World Wildlife Fund Nature Breaking

Welcome to Nature Breaking, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) podcast focused on news and trends affecting our natural world, and the people and species that call it home. Find us on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google PodcastsSpotify, and more!

  • Date: 19 March 2024

Today’s episode marks International Day of Forests (March 21) by celebrating the 25th anniversary of a little-known but important US law: the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act, or TFCCA. At its core, the TFCCA was designed to facilitate debt-for-nature swaps, which enable developing countries to restructure the debt they owe to the US in a way that relieves their financial burden in exchange for redirecting a portion of the funds toward conservation. These swaps were conceptualized in the 1980s by Dr. Tom Lovejoy, WWF’s first chief scientist, and proved to be remarkably successful and popular. 

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  • Date: 05 March 2024

This week we’re marking World Wildlife Day by exploring one of the key issues threatening global species: wildlife crime and the sale of wildlife products online. It’s a big problem. Over 15,000 African elephants are killed every year for their ivory. Roughly three rhinos are killed every day in South Africa alone for their horns. And tigers are captured not just to become pets or ticketed attractions; they’re also killed for their fur, claws, and teeth. And all of these products have sadly become widely available through online marketplaces on common websites and social media apps used by millions of people each day. But here’s the good news: many of the tech companies that run those apps and websites have joined forces to put a stop to online wildlife trafficking. They've joined the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online.

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  • Date: 20 February 2024

Food waste is a major contributor to the climate and nature crises. And food date labels are fueling the problem. Right now consumers might see upwards of 50 different terms used on food items: Use By, Sell By, Best By, etc. Confusion caused by this patchwork of terms leads many people to simply throw out food that may still be perfectly good to eat. Congress could help by passing the Food Date Labeling Act (FDLA), which would establish a simple, nationwide framework focused on just two terms: “Best If Used By,” or “Use By.” The bill would also provide clear guidance to consumers about how to interpret those terms.

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  • Date: 06 February 2024

What is green hydrogen? In short, it’s hydrogen produced using entirely renewable electricity, which can then be used for industrial processes like creating cement or steel, among other things. That’s important because those industrial processes are currently the third-largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States, after the transportation and electricity sectors. If we can power those processes with green hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, it could go a long way toward helping the US meet its climate goals. But getting there is pretty complicated.

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  • Date: 23 January 2024

Namibia is an incredibly diverse place in southwestern Africa. It encompasses everything from coastal ecosystems, to savannahs, to floodplains and deserts. And Namibia is home to over 2.5 million people, and an incredible array of wildlife, from cheetahs, to elephants, to impalas, and rhinos. Aside from all that incredible biodiversity, one thing that makes Namibia stand out is its community-led approach to conservation. For nearly three decades, Namibians have been forming and leading communal conservancies, which are areas devoted to the protection of species and ecosystems, but which also enable the people in those areas to derive a livelihood from the protection of nature – primarily via tourism.

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  • Date: 09 January 2024

Over the holidays we passed an important milestone: the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This bill was signed into law by President Nixon on December 28, 1973. Over the last 50 years the ESA has proved a remarkable success, with 99% of the species covered by the Act avoiding extinction.

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  • Date: 12 December 2023

For the last 12 days world leaders have convened in Dubai for COP28, the critically important UN climate summit. Important progress has been achieved on some issues, but negotiations have been more difficult in other areas, including on finalizing the Global Stocktake and determining whether it will include language about the need to “phase out” fossil fuels. As COP28 winds to a close this week, we spoke to Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF International’s Global Lead for Climate and Energy. In addition to spearheading WWF’s global climate work, Manuel also previously served as the president of COP20 back in 2014.

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  • Date: 28 November 2023

COP28 kicks off on November 30 in Dubai – that’s the annual UN summit where national governments come together to assess global climate efforts. Today’s episode is a two-part preview for this year’s summit.

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  • Date: 14 November 2023

The term “blue foods” refers to any food that comes from an aquatic source – whether that be the ocean, a river, or the like. These foods represent a staple for the diets of billions of people around the globe. Blue foods also matter against the backdrop of climate change because they produce far fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to land-based food production. But in some situations, harvesting blue foods can upset delicate marine ecosystems. And, as global stocks of sought-after food items like tuna and cod become more scarce, we’ve increasingly seen competition for blue foods lead to conflicts between nations. In short, as much as we need blue foods to serve as a low-emissions food source for Earth’s growing population, we also need to root out practices that harm freshwater and marine ecosystems, and global security.

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  • Date: 31 October 2023

Snow leopards are among the hardest animals to find in the wild, both because of how rare they are, and because their coats are adapted to provide camouflage that makes them hard to see against the rugged mountain landscape they call home. That’s why they are sometimes call the “ghosts of the mountain.” With an estimated 4,000-6,500 snow leopards remaining in the wild, conservationists have been working in snow leopard range countries across Asia to build a more stable future for these big cats. And recently, Bhutan reported some good news: the population of snow leopards in that country has increased by nearly 40% since 2016.

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