WWF/GFTN Response to Allegations made in the Global Witness Report Pandering to the Loggers



Posted on 25 July 2011  | 
The Global Witness report Pandering to the Loggers is highly critical of the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), an initiative set up by WWF 20 years ago to turn the global marketplace for forest products into a positive force to save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests.

Global Witness' main allegations are that GFTN lacks transparency, that participation and associated rules are inadequate, and that GFTN lacks proper monitoring and enforcement. In response to these allegations, George White, the Head of GFTN, issued the following statement: "Pandering to the Loggers contains a number of errors and misleading statements, and WWF rejects Global Witness' main allegations.

"WWF was given a very late opportunity to respond to specific questions from Global Witness. On 17 June 2011, Global Witness sent letters to WWF International and the GFTN Support Unit informing us of a forthcoming report, and detailing a number of claims regarding GFTN. The letter asked us to respond to the allegations within a very short deadline. Despite requests, Global Witness refused to either extend the deadline or to offer any more background information, which would have enabled us to answer more fully or within the context of the report itself. The original allegations were carefully reviewed and on 24 June 2011, within the deadline, WWF responded point-by-point, clarifying inaccuracies and misleading suggestions. Pandering to the Loggers, a report unseen by WWF prior to publication, makes a highly selective - and therefore misleading -use of  WWF's responses. We maintain that many aspects of the Global Witness report are incomplete or inaccurate.

"Nonetheless, as with any criticism, WWF is taking the allegations seriously and we intend to examine Global Witness’s recommendations in detail. Should we find any of them to be justified we will respond appropriately, as we are constantly striving to improve our performance and accountability wherever possible.”

For further information contact
Chris Chaplin, Media Officer, WWF International, cchaplin@wwf.sg, +65 9826 3802

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