© Anastasia Petrova / Unsplash

Every vision must inspire and be transformed into action, always based on realistic, yet ambitious, planning. Our main goal in view of 2025 is to protect our natural heritage, and, therefore, our current five-year strategy (2018-2022) stands on two main pillars: 

1. Protecting biodiversity

We struggle every day to protect ecologically sensitive species and areas and to improve the management of the natural environment.

2. Reducing the human footprint

We promote sustainable solutions to reduce humanity’s ecological footprint, with an emphasis on climate change and lifestyle, aiming at a balanced relationship between humanity and nature.

At the same time, we have highlighted protecting and improving environmental legislation as an especially important target, as it is constantly in danger of degradation, especially during the previous years of the financial crisis.

Nevertheless, we do not just care about results. We also care about the way in which one chooses to achieve them. Transparency, the example we set, respect for human rights, and continuous improvement are only some of the elements that are of vital importance to us, as is made clear by a single image.
All this derives both from the conditions and needs of Greece, as well as from the international vision and the priorities of the WWF international network, which aims at a future in which humanity and nature coexist harmoniously. 

WWF's Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework

Safeguards play a vital role in achieving WWF’s vision. They guide how we engage local communities to plan and manage our work to improve and protect their lives, rights and livelihoods while conserving nature and wildlife.

Safeguards are designed to manage risks, uphold human rights, and ensure conservation projects deliver better outcomes for communities and nature. WWF uses safeguards to identify, avoid and mitigate any negative social and environmental impacts within our work. We apply safeguards in the design, implementation, and monitoring of all of our activities.

WWF’s enhanced Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework establishes a common set of standards, policies, planning and implementation mechanisms, and compliance systems that govern how activities on-the-ground are carried out. This framework has been adopted by the entire WWF Network to ensure consistent, comprehensive application of safeguards across all that we do.

The Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework includes the following features:

  • Safeguards screening to surface risks, including those related to community safety, access to natural resources, and indigenous people.
  • Sound actions to address risk through the development of mitigation plans, implementation measures, and oversight systems.
  • Quality assurance and accountability to ensure appropriate risk management, including through the engagement of qualified safeguards experts
  • Community participation throughout project design, implementation and monitoring. Grievance mechanisms will be set up for stakeholders to voice any project-related concerns they have so action can be taken.
  • A Global Safeguards Unit that centralizes information and provides assistance, quality assurance, and training, as well as other activities needed for effective implementation.
  • An independent ombudsperson that will oversee compliance with the safeguards framework across WWF and serve as a means for mediation when disputes cannot be settled locally.

Where reports of abuse relate to landscapes or to partners that have received our support, our practice is to investigate, engage communities, take appropriate actions, and press the government to take corrective measures.

WWF understands that lasting conservation and community development go hand-in-hand. People are at the heart of all we do. Through this safeguards framework, WWF is furthering our commitment to drive sustainable development, uphold human rights, and advance the social and economic well-being of people in the places where we operate around the world.

© Marizilda Cruppe / WWF-UK