Protestors who accuse WWF of being complicit in “dispossessing indigenous and local communities of their land” occupied its headquarters yesterday.
WWF described the actions as “disappointing” and said that communities are “at the heart” of its work.
The campaign group, WTF WWF, describes itself as a “youth and Indigenous-led grassroots campaign challenging WWF’s colonial conservation practices while advocating for a justice-based conservation model centred around local community leadership and indigenous rights over their respective customary lands”.
WTF WWF is urging people to stop donating to WWF and sign its petition.
The petition accuses WWF of following a “fortress conservation” model, which excludes and harms local people. It refers to a previous report about the charity’s links to human rights abuses, which recommended WWF do more to work with communities.
Yesterday several members of the group put on panda masks and entered WWF’s head office. WTF WWF share images of the protest on its social media, including images, which suggest police were called.
WWF: The actions taken by this campaign group are disappointing
Today WWF said it was committed to human rights and would “continue to strengthen” its approach.
A WWF spokesperson said: “We value dialogue and collaboration on these complex issues but find the actions taken by this campaign group at our UK headquarters disappointing.
“We share the same ambition to protect our world, tackle climate change and ensure a future where people and nature thrive.
“Communities are at the heart of our work and as a global organisation we will continue to strengthen how we embed human rights into nature conservation, everywhere we work including in the most challenging areas of the world, to safeguard communities and the nature upon which they depend.”
WWF’s income for the year to 30 June 2020 was £80m, with most coming from donations and legacies.