The WWF Has Been Accused Of Funding Guards Who Torture & Kill People

The World Wildlife Fund has announced it is commissioning an independent review into the findings of BuzzFeed News report which alleged that the conservation charity equips and funds paramilitary forces which beat, torture, sexually assault and murder people across Africa and Asia.

In the frequently mind-boggling report, BuzzFeed found that the WWF often acts as a “global spymaster” for these violent paramilitaries which act as guards in wildlife preserves – providing organisational, financial and logistical support toward the goal of ending poaching in countries like NepalCameroon and the Central African Republic.

It is alleged that indigenous people and villagers in national parks have been brutally tortured, raped and killed by the paramilitaries supported by the WWF.

As part of BuzzFeed’s year-long investigation, they also found evidence that WWF staff were linked to a deal to buy assault rifles in the Central African Republic, contravening the organisation’s policies.

Following the report – and the commensurate outrage – the WWF has announced that it has commissioned law firm Kingsley Napley to undertake an independent review of the claims.

“At the heart of WWF’s work are places and the people who live in them,” A WWF spokesperson said in a statement. “Respect for human rights is at the core of our mission.”

We take any allegation seriously and are commissioning an independent review to look into the cases raised in the story. We have asked BuzzFeed to share all evidence it has obtained to support these claims, to help inform and strengthen this review.

WWF’s work relies on deep community support, engagement and inclusion. We have stringent policies designed to ensure both we and our partners are safeguarding the rights and well-being of indigenous people and local communities in the places we work. Any breach of these policies is unacceptable to us and, should the review uncover any, we are committed to taking swift action.

The report follows earlier claims that the WWF did not seek the informed consent of local indigenous peoples in several countries before setting up protected wildlife areas. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development provided mediation for these claims back in 2017.

It’s absolutely worth checking out the meticulous BuzzFeed investigation – it’s absolutely nuts.