For real environmental care: Reform the WWF!

  • By: Lorenz Hummer
  • Target: Yolanda Kakabadse (President), James Leape (Director General), Andre Hoffmann (Vice President), Doctor Adil Najam, Christopher Hails, Pascale Moehrle, Susan Brown, Gordon Shepherd, Danielle Chidlow, Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Maria Boulos (Corporate Relations)

The WWF has lost its credibility among many former supporters. That's why the organization needs reforms in order to restore trust. Please sign to tell those responsible that they have to take the people's opinion into account!
We demand, among others, higher transparency, uniform points of view and dismissal of personnel opposing the WWF's principles!

We want a WWF for nature and local people! Negotiations with companies may be important but as an environmental organization, the WWF should act as a lobby for nature and people who depend on it.    

To whom it may concern,


the current debate on King Juan Carlos' position as honorary president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has lead to declining trust within the supporters of environmental conservation. We therefore urge your organization to reconsider its values and goals in order to restore credibility.


Even though we are aware of the fact that successful campaigns go hand in hand with compromises and negotiations, we would like the WWF to serve primarily as a link between people and nature rather than between economy and conservation.


We are of the opinion that environmental and social aspects must not be left behind.
 


1. transparency

    1.1 eco-labelling


One of the major points of criticism is the opacity of eco-labelling. A list of products carrying labels in which the WWF is involved should be disclosed to third parties including comprehensible explanatory statements and ways to contact the respective companies. This demand also entails partnerships for plain advertising purposes (see 1.2)


   1.2 donations


As large donations contribute most to the organization's budget there must be a way for potential donators to find out by whom exactly the WWF is financed. This is crucial to determine the impacts large donations have on the organization's future campaigns.


1.3 relations between companies and WWF

Potential donators should be allowed to know which companies negotiate with the WWF including, amongst others, those participating in the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Moreover, everyone should be given the opportunity to inform themselves about the various points of view and possible results. These three points are intended to enable the people to supervise the progress of the organization not only by means of reports of success but, more importantly, by keeping an eye on the decision-making process.
 


2. Members and Leadership


   2.1 Honorary Presidents


Regarding current events we urge you to displace all officials who repeatedly oppose the WWF's principles. These include, for instance, the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I., who is a passionate trophy hunter, Prince Charles who is strictly against a ban on fox hunting in Britain and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is a big game hunter as well and has already shot tigers in the wild. Although staying in close contact with aristocrats might seem beneficial for an organization they have also caused the trust in it to decline and its reputation to suffer significantly.


   2.2 Other Spokesmen, Experts, Members


I think it is crucial for an organization to stand for uniform principles. Unfortunately this is not always the case, for example, there is no general opinion on the topic of genetically modified organisms. Dr. Hector Laurence from WWF Argentina who stated that GMOs and biodiversity can be perfectly arranged with each other is one example to show how WWF officials contradict each other and cause unsettledness among the environmentally conscious people.
 


3. Methods


   3.1 Land Use


We urge the WWF to focus on conserving natural habitats or, to be more precise, on the establishment of IUCN protected areas of type Ia (Strict Nature Reserves) and Ib (Wilderness Areas). Access to these protectorates should be limited to a minimum while scientific research in these zones for the purpose of conservation should be possible. These areas must be big enough to provide spacious habitats for wildlife and, in the best case, complement existing conservation zones or serve as bridges between two or more of them.


Another point to be mentioned is how to deal with indigenous people. As a matter of fact, they are usually eager to protect their territory. That's why they should be given the opportunity to coexist with wild animals. Nevertheless, one challenge that will arise is how to prevent accidents with wildlife. Investing in respective measures, e.g. fences, is definitely one important point the WWF should consider.


   3.2 Ecotourism


Real ecotourism is beneficial for both the nature and the local people. This term, however, involves certain requirements. The impact on ecosystems should be as small as possible and therefore, the main purpose of this kind of tourism can't be raising vast amounts of money but giving the guests the opportunity to experience unspoilt nature without harming it. One point that was criticized about the WWF were the tiger safaris which exert tremendous pressure on the endangered species. A solution of how to limit this pressure in the long term must be found in the future.

3.3 general

As mentioned before, compromises between economical and environmental interests must be found. However, we would like to see a WWF fighting more resolutely against exploitation of nature and local people, against unethical companies, hypocrisy and greenwashing. We want to remind you that the WWF is not meant to be an enterprise but a successful organization representing environmentally conscious people.


Please note: This petition is not supposed to be anti-WWF. It is a plea to reconsider your values and methods so that we can achieve our goals we all share.


Don't betray your supporters! Take your responsibility seriously and ACT NOW!



Yours faithfully,


Lorenz Hummer (lorenz.hummer@gmx.at),


Johannes Wapelhorst,


on behalf of...

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