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WWF (World Wildlife Fund)

 

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www.panda.org/freshwater/cotton

WWF is the largest (non-governmental) organization dedicated to nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. One of WWF’s focus topics is fresh water and its use for the growth of cotton.

Cotton is a vital cash crop for poor farmers in developing countries but the high water use and pollution generated in growing cotton impact both people and nature severely. Working with several partners, WWF aims to measurably reduce the impact of conventional cotton production in the main growing regions.

Estimates are that by 2025, 40% of the world population will face water shortages; agriculture accounts for an average of 70% of water withdrawals. WWF works on a local and global scale with farmers, traders, manufacturers and retailers to find solutions so that thirsty crops such as cotton use less water and ultimately help conserve vital ecosystems. In doing so, WWF promotes better social and economic conditions in the cultivation of this crop.

One way WWF contributes to a healthier growth of cotton is active participation in the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). WWF is one of the initiators in the BCI which aims to define a new type of commodity that is grown with measurably reduced social and environmental impacts.

WWF has published a report on growing cotton: "Cleaner, greener cotton: Impacts and better management practices’. This report shows how WWF is working to address the key environmental and social issues associated with cotton farming. It focuses on making cotton more sustainable, which in turn, helps keep the environment it depends on healthy. The report can be downloaded from the WWF website.

 
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