WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. It is the world’s largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. WWF is a foundation, in 2010 deriving 57% of funding from individuals and bequests, 17% from government sources (such as the World Bank, DFID, USAID) and 11% from corporations.

The group says its mission is “to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.” Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the world’s biodiversity: oceans and coasts, forests, and freshwater ecosystems. Among other issues, it is also concerned with endangered species, pollution and climate change.

In 2012 our school took part in the WWF project “European Schools for a Living Planet”. During the 5 days between the 27th of September and the 2nd of October, the village of Illmitz bordering Neusiedlersee National Park in eastern Austria was particularly lively. It hosted the international group of 33 students and teachers coming from 11 countries in the region in order to receive training and inspiration for future environmental projects they will lead in their home communities. The 6th Academy of the European Schools for a Living Planet program, organized by WWF with the support of ERSTE Foundation. 

The event was focused on training participants on environmental topics and on practical ways to take action for the environment.  Thus, every day in the agenda was built around one main theme, as follows -

  • Footprint Day: Ecological Footprint – Consumption’s global effects
  • Active Citizenship: Get active and Inspire others

  • Danube Day: Danube – Europe’s lifeline
    Project Day: 7 steps in Project Management

Besides the content, the program focused also on building:

- leadership skills in the students, and coaching skills in the teachers

- presentation and facilitation skills, focused on non-formal education methods

- favorable attitude towards sustainability

- connection to nature and connections within the ESFALP network.