The decisions people take in making efforts to conserve nature are highly interlinked with culture, wealth, ethnicity, religion, and gender. This complex system of beliefs and values can create connections - but also disputes - between people. To ensure the protection of both people and nature, our social policies guide all WWF activities.
Environmental and Social SafeguardsThe purpose of the WWF Safeguards Policies is to avoid (or minimize) adverse environmental impacts, and to enhance positive impacts to the maximum extent possible. Safeguards are designed to ensure our conservation efforts do not have unintended adverse social or environmental impacts and protect human rights.
WWF’s Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework (ESSF) provides an institutional mechanism to manage the environmental and social risks of WWF’s work, helps deliver better conservation outcomes, and enhances the social well-being of local communities in the places where WWF operates. The safeguards framework is designed to address a broad range of environmental and social risks, mindful of the different challenges and needs in different parts of the world. Learn more
Free, Prior and Informed ConsentWWF’s policy statement on Indigenous Peoples and Conservation outlines our commitments to recognizing and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination and to their lands, territories, and natural resources. Further, WWF recognizes that conservation and regeneration activities benefit from Indigenous Peoples being partners in their design and implementation. WWF recognizes the right of Indigenous Peoples to give, modify, withhold, or withdraw their free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) to interventions, or parts thereof, that may affect their peoples, or their lands, territories, and natural resources.
WWF Nepal has collaborated with National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) a government entity working for Indigenous communities to design a national guideline for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples. WWF Nepal will conduct FPIC for any projects that might impact indigenous people’s land, territories and resources.
Human Rights Based ApproachWWF Nepal aims to promote positive links between conservation and rights of people to secure their livelihoods, enjoy healthy and productive environments and live with dignity.
WWF Nepal is committed towards respecting and promoting human rights within its scope of conservation initiatives, while also recognizing the role and contribution of Indigenous Peoples.
- WWF mainstreams social policies and implement Social and Environmental Safeguards (ESSF) and guidelines which are socially legitimate, promote accountability and build trust and solidarity resulting in more effective and equitable use, conservation and governance of natural resources at scale.
- WWF adopts practices, institutions (formal & informal), values and policies that uphold equitable engagement and fair participation and FPIC of all rights holders and custodians of nature, especially IPLCs, men and women in conservation activities
- WWF ensures and sustain participatory, inclusive and robust processes and engagement at all level
WWF has developed a Safeguards Screening Tool (SST) under which an ESSF screening has been completed for the Terai Arc Landscape and Mountain Landscapes in Nepal. ESSF screening identifies and suggests possible steps to mitigate those risks associated with WWF’s activities in its working landscapes. Three issue areas corresponding to the substantive ESSF standards has been identified in both landscapes:- Community Health and Safety
- Indigenous Peoples, and
- Restrictions to Access to Resources.
The safeguards reviewer categorizes the landscape into one of the following risk categories and records the outcome in the categorization memo. The memo shall clarify whether any additional assessment (e.g. an environmental and social impact assessment) is required, and if so, the scope and content of such.
As a result of the screening exercise, projects will be categorized according to their risk level.
- Category A: High-risk projects
- Category B: Medium-risk projects and
- Category C: Low-risk projects.
Terai Arc Landscape and Mountain Landscape falls under medium risks category.
A mitigation plan has been developed for the Terai Arc Landscape to guide WWF Nepal in its program design. It will be applied to project implementation, monitoring, and evaluation for all activities supported by WWF across this landscape.
The Terai Arc Landscape Program runs with a holistic approach for ecosystem conservation through multi-stakeholder engagement and coordination at federal, province and local levels. The Terai Arc Landscape Strategy envisions enhancing the governance mechanism at each level through institutional arrangements across stakeholders working in the landscape. It starts with participatory planning through inclusion of community based organizations, community ownership, and monitoring of progress.
While the protection of human rights lies with governments (i.e. as the ‘duty-bearer’), WWF recognizes that businesses and organizations, including ours, have an important role in contributing to positive human rights outcomes.
WWF is committed to respecting and promoting internationally proclaimed human rights as contained in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Human rights recur in various standards we commit to as an organization. It forms part of our network’s core standards and informs everything that we do. The implementation of our commitment to human rights is driven by 7 guiding principles READ MORE
WWF’s Indigenous Peoples and Conservation Policy Statement reflects our dedication to respecting the human and development rights of Indigenous Peoples. The close ties of Indigenous Peoples with their customary lands, waters, and natural resources are particularly relevant for conservation organizations, leading to recognition of Indigenous Peoples as important stewards of high-biodiversity areas.
The policy statement helps to strengthen our respect, recognition, and protection of the distinct and differentiated rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the equal roles and rights of women and youths within those peoples. We are learning from Indigenous Peoples and partnering with them in order ... READ MORE
Our gender policy statement signifies our ongoing commitment to equity and integrating a gender perspective in our policies, programs, and projects, as well as in our institutional structure. WWF recognizes the importance of promoting gender equality across the entire organization. WWF wants to contribute to a society in which women, men, boys, girls, and people of other gender minorities, have access to the same opportunities, rights, and obligations in all spheres of life. It is part of our broader commitment to strengthen the social dimensions of our projects, programs, and policy work. READ MORE
WWF commits to contributing to poverty reduction. Where trade-offs between conservation and poverty reduction goals occur, WWF supports affected people to ensure equitable, sustainable solutions.
WWF shall not promote or support activities or policies that lead to involuntary curtailment of rights of local communities to land and natural resources, nor will be involved in activities that lead to involuntary relocation. READ MORE
WWF commits to prevent, deter, and respond to potential child harm or abuse in all activities, including conservation actions, product merchandising, social media, and staff interactions with children. WWF will hold our contracting parties to the same standard.