WWF was formed in 1961 with a mission to preserve the world’s threatened wildlife treasures, and to this day much of our work is focused on saving the world’s wildlife – not only “headline” species like pandas, tigers and elephants, but threatened and endangered creatures in oceans, forests, savannahs and freshwater ecosystems around the planet.
The harsh reality is that wildlife around the world is in serious trouble. Since 1970, populations of thousands of vertebrate species have declined by a staggering 50 per cent or more. And the threats are only increasing: habitat destruction and degradation, unchecked human development, pollution and wildlife crime are combining to decimate populations of African elephants, tigers, rhinos and more.
In Hong Kong, only 61 of our beloved Chinese white dolphins remain in our waters. Finless porpoises, Green turtles and many fish and coral species are also in trouble, while on land, illegal land clearance, reckless development and a lack of protection and enforcement is resulting in diminishing space for our remaining wild creatures.
WWF-Hong Kong is committed to protecting wild species and their habitats around the world and here at home. We are working hard to conserve critical species across Asia Pacific, most notably tigers and pandas. Thanks in part to our efforts, the populations of both of species have begun a tentative recovery. We are also working with our global offices and other stakeholders to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade. Our work to first expose loopholes in Hong Kong’s ivory market and then ban the ivory trade altogether has produced tangible results, with Hong Kong on track to fully ban the ivory trade in the next few years. This will create immediate and positive impacts on African elephant populations and send a strong message that there is no future for the trade that kills.