Civil society | WWF
© Helena Telkänranta/WWF

Civil society

A strong civil society is a key agent for change

As a civil society organisation, an important part of WWF's work is empowering local communities and helping to build stronger constituencies for sustainable development, economic equity, and natural resource stewardship.

Democratic, transparent and accountable governance systems and practices are essential for achieving sustainable natural resource stewardship. In this context CSOs are key partners for WWF and we work around the world to help build local CSO capacity and strength. CSOs are important to ensure accountability and sustainability of natural resource management, inclusive socio-economic development and equitable cost and benefit sharing. Strong and empowered civil society is key to bringing about a more sustainable world.

WWF: a CSO, with CSOs, for CSOs

In many of the areas where we work, WWF plays an important role in helping build larger, stronger and more active local constituencies, recognizing that they are critical to achieving long-term sustainable development and equitable governance of common public goods.

This includes developing platforms and coalitions for environmental governance and monitoring, leading innovative projects to build political participation of civil society in support of sustainable development, empowering women and promoting youth leadership in environment and development to secure the rights of future generations.

An important aspect of our work is to strengthen the role of civil society as development partners, and ensure that environmental sustainability is one of the core principles of development cooperation, for instance through the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness.
Read more in the box on the right.

WWF & Open Forum for CSOs

© Open Forum for CSOs

WWF was an active member of the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, which developed the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness - a set of shared values guiding the development work of CSOs worldwide - which stress the importance of people’s empowerment, democratic ownership and participation, the promotion of environmental sustainability, positive sustainable change and social justice.

Community water resource management in the village of Albakaijzé on the Niger River, Niger

© Anton Vorauer/WWF