WWF's Social Policies | WWF
© Juergen Freund/ WWF

WWF's Social Policies

WWF's social policies guide the integration of social dimensions in our conservation work as well as in the institutional structure of our global network.

Indigenous Peoples
Portrait of a Kenyan Woman and her baby. Lunga Lunga, between the Kenyan and Tanzanian borders. © Brent Stirton / Getty Images

WWF's Statement of Principles on Indigenous Peoples and Conservation was drafted in 1996 and updated in 2008. It reflects our dedication to respecting indigenous and traditional peoples' human and development rights and recognizes the importance of conserving their cultures.
Learn more.

Guidelines on the Prevention of Restriction of Rights

The guidelines aim to ensure that WWF acknowledges and respects the rights of indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs)1 to land, water and other resources, positively contributes to the exercise of these rights, avoids directly or indirectly undermining and infringing on these rights or causing additional costs to people through our policy and/or fieldwork, projects and activities.

Download PDF

Human Rights


Druze women, Ramlieh village, Lebanon © WWF
 WWF adopted its Gender Policy in 2011. This policy reflects WWF’s ongoing commitment to equity and integrating a gender perspective in its policies, programmes, and projects, as well as in its own institutional structure.
Learn more.

WWF Network Standard on Child Safeguarding and Protection of Rights

All children, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances, have the right to be protected, nurtured and free from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Respecting and supporting this right is the essence of child safeguarding. WWF has the responsibility to ensure prevention of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and maltreatment by employees and other persons whom we are responsible for, such as partners, visitors to corporate premises or volunteers.

Poverty and Conservation

75% of ethnic minority people in Vietnam live below the poverty line. © WWF
WWF’s Policy on Poverty and Conservation was adopted in 2009. It reaffirms WWF’s commitment to embrace a pro-poor approach to conservation to strive to find equitable solutions for people and the environment and enable local people to play a key part in sustainable development.
Learn more.


Visit WWF Australia Social Policies webpage for an example of how our policies are developed and implemented on a national level.

WWF Network Project Complaints Resolution Process

In 2016, WWF has established a mechanism to receive and respond to concerns raised by stakeholders who may be affected by WWF-supported conservation activities as a key means to
strengthen implementation of WWF’s Social Policies and Safeguards (defined below). Addressing complaints in a timely and effective way helps resolve conflicts, improves mutual understanding, strengthens
accountability and provides a foundation for increased collaboration. The roll out of the project complaints resolution process has started in 2016, and is currently being shared with stakeholders during the project design phase or at other appropriate interactions. Learn more.