GENEVA (AP) — The director-general of the WWF says the conservation group is reducing its headcount at its Swiss headquarters by over half in a "substantial decentralization" aimed to better take on unprecedented environmental degradation around the world and leverage growing public concern about it.
Marco Lambertini told The Associated Press that the planned restructuring follows a "really deep reflection" over the last year to 18 months. Under the plan, about 100 of 170 positions based at WWF International's secretariat in the Geneva suburb of Gland will be relocated to other sites through June next year, the organization said.
Lambertini said WWF hopes to "capitalize" on the momentum of growing public awareness about conservation, saying "the planet is really suffering as has never happened before."
"The world is finally waking up. The science has never been clearer than today, the awareness never been greater than today," he said in a phone interview. "The commitment of governments and corporations never been deeper than today."
"We feel there is a wave of change that we should ride — that we should ride more efficiently."
Lambertini said WWF's "position is very healthy," with revenue up 10 percent last year, and said the job relocations from relatively expensive Switzerland to lower-cost locations are going to save overhead.
WWF expects the total number of staffers who work for WWF International worldwide will remain approximately the same, and the "decentralization" won't directly affect WWF's nearly 6,400 staff members working in over 65 countries worldwide.