We commit to the highest international standards

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

How we implement this commitment

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:

  • Accountability
  • 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.

© Ami Vitale / WWF-UK
We recognize the need to collaborate

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

There is always room to improve

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.

What to read

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.


WWF’s Environmental and Social Safeguards and Social Policies are extensive and cover many different topics. Below you can find six topics that are frequently searched for.

Indigenous Peoples and Free, Prior and Informed Consent

The rights of Indigenous Peoples to give or withhold their consent to actions that will affect them.

Human rights

We have several policies and standards in place to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights across all WWF activities.

Law enforcement

Conservation law enforcement is carried out by WWF partners. To ensure this is done ethically and in line with international law, we have several protocols in place in the landscapes/projects we work on.

Excluded Activities

This list outlines activities that WWF prohibits from its activities or funding.

Grievance Mechanisms

WWF is committed to strengthening its accountability towards the communities we work with. This page outlines our approach to ensure these communities can raise their concerns or express complaints about unintended negative impacts from our work and seek resolution. 

Gender Equality

WWF recognizes the importance of promoting gender equality across the entire organization and applying its principles to all our work. Our gender policy guides this effort.