About WWF Hungary

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50 years of environmental conservation
 
WWF came into existence on 29 April 1961, when a small group of passionate and committed individuals signed a declaration that came to be known as the Morges Manifesto.
 
This apparently simple act laid the foundations for one what has grown into the world's largest independent conservation organization.
 
More then 50 years on, the black and white panda is a well known household symbol in many countries. And the organization itself is lucky enough to have won the backing of more than 5 million people throughout the world, and can count the actions taken by people in support of its efforts into the billions. 
 
The world on which we live
 
Having invested well over US$1 billion in more than 12,000 conservation initiatives since 1985 alone, WWF is continually working to bring a balance between our demands on our world, and the variety of life that lives alongside us.
 
What is the story behind the panda logo of WWF?
 
The inspiration came from Chi-Chi: a giant panda that had arrived at the London Zoo in the year 1961, when WWF was being created. 
 
Aware of the need for a strong, recognizable symbol that would overcome all language barriers, WWF's founders agreed that the big, furry animal with her appealing, black-patched eyes would make an excellent logo. 
The first sketches were done by the British environmentalist and artist, Gerald Watterson. 
 
Based on these, Sir Peter Scott, one of those founders, drew the first logo, and said at the time... "We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs."
The black-and-white panda has since come to stand as a symbol for the conservation movement as a whole.
 
WWF Hungary
 
WWF Hungary was founded in 1991. In the past 21 years we've been working on protecting our biodiversity by focusing on freshwaters, forests and priority species. We are also fighting against climate change and we support WWF's conservation work as well. We successfully colonized the Danube with beavers, and helped develop the Danube Strategy, as well as organizing project on our two biggest rivers, Tisza and the Danube. Our biggest field program is the rehabilitation of Liberty Island. Thanks to our forest program we saved the Csarna-valley, a protected virgin forest, which is the home of many endangered species and also the Hungarian lynx. Every year we participate in WWF Earth Hour to raise awareness on the effects of climate change.

In the past 25 years of its existence, WWF Hungary was working on conserving our unique natural treasures. After a 100 successful projects, our mission is unchanged: we are working tirelessly for humanity and nature to live in harmony with each other.

Our conservation work extends to the protection of wetlands and natural forests, close-to-nature forest management, the sustainable agriculture and rural development, and also the preservation of protected and endangered habitats and species such as lynx and wolf. Special attention is paid to reducing the impacts of climate change and spreading the word of environmental awareness.

We work closely with national parks, conservation authorities, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, business representatives and the local population – but we also need you on board!

Fields of activity

In many cases we don’t even realize that Hungary is an ecological paradise: we are surrounded by uniquely rich flora and fauna, world famous landscapes and gorgeous natural habitats. Our natural treasures, however, no matter how wonderful, need protection: industrial activities, infrastructure development, legislative changes, lack of knowledge, bad habits - just a few of the many threats. Fortunately, these can be changed. WWF Hungary works on protecting and restoring our natural values, and influencing the creation of the relevant legislation. Our experts are active in many areas, here are some of our most important projects.

We have been working on protecting our forests for a long time. In 2009, we successfully lobbied for a new Forest Law stating that it is mandatory to use nature-friendly and sustainable management measures in state forests. We participated in creating smaller "wilderness areas", such as the forest reserves in the Buda Hills and near the Balaton lake. In 2012, we successfully prevented the logging in the Csarna Valley, Hungary's largest undisturbed, strictly protected forest, with approx. 1000 acres.

We also invested a lot of work in the rehabilitation of our natural habitats. We completed the restoration works of the Liberty Island of the Danube, as our largest freshwater project so far. During the 5 years of the program, we cleaned the side branch of the island near Mohács, therefore gained back the sand and gravel essential to fish spawning. We gave the river back to species like the European Mudminnow and Zingel. The Tiszatarján habitat rehabilitation project is in progress since 2007. The aggressively spreading, invasive false indigo has squeezed the native plants from the wetlands of the Tisza’s tributary making it practically uninhabitable for flora and fauna. Cooperating with the local government, we cleaned the area, created energy plantations and produced not only energy for the local village but jobs as well. The rest of the land was given back to nature, the floodplains were inhabited by the WWF Hungary’s own water buffalos and Hungarian grey cattle.

Since 2003, we have engaged intensively in the protection of large carnivorous, like the wolf and the lynx, which has been slowly returning from being extinct in our country. Our primary aims are to inform the public and to support research. To inform and to protect their natural habitats is the main goal of our 7 year old lynx program. One of our long-term goals is to equip a lynx with a radio telemetry monitoring collar for observing the movement and habits of the animal. We are working together with the Aggtelek National Park to protect our wolves; observe the traces of animals, try to learn about their behaviors, estimate their numbers, and raise awareness to reduce the number of poaching. We want these carnivorous to feel at home again in our forests!

Here you can read more about our ongoing projects.

About WWF International

WWF came into existence on 29 April 1961, when a small group of passionate and committed individuals signed a declaration that came to be known as the Morges Manifesto.

This apparently simple act laid the foundations for one what has grown into the world's largest independent conservation organization.

If you wish to learn more about WWF's work go to panda.org

 

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