WWF UK Blog  

15 highlights from 2015 for WWF


Look back over this past year and explore some standout stories from 2015. They really demonstrate how varied our global projects are! Whether it’s Arctic exploring with JacksGap, eco-fashion tips for ‘Wear It Wild’ or a GoPro strapped to a turtle in the Great Barrier Reef, you’re bound to discover something exciting as we look back at 2015.

1. Rod Downie and JacksGap travel to the Arctic

Jack, Finn and Rod Downie in the Arctic © WWF-UKJack, Finn and Rod Downie in the Arctic © WWF-UK

Rod Downie and glaciologist professor Alun Hubbard were joined by Jack and Finn (otherwise known as JacksGap) on a trip to the Arctic. The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the global average, and the ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate. On this trip, they went to investigate and document the unprecedented rate of flow and melt of the Greenland ice sheet as a result of climate change.

Read Rod’s blog ‘To the Arctic with JacksGap’

2. Do you know the ingredients that come from the Amazon?

The Amazon is much more than simply a beautiful, far-off tropical rainforest. It’s also a source of everyday items we rely on.
This blog provides insightful information into the array of products that likely contain Amazon derived ingredients; spices, bananas, medicines and even shampoo! It goes to show that our everyday lives can be more connected to the Amazon than we first thought.

Brazil nut pod, Peru © Brent Stirton/Getty Images/ WWFFarmer’s hands holding sustainably harvested Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), near the Interoceanica highway, Peru © Brent Stirton/Getty Images/ WWF

Read Amanda’s blog ‘Ten products and ingredients that come from the Amazon’

3. Award winning wildlife photographer: 2020 Vision photography

Initiated by Peter Cairns, 2020VISION is a nature photography project that aims to communicate the link between habitat restoration and our own wellbeing. Peter has worked as a freelance photographer for over 15 years. During that time he’s racked up numerous awards, co-produced 6 books amongst many other accolades.
In his blog, he shares some sensational snaps and tells us about why he became a wildlife photographer.

Red Squirrel - ©Peter Cairns 2020VISIONRed Squirrel – ©Peter Cairns 2020VISION

See Peter Cairns photos for 2020VISION on his blog 

4. Wear It Wild – A beginner’s guide to eco-fashion

In June 2015, we saw our nationwide fundraising campaign ‘Wear It Wild’ go live. It was a great success and we’ll see it come back even stronger in 2016. In this blog Vickie Richards shares some top tips about dressing for the occasion.

Wear it wild outside the Living PLanet Centre, Woking © Tristan FewingsWear it wild outside the Living PLanet Centre, Woking © Tristan Fewings

Read Vickie’s blog ‘Wear to start – a beginner’s guide to eco-fashion’

5. What the world needs now is love – Will Young

With staggering figures revealing that global wildlife populations have declined by over 50% since 1970, Will Young joined us to ask you to show the world some love and take action.

6. Should we avoid palm oil?

Palm oil is in close to half of all packaged products that we buy in the supermarket. Though it’s a very productive crop, it is a major driver of deforestation in some of the most biodiverse tropical forests of Asia, including the home of orang-utans. Emma Keller enlightens us on the topic of palm oil. To buy or not to buy?

Palm Oil Supermarket Products © WWF/ Richard Stonehouse A shopping trolley containg many typical products at a supermnarket in the UK. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate, confectionery, meat, frozen fish, spreads, cereals, sweets, cosmetics, crisps, snacks, cleaning and hygene products amongst the items – Many products contain a surprising amount of Palm Oil © WWF/ Richard Stonehouse

Read Emma’s blog ‘Palm reading: Should we buy or boycott products containing palm oil?’

7. Giant panda population increase

Giant panda numbers have increased by nearly 17% since 2003, thanks in part to improved management of their habitat, which we’ve supported. This is great news for this iconic species and we hope this continues!

