In 1961 WWF was founded in response to concerns about the decline in species such as the rhino and the tiger. Hundreds of thousands of people became part of the WWF family and donated funds to the cause. Today, WWF has five million supporters around the world who care about this planet and the future of the people and wildlife that live on it.
Sir Peter Scott, one of WWF’s founders, said “We shan't save all we should like to, but we shall save a great deal more than if we had never tried.” Those words remain true today. We have seen huge successes – such as an end to most commercial whaling, a ban in ivory trading, and slowing the loss of tropical rainforests – but there remains much to do.
Today we face new challenges, like climate change, and familiar ones such as the dramatic decline in New Zealand’s own Hector’s dolphin. If WWF is to be successful in our mission, we must redouble our efforts before it is too late.
The projects and stories featured here give you an insight into some of WWF’s achievements in the last half century, and the challenges we still face.
Below: Sir David Attenborough explains why he believes WWF's work is more important than ever.
Below: WWF's 50th anniversary TV commercial 'The world is where we live'