WWF linked to human rights abuse in Africa

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Report singles out the conservation charity of aiding human rights abuses 

26th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

WWF has been accused of being complicit in human rights abuses in Africa.   

A report by UK campaigning group Survival International claims WWF funds anti-poaching patrols which have committed “widespread human rights abuses” when evicting tribes from ancestral lands in the Congo Basin.

Its report, How Do We Survive? Documents more than 200 instances of abuse by wildlife guards “funded and equipped by WWF and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) the parent charity of New York’s Bronx zoo”, since 1989.

Survival International said researchers spoke to Baka and Bayaka tribes in Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, who claimed they were being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of conservation.

The report states: “Big conservation organisations like WWF are partnering with industry and tourism and destroying the environment’s best allies”, and accusing indigenous people such as the Baka of “poaching because they hunt to feed their families and they face arrest and beatings, torture and death, while big game trophy hunters are encouraged.”

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said: “The big conservation organizations should admit that their activities in the region have been catastrophic, both for the environment and for the tribal peoples who guarded these forests for so long.” 

As well as Survival, the report claims over the past three decades numerous independent experts and NGOs have raised concerns about these abuses including NGOs like Greenpeace, Oxfam, UNICEF, Global Witness, Forest Peoples Programme, and research specialists from University College London.

WWF rejected it hires guards. A spokeswoman said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the violence and abuse of indigenous people. It is totally unacceptable.

“Protecting our planet is as much about respecting the rights of the people that depend on it as it is about protecting wildlife, and we do this by helping deliver access to education, healthcare and livelihoods to local communities through conservation projects.

“Contrary to reports, WWF does not employ eco-guards. In fact we have repeatedly asked Survival International to share information that could help us to push the authorities who employ those accused to act.

“Despite our many requests Survival International has refused to share this information.”