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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
Advocacy Year in Review
WWF announced Alexia Leclercq as the winner of the 2022 Conservation Leadership Award. This prestigious award seeks to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding young leaders who are pushing the needle for environmental conservation. It provides a monetary award as well as access to a global platform and experts.
Leclercq is a grassroots organizer, educator, scholar, and artist whose primary focus is the realm of environmental justice. They are the co-founder of the Colorado River Conservancy and the environmental justice education non-profit Start:Empowerment. Leclercq is currently a graduate student at Harvard University and has been instrumental in fighting against pollution and injustice in their community of East Austin, TX.
In September, with Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, American Bird Conservancy, and the Endangered Species Coalition, WWF held a fly-in celebrating the 50th year anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. As we’re seeing more frequent attacks on this very popular and successful law, the need to highlight the importance of the ESA and prevent any congressional attacks comes at a crucial time. In all, 70 participants representing 12 key states met with their representatives’ offices in support of the ESA.
This fall, countries put to paper what the global plastics treaty should look like with the release of the “zero draft.” The draft is just a starting point, but it provides the foundation as negotiations turn from exploratory discussions to content negotiations. Over the course of the negotiations, countries have provided their inputs, and the draft reflects where countries currently stand and what they collectively agree and disagree on.
Early in the year, EPA issued its Final Determination on protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, a major victory for Bristol Bay as well as Alaska Native communities. The decision rightly follows scientific consensus and the wishes of the majority of Alaskans. Home to the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, Bristol Bay supports a sustainable fishery worth over $2 billion and more than 15,000 jobs.
WWF’s 7th annual Lobby Day was held in-person for the first time since 2020 and brought together a group of dedicated advocates in Washington D.C. to appeal to members of Congress for increased federal funding for international conservation programs. On the first day of the event participants received training at WWF’s Headquarters, where they learned about Congress's budget process and best practices for meeting etiquette, received a policy overview, and honed their advocacy skills. On March 7th, the second day of the event, participants joined together in groups organized by home state and met with their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. This Lobby Day was marked by a palpable energy and a shared commitment to strengthening international conversation programs that will safeguard the future of nature, leaving participants invigorated and hopeful for the future.
Listen directly from Lobby Day participants on their experience meeting with Congress this year on Nature Breaking: Bringing the Nature Agenda to Congress.
WWF’s Panda Ambassadors are a group of tireless activists who help carry out WWF’s mission in their local communities through diverse projects led on-the-ground or virtually. Among the overwhelming number of projects from 2023, we highlight a few that exemplify the drive and passion found in our Ambassadors. Read more about how Panda Ambassadors made an impact in their communities.