About Us | WWF

About Us

WWF-Laos is the local office of the WWF International Network, the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation. It has more than 5 million supporters and offices active in over 100 countries.
 
WWF’s 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. To do this, WWF works with a broad spectrum of partners including governments, industry, and local communities to find solutions to the challenges that face our natural world.
 
Our Laos programme officially began in 1997 and since then our work has focused on research, advocacy and building partnerships aimed at protecting Laos’ most precious habitats and species, building local and national capacity to conserve them, and improving the livelihoods of the communities who depend on them most. You can read more about WWF-Laos' diverse work here.

What does WWF stand for?

WWF stands for World Wide Fund for Nature. It was originally known as the World Wildlife Fund, but in 1986 it was changed to highlight the full scope of its work. However, the United States and Canada still retain the old name.

A Brief History

WWF was founded on 29 April 1961 when a small group of impassioned people came together and issued the Morges Manifesto, an international declaration of deep concern for the “thoughtless and needless destruction” of wild places and the species that inhabited them. This was the beginning of what would be called the World Wildlife Fund.
 
Since then, WWF has grown to become one of the world’s most trusted and respected conservation organisations. Mixing practical, on-the-ground conservation efforts with broader initiatives to influence key decision-making, WWF’s science-based policy and programmes are making a difference every day.

Forests to Freshwater

 
	© Adam Oswell/WWF-Greater Mekong
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WWF logos through the years.
© WWF

The Panda

Striving to find a symbol that would be recognisable and compelling, the inspiration came from Chi-Chi, a giant panda that arrived at London Zoo in 1961. Sir Peter Scott, one of WWF’s founders, drew the first sketches and said, “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by so many people in the world for its appealing qualities”.
 
The panda has become not only a symbol for our work, but the conservation movement as a whole.