Geneva, February 28, 2018: The American International Club (AIC) hosted a presentation by Marco Lambertini, Director General of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) at the Swissôtel Metropole on February 28th. Headquartered in Gland, the WWF is a global federation of about 7,000 people located in 100 different countries. After the United Nations, the WWF is the most-followed organization in the world.
The WWF promotes living in harmony with our environment. The WWF’s six areas of environmental conservation include Wildlife, Oceans, Forests, Freshwater, Climate & Energy, and Food. Mr. Lambertini pointed out that since the 1950’s there has been a “great acceleration” in the human consumption of water, land, fish, and food to unsustainable levels. He added that humans have been taking nature for granted, and ignoring the consequences. Global warming has accelerated, leading to melting polar ice caps, flooding, and increasingly unstable weather patterns. Furthermore, wildlife has decreased by 60% from 1970 to 2012.
Mr. Lambertini, however, provided reasons to be hopeful about our planet’s future. He said that in the 1990’s, less than 1% of the Earth was government-protected. Through efforts in the forests of Sumatra and other countries, today 17% of the globe is protected. He was excited about the fact that China recently banned the sale of elephant ivory effective January 1st of this year.
Mr. Lambertini provided a vison of a world where individuals consume less, and produce food more efficiently (generate more food with less resources). He stated that this more sustainable environment requires financial investment.
Traditionally, financial support for the WWF has come from philanthropy. Mr. Lambertini pointed to “Impact Investing” as a new source of funding. Impact Investing includes a social/environmental benefit in the investors’ total return. For example, high-tech fishing gear was provided to poor villagers in Mozambique to replace environmentally-destructive dynamite fishing.
AIC President, Ron Banks, closed-out the event by thanking Mr. Lambertini and presenting him a gift and lifetime AIC membership.