheltering rain forests in Sumatra—in 20 U.S. grocery store chains that sold the most of the brands. Within months, 17 of those chains agreed to stop purchasing the brand.

  • 7. Heart of Borneo Beats Strong

    2012 marked five years since the nations of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia signed a declaration to protect and sustainably manage the “Heart of Borneo.” In that time, WWF has helped conserve its rainforests for rhinos, elephants, orangutans and other species. We are working with local communities, business leaders and governments to protect some of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth.

  • Cabo Pulmo

    8. Action for Mexico's Marine Treasures

    WWF collected more than 13,000 signatures, and reached out to investors and government contacts to save Cabo Pulmo National Park—one of Mexico’s great marine treasures—from a proposed resort that would have devastated the marine park and negatively impacted the local community.

  • San Francisco Bay Bridge

    9. Earth Hour City Challenge Builds on Earth Hour Success

    WWF launched the Earth Hour City Challenge—a year-long competition among U.S. cities to prepare for increasingly extreme weather and promote renewable energy. Participating cities will receive resources for their efforts to curb carbon pollution and prepare their communities for the harmful consequences of climate change.

  • Green Turtle

    10. Forging a Global Partnership for Oceans

    The World Bank announced the creation of the Global Partnership for Oceans to address the threats to the health, productivity and resilience of our oceans. Bringing science, advocacy, the private sector, and international public institutions together, the partnership—which includes WWF—will coordinate efforts in the world’s key ocean regions.

  • Amur leopard

    11. Expanding the Land of the Leopard

    Critically endangered Amur leopards received vital sanctuary with the establishment of the Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia. The park, which WWF lobbied for, contains 60 percent of the cat’s remaining habitat. Scientists estimate that fewer than 50 Amur leopards still exist in the wild.

  • Ocean salmon farm in Norway

    12. New Standards for Farmed Salmon

    WWF helped finalize Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue standards. Now managed by the Independent Aquaculture Stewardship Council, the standards address environmental and social impacts associated with salmon farming, while enabling the industry to grow responsibly. They were developed in cooperation with hundreds of stakeholders, including Marine Harvest, the world’s largest farmed salmon producer.

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