"We should have the sense to leave just one place alone."

Sir Peter Scott

WWF’s founder

These were the words and vision of Sir Peter Scott, WWF’s founder, in 1966 about Antarctica. Sir Peter’s wish was so simple and so clear – a single place free from human interference and where wildlife can live in endless cycles of beauty and diversity.

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries.

Since its establishment, WWF has a long history as a global leader in Antarctic and Southern Ocean conservation. Some key achievements include:

  • WWF called for the ban on mining in Antarctica, through the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty (1991);
  • WWF campaigned with other non-government organisations to create the 50 million square kilometre Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary established by the International Whaling Commission (1994);
  • WWF was at the forefront of the creation of large marine protected areas around Macquarie Island (1999) and Heard Island and McDonald Islands (2002);
  • WWF and TRAFFIC contributed to substantial reduction in illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean through joint reports and campaigns (2001 and 2008);
  • WWF kickstarted the removal of pests from Macquarie Island (2007 - it was declared pest-free in 2015);
  • WWF was the key driver in establishing a marine protected area around Prince Edward Islands, South Africa (2014).

WWF works towards achieving Sir Peter Scott's vision for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean by increasing the network of marine protected areas, developing initiatives to protect wildlife, improve fisheries management, and establishing an effective climate change monitoring program among many other initiatives.

Sea ice

Watch this startling satellite footage of Antarctica, showing the drastic changes to sea ice over time.

Climate change

Scientists warn us that climate change could accelerate beyond our control, threatening our survival and everything we love. Find out how you can ‘Keep Australia Great’ here.

Antarctica 2008-2009 - Lemaire Channel
© Greg & Kate Bourne / WWF-Aus

Citizen science

Australia has one of the world's largest ecological footprints per capita, requiring 6.25 global hectares per person. Australia’s ecological footprint is made up mostly of carbon emissions, followed by the biologically productive area required for cropland and grazing. How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle? Find out here.