Giant panda in tree, Wolong Nature Reserve, China © Bernard De Wetter/WWFGiant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in a tree. Wolong Panda Reserve, Sichuan Province, China © Bernard De Wetter/WWF

Read the press release ‘Wild giant panda numbers increase by over 16%’

8. Kenya’s pristine Lamu seascape

Mike Olendo leads the WWF-Kenya Lamu marine team. The Lamu seascape is located at the northernmost part of Kenya’s coast line. Made up of around fifty-five islands, and 60-70% of mangrove area in Kenya, this network of islands provides a rich home for biodiversity. Lamu’s amazing biodiversity faces a multitude of threats ranging from rapid human population growth, exploitation of fish stocks, loss of mangrove cover and major infrastructure projects. These are some of the reasons we’re working to help protect marine turtle habitats.

Green turtles coming up on the surface for the first time © WWF/ Robert MagoriGreen turtles coming up on the surface for the first time © WWF/ Robert Magori

Read Mike’s blog ‘Kenya’s Lamu seascape – pristine, important and threatened’

9. The Climate Coalition: For the love of…

The Climate Coalition brings together over 100 organisations, from environment and development charities and more, to form the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities.

We ran our ‘Show the Love’ campaign on the week leading up to Valentine’s Day in 2015. Less red roses but emotive nonetheless was a video produced by the Climate Coalition with a special rendition of Shakespeare’s Sonnet read by famous faces like Meera Syal, Jarvis Cocker, Deborah Meaden and Stephen Fry.

Read Yael’s blog ‘What do William Shakespeare, Deborah Meaden and the PM have to do with Valentine’s Day?’

10. Miniature camera gives us a unique penguin’s point of view

See life under the Antarctic ice from a penguin’s point of view. Filmed as part of a scientific study, this video was captured with miniature and harmless cameras in Terre Adélie – ‘the land of the Adélies’. Footage like this gives us vital information to help safeguard the future of these charismatic little birds.

11. Diary from the Paris Climate Talks

Entrance to the UN climate talks, Paris © Lang BanksEntrance to the UN climate talks, Paris © Lang Banks

Near the end of 2015, Paris held the 21st annual United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties talk on climate change, otherwise known as COP21. The main objective of the annual COP meeting is for the cooperation of over 190 countries in securing positive outcomes in reducing the impact of human induced climate change.
Lang Banks, director of WWF-Scotland, attended the Paris COP and documented all the news as it unfolded.

Read Lang’s blog ‘Postcards from Paris: A diary from the UN climate talks’

12. Counting rhinos on elephant back in Nepal

30 elephants and mahouts arrive at dawn rendezvous site to pick up field observers and locate position in count transect line (‘the line’), Chitwan National Park, Nepal © Sumanth Kuduvalli / Felis Creations / WWF30 elephants and mahouts arrive at dawn rendezvous site to pick up field observers and locate position in count transect line (‘the line’), Chitwan National Park, Nepal © Sumanth Kuduvalli / Felis Creations / WWF

For the third time since 2011, Nepal has gone a year without losing a rhino to poachers! This is great news, but how do they count rhinos in Chitwan National Park? On elephant back of course! Richard Edwards, Head of Content at WWF-UK, was lucky enough to accompany the WWF-Nepal team as they trekked through the National Park to count greater one-horned rhinos.

Read Ed’s blog ‘Joining Nepal’s greater one-horned rhino count’

13. Rare sighting of a swimming black jaguar

Incredible video of a rare black jaguar swimming across a river in the Amazon. It may surprise you to know that jaguars are strong swimmers though this is not often witnessed because of how elusive these beautiful creatures are. We’re working across the Amazon to help protect the home of the jaguar. If there is any evidence of the importance of protecting the Amazon, it’s rare sights like this.

14. Autumn in the land of the leopard

See Russia as you’ve never seen it before. A combination of drones and well placed photographers capture a glimpse of the magical colours of autumn in the ‘Land of the leopard’, far-east Russia. We’re working in this landscape to help protect the future of Amur leopard.

15. Glimpse into a turtle’s underwater world

The Great Barrier Reef, one of UNESCO’s best known World Heritage sites, is home to almost 6000 species. Thanks to a GoPro carefully mounted on a turtle’s back, we can peek into their underwater world. WWF-Australia is working on an innovative project in Queensland, with the support of partners, to better understand post-release behaviour of tagged turtles. The result is this magically relaxing video.

I hope you enjoyed a brief look back at 2015. Which story was your favourite? What would you like to see more of in 2016? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

Here’s to another great conservation year in 2016!

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