WNF volunteers share their stories: Lloyd Edwards

Lloyd Edwards is coordinator of WWF Expat team Adam and The Hague since 2013.

Since when and why did you start volunteering for WWF and can you describe what you do?
I started volunteering around 10 years ago. Why? The WWF have a deservedly strong reputation for protecting & restoring our environment. This reputation helps the Expat Team to achieve its mission “to mobilise society by providing opportunities to channel peoples’ concern for the environment into a practical action”.

Questions you can answer: Shark or Tiger?
That’s a tough question. But, I always support the underdog – Sharks. These are hunted in unsustainable numbers with many species subject to the cruel & wasteful practice of shark finning. Sharks are also one of the many victims of the more general fact that our marine environment – our biggest & most diverse – has far too few protections.

Many ocean areas are overexploited by the fishing industry – often using destructive methods – & it is used as a dumping ground for most of humanity’s waste.
One example of this waste is the huge quantities of plastic that has quite rightly been described by none other than the UN environment chief Erik Solheim as “an ocean Armageddon”.

Which results made you proud of 2017?
The really big highlight is the members of the Expat Team & how they work together to pull-off really great & successful events. I’m honoured & proud to be their coordinator.
A great initiative was our eco-week with a local school that included a number of different activities: coordinating tree planting of 1,300 trees by students & staff where each of them planted & own their individual tree; an eco-exhibition attended by the whole school; coordinating the election of animals by the students to represent the school; student fund-raising by dressing-up as animals & also by selling their art.

We have a particularly good record in fund-raising. We raised €16,000 mostly through sponsored sporting events & we inspired the WNF Head Office to launch sponsored sporting events using our model. Their first event was the Amsterdam Marathon that raised €18,000.

We also had big successes in working with other community-based groups such as scouts & universities as well as businesses.

What is something you are looking forward to in 2018 & will you be organising WWF runners into the City Pier City?
What I’m looking forward to most is to deepen our relations with the community. And, yes we will be organising WWF runners into our 7th City Pier City run in The Hague. Another other big fund-raiser for 2018 will be the Rotterdam Marathon. Here we will work with Tytho, a Rotterdam based consultancy with overseas offices. In 2017 many of their staff sponsor ran for us & raised
€10,000.

We will also be working on other interesting initiatives such as establishing research teams across Holland & in other countries, such as Australia & Malaysia, where the Expat volunteers end-up when they leave Holland.

What is your favourite nature spot in The Hague?
The Hague is a brilliant place to live. Amongst many other places, the Haagse Bos & the beach. But, what I really love the most is getting together with all our dedicated volunteers to deliver successful events. That’s what we are here to do.

Do you have some personal New Year resolutions or suggestions for other WWF members?
For me, environmental destruction is the biggest threat to all life on this planet including our own. So, my resolutions are:
– Be more sustainable & encourage others to do the same.
– Make efforts to get environmental protection even higher on the agendas of our decision makers.
– Calculate your own environmental footprint & find out how you can reduce it here: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk. (Alternatively find your own on your countries WWF website.)

Finally Lloyd has some suggestions for us of what everyone can do to protect our environment.
Shun companies who don’t have a real concern for the environment by stopping buying their products & vote for those political parties who do. One thing I often hear is that a vote for a green party is wasted, as they will never become significant. Thus is not true. If voters are defecting over particular issues, other parties will change their policies to win them back. So, please use your vote-to-vote green.

We also welcome volunteers from all backgrounds into our team so don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

© LE/EB

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