2022: WWF's year in review


What a year it’s been for people and planet. Lots of good stuff happened, along with the inevitable bad stuff too. But WWF and the amazing people we work with have managed to keep the flame of hope alive for a sustainable future!

2022 has been a difficult year for many of us. COVID, conflict and other crises have never been far from the media headlines. Nature too has been having a tough time, with our Living Planet Report revealing how wildlife populations have dropped by a devastating 69% on average since 1970. 

But that’s not the full story. There have also been some welcome signs of progress over the past 12 months in dealing with two of the biggest and trickiest challenges facing all life on Earth: the climate and nature loss crises. 

Too many amazingly positive things have happened to mention them all here – thousands upon thousands of examples of people doing the right thing for our planet. Our grateful thanks go to you all!

Sometimes, the outcomes have not been what we wished for. But it’s important to celebrate every single contribution because there are no simple answers to the global environmental crisis, with results often mixed and progress faltering before breakthroughs are achieved. 


And now (drumroll please), here are just a few of the big successes from 2022 that all of us can take pride in, and to which many have contributed:


Governments agree to reverse nature loss by 2030

 A landmark commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 − a global goal hailed as the equivalent to climate’s 1.5C° target − was agreed at the UN’s COP15 biodiversity conference. Much depends on how this is implemented nationally, but we welcome the target to conserve at least 30% of land, freshwater and ocean globally, together with plans to increase financial support for conservation efforts. This is a huge result for all our futures that we’ve been campaigning for over several years.



Boom, we did it! Years of campaigning, backed by a 2+ million-strong petition together with support from business and civil society organizations, helped get countries to unanimously agree on developing a global treaty against plastic pollution – a massive threat to people and wildlife. There are still lots of challenges ahead to make sure the treaty is really effective. But our efforts won’t stop until the pollution stops.


Earth Hour brings us together

It’s the hour in every year when each of us can show how much we care about people and planet. On 26 March, millions of people from 192 countries and territories took part in an hour of blissful togetherness that warms the heart and brings hope to all. As the lights of global landmarks went out, people flocked onto social media to mark this special event − generating a head-spinningly incredible 10+ billion impressions.


Tigers bounce back

While 1 million species are at risk of extinction, incredible conservation efforts have led to amazing comebacks for some in recent times − from the Indus river dolphin in Pakistan to the mountain gorilla in Central and East Africa. This year saw heart-warming news that global numbers of wild tigers have risen since 2010, with Nepal even reporting a near-tripling of its population. Unfortunately, like so many species, tigers still face many threats and so our work must and will continue. 


Colombian nature gets a boost

We need vast expanses of wilderness to thrive if the natural world is to keep giving us essential things like fresh water, food and livelihoods. So, the new Heritage Colombia initiative, which will help protect 32 million hectares of land and sea (that’s a lot of football pitches!) over the next 10 years, is hugely welcome. Big thanks are in order for the many people who made this happen – so much of what we do is about partnerships!


Fish get a better deal

We’ve been campaigning for decades (yes decades!) for global action to end the financial support that’s led to a third of all fish populations being over-exploited. So what a boost to see the World Trade Organization bin some of these fishing subsidies thanks to pressure from 180+ organizations including WWF. We are hopeful that further reforms will follow, helping to create more sustainable fishing practices that benefit people and nature. The ocean is an amazing resource but we must take good care of it.


Governments recognize our right

Nature is the foundation upon which all our lives are built. So it was great to see governments adopt a UN resolution recognizing that people everywhere have the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. 161 states voted in favour, none voted against: a powerful statement of intent that we, together with many others, have long called for. Where the right has already been recognized nationally, people and planet have benefited.

And 2023?

Planet Earth remains on the sick list and needs lots of tender loving care if it’s going to get on the path to recovery. So please stay in touch with our work – and maybe 2023 will be the year for you to get even more involved!


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