Chair appointed to lead independent review panel

Posted on April, 08 2019

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Navi Pillay, has accepted to Chair the panel leading the independent review which was announced on 4 March into allegations raised in the media in the context of WWF’s conservation work.

WWF International President Pavan Sukhdev, said “WWF is committed to safeguarding a future where people and nature can thrive together. Any kind of abuse and the tragic impact it has on individuals is extremely disturbing and distressing. Respect for human rights is at the core of our mission, and we are taking these allegations seriously with an independent review, to be conducted under Judge Pillay’s leadership. Any shortcomings uncovered by the review will be addressed; we are committed to taking swift and appropriate action.”


A statement of objectives for the independent review has been published. The panel will set the detailed terms of reference for the independent review, including the expected timeline. The results of the independent review will be published.

Update on 29 April 2019: Professor John Knox and Dr Kathy Mackinnon have confirmed their participation as the remaining two members of the panel. Professor Knox was the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment and Dr Kathy MacKinnon is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and was previously Lead Biodiversity Specialist of the World Bank, where she mainstreamed conservation into development programmes including promoting protected areas as natural solutions to climate change and other global challenges.




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About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.  Find out more about our work, past and present at


Navi Pillay biography

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008-2014);

Judge in the International Criminal  Court (2003-2008);

Judge and President of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1996- 2003);

Judge in the High  Court of South Africa (KZN) 1996;

President of the Nuremberg Principles Academy Council;

President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty.


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Contact for Judge Pillay: