WWF Verdensnaturfonden is the Danish division of World Wide Fund for Nature, a private and independent organization with offices all over the world. WWF in Denmark was founded in 1972, initiated by HRH The Prince Consort of Denmark and a group of Danish scientists. Prince Henrik has since the foundation been President of WWF Denmark.
WWF Denmark has undergone the same development as the rest of the WWF network, -broadening the conservation perspective from mainly saving endangered species of animals and plants to biological diversity as a whole, sustainable use of nature and natural resources, and global environmental issues, e.g. climate change.
WWF’s work is always scientifically based, and our methods are dialogue oriented – be it with business and industry, authorities, governments and other decisionmakers in society, private individuals, other NGOs etc.
At the moment, the Danish WWF office has 35 employees, and our activities under the umbrella of the international mission and strategic priorities of the WWF network as a whole comprise:
Fishing has the biggest and most direct influence on marine areas. Thus, fishing practices as well as fishing quantitites are of decisive importance to animal life in our seas. So it is a WWF priority to secure enough fish, maintain a high degree of biological diversity in the seas, and make sure that fishing is carried out in a sustainable way both socio-economically and ecologically.
Illegal and destructive logging is a threat to many forests of the world. Not only to the tropical rainforests, but also to the great natural forests in temperated regions. Denmark is in a way part of the problem as we import large quantities of wood deriving from illegal logging. WWF Denmark is working through an international WWF-campaign to make the Danish government and politicians nationally and at EU-level aware of the importance of stopping the import of illegally logged wood.
WWF has a long tradition of entering into partnerships with business and industry. The purpose of such partnerships is to involve also companies in making their contribution to a global sustainable development. To overcome the environmental challenges today, they must be met by not only official authorities, organizations etc. but by all good forces in conjunction. WWF is working to make companies commit to take into account environmental and social responsibility schemes in their company management practices.
E.g., WWF coordinates the WWF Skov 2000 – a network of Danish companies with relations to the forest/wood industry in order to promote FSC-certified wood and wooden products. WWF is also co-founder and coordinator of the Nordic Partnership which is a pan-Nordic network working for improvement of sustainability within business and industry.
Trade in endangered animals and plants
Despite the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES also known as the Washington Convention), trade in endangered animals and plants is a worldwide threat. The great demand from often ignorant – tourists forms a major part of this problem, and therefore WWF is running a campaign to improve consciousness and awareness of the issue among tourists, particularly people visiting Thailand.
Man-made climate changes are one of the largest global environmental problems today. The implications for nature, people and economies are indeed serious. Most scientists agree that we humans contribute extraordinarily to global warming, mainly by burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas, which emit carbon dioxide (CO2) the main global warming, or greenhouse, gas. To prevent a disastrous climate change, we have to replace the era of fossil fuels with an era of renewable energy sources and efficient energy consumption. WWF Denmark works to keep the Danish government to fulfil its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change by taking the lead in reducing Danish CO2-emissions. In addition, we cooperate with relevant and visionary parts of business and industry.
Management of Danish nature
WWF finds that even in a small, agricultural country like Denmark, room should be made for a nature which can unfold and expand its own dynamics and processes freely. Therefore, WWF Denmark is working specifically for the establishing of national parks in Denmark, and generally for restoration of natural areas of biological significance.