The WWF International ‘Hot House’ was created in May 2009 as a new political and policy generalist support unit designed to help WWF priority programmes deliver compelling political, economic and security arguments in favour of environmental conservation to decision-makers at the highest political level. The Hot House blends internal and external expertise in order to frame conservation priorities in the language of decision-makers in the context of current international agendas. The Hot House supports WWF’s political capacity by operating as both a think tank and an outreach facilitator. As a think tank, the Hot House analyses issues relating to sustainability in areas such as economy, finance, security, foreign policy, trade, health, food, jobs etc. that have not traditionally been central to WWF’s work. Analysis is backed-up by meticulous research, offering solutions that are framed to take advantage of growing momentum in global and regional policy platforms, such as Rio+20, MDGs, G-20, APEC, OECD and UN processes where appropriate). As an outreach facilitator, the Hot House supports WWF offices to engage key decision-makers in global and regional policy platforms. The Hot House has already built a comprehensive database of contacts and has extensive experience in formulating political briefings highlighting the current geopolitical, economic and security issues relevant to those decision-makers.
These two activities ensure that WWF remains abreast of the latest dynamics of international politics and WWF priorities are seen as being relevant to the political debates and new public policy measures. The Hot House is a rapid-response unit with a mix of skills in the staff, giving it the ability to produce analysis of conservation issues in the context of the overall political dynamic.
The Hot House at WWF International required a young and dynamic team of researchers with backgrounds in international relations and political science who were available for short-term assignments. This is where the WWF Youth Volunteer Internship Programme was able to contribute to the project by recruiting people of high calibre with a diversity of backgrounds necessary for global policy.