Conservation law enforcement is often carried out by WWF partners. To ensure this is done ethically and in line with international law, we have several standards in place.
International norms act as our benchmark for establishing human rights standards for law enforcement. Institutions carrying out conservation law enforcement with WWF funding or technical assistance must commit to:
- Improve the relationship between communities and conservation law enforcement, also ensure the safety of conservation law enforcement
- Using force ethically, with restraint, to the minimum extent necessary
- Assure that law enforcement personnel respect and promote the human rights of indigenous peoples and local communities
WWF recognizes that, in many countries, law enforcement will require the exercise of considerable agency (influence), which is most effectively achieved by working in a consortium of conservation, human rights, and bilateral and multilateral organizations.
The principles which guide this type of work cover:
- Building (ranger) capacity and understanding
- Identifying, monitoring, and planning for challenges
- Sanctions for malfeasance
Measures for failing to meet the standard or the principles include withholding funds if human rights violations occur and are not remedied, as well as terminating support.
With the number of actors that are engaged directly or indirectly with law enforcement activities, WWF recognizes the need for collaboration and for guidance to support rangers, law enforcement agents, other partners, and WWF staff. To this end, we are:
- Implementing a safeguard standard on Community Health, Safety and Security, which includes Principles Regarding WWF’s Support for Enforcement and Rangers.
- Piloting a due diligence tool to establish whether the necessary conditions are in place where support is rendered for law enforcement
- Working with the Universal Ranger Support Alliance and the International Ranger Federation to developing codes of conduct and related training modules to build ranger understanding, commitment and capacity
WWF recognizes the need to enhance its own internal capacity and understanding of critical, complex issues such as law enforcement. We are currently recruiting for an experienced technical expert to oversee and guide operationalization across the network.
Information about WWF’s commitments to law enforcement are further detailed in several documents, including the WWF Management Response, and the ESSF Document. These documents can be downloaded below.
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