The Mekong River’s spectacular biodiversity, rich fisheries and the livelihoods of millions are all at grave risk after the government of Laos broke ground on November 7, 2012 on a massive hydropower dam. The Xayaburi dam will be the first dam to span the entire mainstem of the lower Mekong River—home to more than 1100 freshwater fish species.
On November 6, 2012, the Government of Mozambique announced the creation of the second largest marine protected area in Africa. Made up of ten islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, this coastal marine reserve in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago will cover more than 4020 square miles and contains abundant coral and turtle species.
Record rains in 2011, coupled with a tradition of environmental leadership and citizen engagement, moved the city of Burlington, Vermont, to update its Climate Action Plan and join WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge. Hear their story and learn why Jennifer Green, the city’s sustainability coordinator, is determined to make a difference.
Camera traps have captured the first-ever photographic evidence of the Pallas’s cat in Bhutan’s Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP). Also known as manul, this cat is a primitive species, defined by a strikingly flat head with high-set eyes and low-set ears that enable it to peer over rocky ledges in search of prey.
There is new and critical protection for wildlife and indigenous communities in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. The government of Peru designated three new Amazon protected areas-encompassing nearly 1.5 million acres-securing a tri-national conservation corridor.
The ovulid sea snail boasts a remarkable ability to camouflage itself by taking on the appearance of its favorite food—corals. A new underwater survey by WWF and other scientists recently found at least 25 different species of these beautifully colored and patterned snails in an area of the Coral Triangle. The two-and-a-half-week survey was part of a scientific expedition to explore the underwater world of Tun Mustapha Park—a proposed marine protected area.
By the year 2050, our planet will be home to another two billion people. How and where we will we feed everyone has become one of the most pressing conservation issues of the 21st century. At WWF, we have identified eight steps, when taken together, could produce enough food for all and still maintain a living planet.
On October 18, 2012, Russia established the “Sredneussuriisky” Wildlife Refuge—covering nearly 180,000 acres—which will allow Amur tigers access between Russia’s Sikhote-Alin mountains and the Wandashan mountains in China.
There is new hope for conservation of the world’s oceans. Governments discussing the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderbad, India, on Thursday, October 18, 2012 agreed on a way forward to protect oceans and initiated a process to improve conservation standards for marine areas beyond national jurisdiction.
The maize harvest is a crucial source of food for the Kakwenga family in but erratic rains and raids by elephants make a good harvest problematic. Farmers can’t guard their crops twenty-four hours a day so they have started using chili bombs—a mixture of ingredients which give off a spicy, pungent smell that offends elephants’ sensitive trunks and drives them away from crops.
The Sunda Banda Seacape in eastern Indonesia includes a wide variety of communities and provides critical habitat for many marine species. WWF is working with the Indonesian Government to create a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which will span thousands of square miles and help protect the ocean environment.
Indonesia is home to the only population of Javan rhinos left on the planet. Only about 40 of these rhinos exist there—making the Javan rhino one of the rarest mammals in the world. Because the Javan rhino population is so small and isolated, WWF and its partners are seeking wide agreement and political endorsement for a new, safe and healthy Javan rhino habitat.
On September 21, 2012, WWF and The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) announced a first-ever partnership with faith leaders from across Africa to unite against the killing of endangered species caused by illegal wildlife trade.
The people of Namibia possess a hard-to-grasp reverence for their landscape. No matter how little rain falls on the southern African country, or how strongly an unforgiving sun bakes the earth, or how swirly dust devils get when they whip across dry river beds, Namibians still respect the natural assets that surround them.
In the pristine Kamchatka Peninsula on the eastern coast of Russia, salmon is the keystone species of coastal ecosystems and human economies. On September 4, 2012 the Ozernaya sockeye salmon fishery in this region was certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Shell Oil Company has been granted permission by the U.S. government to begin preparatory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. Layla Hughes, WWF’s expert on oil and gas development, shares her concerns and what WWF is doing to address them.
Rhino poaching crisis in South Africa is at an unprecedented level. A new report details how the fate of South Africa’s rhinos is inextricably linked with market demand in Vietnam—a country that recently saw its own rhino population slip into extinction.
When done responsibly, fish farming—also known as aquaculture—presents a solution to meeting the increasing food demand of a growing global population. Farmed seafood already accounts for more than half of all the fish and shellfish we eat.