Activism and Outreach 2021


Conservation Leadership Awardee: Alexa White

Conservation Leadership Awardee: Alexa White


An agroecologist, a climate advocate, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, Alexa White is the recipient of the WWF-US 2020 Conservation Leadership Award (recognized in 2021 due to the pandemic). In its second year, the award celebrates the work of young environmental leaders from across the US. Winners receive access to and support from WWF staff and a financial prize to help further their professional and academic goals.

Alexa’s work and research explores international governance, food security, and food sovereignty—or the right of people to agricultural self-determination and to sustainable food. She plans to use the award funds to visit and study small-scale coffee farms in Jamaica and Hawaii to learn about their management practices, sustainable agriculture, and crop selection.

“I’m excited to receive this award because it will give me the opportunity to conduct the research needed for my dissertation,” Alexa says. “It will also provide me with a platform, as an African-American woman, in particular, to speak about the importance of food sovereignty, and what it means for farmers to participate in international environmental governance systems.”

US announces support for global treaty on plastic pollution.

A pile of food scraps on a cutting board.© Troy Mayne

In November, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken committed US support for a global agreement to address the plastic pollution crisis by calling for negotiations at the upcoming UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in February 2022.

Over the last two years, nearly 800,000 WWF-US supporters have sent messages to the US government and global leaders calling for a global treaty to solve the plastic pollution crisis.

Zero Food Waste Act introduced in Congress.

A pile of food scraps on a cutting board.© Elizabeth Dalziel / WWF-UK

Representatives Julia Brownley (CA), Ann McLane Kuster (NH), and Chellie Pingree (ME) and Senator Cory Booker (NJ) introduced the Zero Food Waste Act in July. This bill, supported by WWF and other food waste partners, would establish an EPA program to partner with states, Native nations, and local communities to accelerate investments in food waste prevention efforts and recycling infrastructure.

Over 15,000 WWF-US supporters have reached out to their members of Congress in support of the Zero Food Waste Act and the move towards reducing food loss and waste.

WWF Activists’ message to world leaders on climate

A community of 480 Panda Ambassadors, coming from 48 states across the country dedicated themselves to advocating for conservation throughout 2021, remaining resilient in the face of the ongoing pandemic. Panda Ambassadors were very active throughout the year in engaging on educational projects that spread awareness about climate change, plastics pollution, sustainable household products, wildlife road safety, water quality, the illegal wildlife trade, pollinators, and more. Panda Ambassadors hosted screenings and produced web series, stories, and op-eds in support of key conservation priorities. And Panda Ambassadors took part in fundraising activities and various forms of direct community action, like clean-ups and invasive species removal.


Biden Administration’s first year in office.

Biden Administration’s first year in office.


On his first day in office, President Joe Biden delivered a clear message that climate action sits at the top of his priorities. During President Biden’s first year in office, 95,000 WWF-US supporters have sent a message to his administration to re-establish the US as a global leader on climate action. We are encouraged by the commitments that have been outlined by President Biden including:

  1. Reentering the Paris Agreement and committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030;
  2. Introducing a “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan that represents the most ambitious investments ever in creating America's clean energy economy and reducing US emissions;
  3. Announcing plans to conserve 30% of US lands and waters by 2030 and temporarily halting oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Lobby Day 2021 adapts and moves online.

With the pandemic closing the physical halls of Congress, WWF's annual Lobby Day moved online. The 100+ participants represented 28 states and ranged from Panda Ambassadors to National Council members to WWF-US staff. Over the course of the day, participants met with 130 Congressional offices.

While this year's Lobby Day was different from years past, participants carried the same energy and passion to their virtual meetings and displayed patience and flexibility with learning new elements to make the event a success.

"One of the things I was really proud and satisfied with was that I believe we successfully demonstrated how conservation is a bipartisan issue and how rooting for conservation can be beneficial to every single Republican or Senator's jurisdiction...

I invited my twin sister to participate as well. Participating in our first Lobby Day together was so much fun! We practiced our talking points with each other, discussed what happened in our meetings during the breaks, and indulged in a nice big bowl of ice cream after our last meeting. Sharing this experience was truly amazing and we still have conversations about everything we learned and experienced. A seemingly daunting Lobby Day ended up becoming the best bonding and learning experience one could've asked for."

Aspara M., Texas, Panda Ambassador

Lobby Day by the numbers

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107 WWF participants

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28 states

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130 meetings with
congressional offices

Reclaiming Our Time with Storm Lewis

An image of of the Instagram post of Storm Lewis© Storm Lewis / WWF-US

Organized by Pass the Mic Climate, Black Girl Environmentalist, and Generation Green, "Reclaiming Our Time” connects young Black activists with established brands and organizations. The mission of the campaign is to elevate the voices of activists of color who are rarely centered in the environmental movement but do exceptional work in it. We lent our wwf_act Instagram platform to food and climate justice activist Storm Lewis for an “Instagram takeover” and Live session where she shared about her work with our audiences

Intersectional Environmentalist Agenda featuring Allie Ivanoff

Allie Ivanoff looks straight at the camera in a large parka in the snow© Allie Ivanoff

WWF sponsored the Intersectional Environmentalist’s first print zine, which featured a narrative piece by WWF-US intern Allie Ivanoff. Allie wrote about climate change’s impacts on Indigenous food sovereignty and respect for the land, recounting the importance of sustainable hunting and gathering to her community of Unalakleet, a coastal Iñupiat village on the Bering Sea. “The IE Agenda” is available for pre-order on the Intersectional Environmentalists's website.

Here's to 2022

A large group protesting in the street holding signs© Shutterstock

In 2021, we saw major conservation commitments made by world leaders and governments, but there was a lack of space given to Indigenous communities, grassroots activists, and youth leaders in many of these conversations at crucial moments such as COP26. In the next year, we hope to elevate, see, and learn from more community voices.

US Capitol building with a dramatic sky© Shutterstock / Pozdeyev Vitaly

Thanks to the advocacy of WWF and its partners and supporters, including you, we saw both the House and Senate include historic increases for international conservation and climate programs in their funding bills for the current year. Unfortunately, Congress still hasn’t passed these bills into law, and we’ll need to push hard for them to close the deal and lock in these wins by mid-February, when current government funding expires.

A Black woman smiling and holding a smalltooth shark for scientific research© Jasmin Graham

Jasmin Graham announced as WWF Conservation Leadership 2021 Awardee. Jasmin is a shark scientist with a focus on the smalltooth sawfish. She is the President and CEO of Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), and a prominent environmental educator and activist. We are excited to share this award with Jasmin and to learn more about her and her work in the coming year.