To stop deforestation, WWF works with companies, communities, government leaders, academics, and others.
Motivating the Marketplace
Partnerships are central to our approach. We collaborate with top-tier businesses across sectors—from pulp and paper industry leaders to major healthcare and technology companies. We engage them through Forests Forward, a signature WWF program for corporate action in support of nature, climate, and people. WWF’s local and global experts advise companies on everything from sourcing responsibly to supporting landscape efforts like restoration and improved management. In doing so, WWF helps corporate partners unlock the power of forests to achieve complex goals with meaningful results for our planet.
WWF's Forests Forward program works with companies to identify legal sources of timber.
Channeling Finance for Conservation
To slow, halt, and reverse the rate of deforestation, WWF engages with governments, local communities, and other stakeholders in countries’ forest landscapes through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) programs. REDD+ is an approach in which financial incentives are offered to developing countries that create and implement strategies to manage and use their forests responsibly.
WWF also advocates for group funding to protect forests. For instance, the World Bank established the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a multidonor fund comprised of governments and nongovernmental entities that help countries prepare to implement REDD+ and support REDD+ results-based payments.
Strengthening and Applying Certification Standards
To ensure forests are well managed, WWF has helped strengthen and apply certification standards for products made with materials from forests through the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification system. Additionally, WWF ensures agricultural lands are responsibly managed and do not encroach upon forests by engaging with nonprofit organizations that develop and implement global certification standards such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil™ (RSPO) and the Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS). WWF works with a consortium of leading global companies with impacts and dependencies on forests to halt and reverse forest loss.
Incorporating Sustainability into Infrastructure
WWF is both enhancing the management of natural infrastructure and addressing infrastructure-related drivers of deforestation and degradation. We do this by increasing global understanding of the natural infrastructure already delivering the services we need and how to manage and protect these systems in perpetuity. WWF works with governments and communities to help reach their development vision across landscapes in ways that will avoid deforestation and degradation of ecosystem services through careful spatial planning and innovative infrastructure design.
WWF also aims to influence the financing of roads, railroads, power lines, mines, and other infrastructure, largely by ensuring that the value of forests is factored into decisions about where and how to create or expand infrastructure. This requires a comprehensive approach that includes collaborating with local communities, experts, researchers, engineers, corporations, financial institutions, training institutions, and governments. These partnerships can influence and fundamentally transform how infrastructure is planned, built, and operated—and secure the natural infrastructure we all rely upon. The ultimate goals: Infrastructure avoids negative impacts on forests and the climate or significantly reduces its impacts where avoidance is not feasible. Natural infrastructure is well managed. And infrastructure design conserves or restores nature, maintains large intact forested areas and habitat connectivity, increases resilience, and mitigates the effects of climate change.
Creating and Properly Managing Conservation Areas
Most conservation areas (primarily parks called protected areas) are not well funded. As a result, they are not well managed, which often leads to deforestation. One way to address this challenge is to use a comprehensive conservation and financing approach known as Project Finance for Permanence (PFP). Adaptable to the needs and goals of each specific context, PFP initiatives secure all necessary policy changes and funding and bind them together in a single agreement. This ensures large-scale systems of conservation areas are well managed, sustainably financed, and benefit the communities who depend on them. By implementing core strategies for durable biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation—including community engagement, sustainable finance mechanisms, policy, and capacity-building of local and national organizations—PFPs ensure long-term conservation. WWF has already helped launch PFP initiatives in Bhutan, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru and is developing several more over the coming years.
WWF also helps safeguard biodiversity outside of formal protected areas by supporting other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). OECMs are led by government agencies, private individuals, sectoral actors, Indigenous peoples, and/or local communities. They can include a wide range of areas, from sacred and cultural sites to intact forests. OECMs complement protected areas by conserving important biodiversity, ecological functions, and ecosystem services; promoting ecological connectivity between sites and across conservation networks; and contributing to climate resilience.
Effective policies are essential to help stop deforestation. WWF works with countries that import forest-risk commodities—such as soy, timber, cocoa, beef, rubber, and palm oil—to develop policies that improve supply chain traceability and transparency and prevent the trade of materials that drive deforestation and the conversion of critical ecosystems.
WWF further advocates for policies that ensure that US supply chains for wood-based products like paper and furniture aren’t linked to the illegal timber trade fueling global deforestation. WWF urges lawmakers to fully enforce the Lacey Act Amendments of 2008, which made the United States the first country to ban the trafficking of products containing illegally sourced wood. This law has helped reduce imports of illegally sourced wood products by 32% to 44%, but insufficient resources from the federal government and sporadic enforcement limit its effectiveness. WWF also supports legislation such as the FOREST Act that would prevent the importation of agricultural products linked to illegal deforestation.