Climate change is rapidly changing the Arctic, and its implications are global. More oil to burn would only fuel the climate crisis and put the Refuge and everything living within it at risk from toxic spills and mishaps. Now is the time for bold action that permanently protects the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Apocalyptic scenes have multiplied in recent weeks, as fires claim lives and incinerate communities across the West Coast. The flames are fueled by a confluence of interwoven drivers, including decades of fire management practices focused on fire suppression paired with the worsening climate crisis.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is located in one of the largest remaining natural areas on the planet: Alaska. The species that call the refuge home have been protected from the risks of unsustainable development for decades, but now the US government is moving forward with plans to open the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge to allow for oil and gas drilling.
The Arctic Refuge has been a place undisturbed by development. But in 2017 Congress approved opening the Coastal Plain of the Refuge to allow for oil and gas drilling. WWF has been vocal in its opposition for a host of reasons, and there is one significant bit of logic even Fish and Wildlife agrees with—the climate crisis makes the future of the region uncertain. Oil and gas development only compounds the problem.
Recent rollbacks mean a dramatic decline in the security of America’s Arctic for both people and nature. Places that are so crucial for Arctic biodiversity, such as the Bering Strait—and the people who live there—are increasingly at risk.
Brown bears are not listed as an endangered species—in fact, some populations are doing quite well—but in Southwest Alaska, they face an impending threat from the proposed development of an open-pit gold and copper mine.
In some areas of the Arctic, female polar bears are more frequently choosing to build their maternity dens on land, rather than sea ice. The land provides the stability and security that sea ice no longer can—at least until human activity comes into the picture.
The Arctic Ocean—the pristine home to bowhead whales, gray whales, polar bears, walruses, and other magnificent wildlife, along with many indigenous communities—could potentially lose crucial protections from risky offshore oil and gas drilling.
Belize, home of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, permanently suspended oil activity in its ocean waters. The legislation marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its oceans—and all the life within—from oil exploration and extraction.
Alaska’s Bristol Bay is a sprawling watershed of winding streams and rivers, vast wetlands and tundra, forests of alder and spruce, and home to a variety of fish, birds and terrestrial animals. Learn more about this incredible place that WWF is working hard to save.
The coastal nation of Belize is at a crossroads. In 2009, the reef system was added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. It remains on the list today because of mangrove deforestation, unsustainable coastal development and offshore oil exploration. The good news is a coastal zone management plan can safeguard Belize’s natural assets and produce a win-win opportunity for the people and environment.
The government of Belize has not put into place promised protections for the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage site, leaving the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere under threat from offshore oil drilling and damaging coastal construction, according to a new WWF assessment.
Most of the Arctic’s federal waters are off limits to thanks to protections put in place in 2016. But the Trump administration and some in Congress want to allow fossil fuel companies to begin bidding for a chance to drill.
On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.
Just one week after scientists warned of unprecedented change brought on by warming in the Arctic, President Obama announced permanent protection for 115 million acres of federal waters in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Including previous presidential withdrawals, today's action protects nearly 125 million acres in the offshore Arctic from future oil and gas activity.
The Arctic—home to diverse wildlife and many cultures—is changing faster than any other part of the planet in the face of climate change. But there’s still time left to help the Arctic and the impacts of climate change. Experts agreed on five important ways we can take action.
The coral reefs and coastal mangroves of Belize are necessary for both the wildlife that live there and the people who rely on it for income and protection. Help us save this threatened World Heritage site.
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