Complaints Resolution Mechanism | WWF


Purpose

  • Ensure that the communities with whom WWF works with benefit from and are not inadvertently harmed by our conservation actions or those of our implementing partners.
  • Provide communities and stakeholders a way to air grievances of harm, infringement, or violation of their human and  traditional & indigenous rights, economic well-being, gender equity, and other aspects encompassed under WWF’s Social Policies (Section 3), as a result of WWF actions or omissions.
  • Ensure that the resolution of a grievance is based on dialogue, cooperation, and mutual agreement.
  • Ensure that employees and communities understand the procedures involved in the complaints resolution process.
  • Ensure that effective prevention and response processes which are two critical and inter-related efforts are in place.

Scope

Provide a system for responding to and resolving concerns raised by communities on any negative social or other impacts related to WWF conservation work. These guidelines cover the necessary information on WWF policies and complaints resolution process for employees, partners, contractors, communities, and stakeholders.

WWF Network’s Social Policies

Indigenous Peoples / Local Communities

WWF promotes equitable partnerships with indigenous peoples’ [IP] organizations to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable use of natural resources within the IP territories. WWF will respect and protect the IP rights to ongoing Free Prior and Informed Consent [FPIC], tenure over traditional lands and territories and equitable benefits from NRM and Traditional Knowledge. WWF will facilitate IP access to conflict resolution mechanism where IP rights are contested, technical and financial assistance and participation in relevant government and international fora.

WWF acknowledges that indigenous peoples have rights to the lands, territories, and resources that they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used with due regard for the rights and welfare of other legitimate stakeholders.

  • Rights to improve the quality of their lives and to benefit directly and equitably from the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources within their territories.
  • Rights to exert control over their lands, territories, and resources, in systems that best suit their cultures and social needs.
  • Right to decide on issues such as technologies and management systems to be used on their lands, and support their application insofar as they are environmentally sustainable and contribute to the conservation of nature.
  • Right to free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting those lands, territories, and resources.
  • Rights of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation and/or initial rights of indigenous peoples to enjoy an equitable share in economic or other benefits realized from their intellectual property and knowledge.
  • Rights of indigenous peoples not to be removed from the territories they occupy.  Where their relocation is considered necessary as an exceptional measure, it shall take place only with their free, prior informed consent, and in full respect of national and international laws and conventions, collective rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and enjoy their cultural and intellectual heritage.
  • Rights to freely decide to maintain their cultural values and freely decide if and when and how they wish to contact and/or integrate with the outside world.
  • Rights to be explained the purpose and conditions for any relocation in relevant local languages, and in a form that is accessible to those affected.

Poverty & Conservation

WWF embraces a pro-poor approach to conservation that enables poor communities to achieve tangible benefits from the conservation & sustainable use of natural resources. WWF therefore acknowledges:

  • Understanding social-environmental linkages and assessing & mitigating poverty implications of WWF interventions.
  • Local people play a key part in designing, implementing & monitoring sustainable development solutions; and conservation & development strategies & agreements, including our footprint & consumption work and to integrate poverty & equity issues.
  • WWF assesses the poverty implications of our activities in order to identify opportunities for positively contributing to poverty reduction as well as to address potential conflicts and trade-offs between conservation and poverty reduction goals. Where trade-offs occur, WWF will support affected local people to ensure that equitable and sustainable solutions are in place.
  • WWF will engage with resource-dependent communities with the aim of identifying common interests, implementing collaboratively agreed activities, and producing outcomes that benefit both people and the environment. WWF will seek out and respond to concerns, priorities and values of local people as they relate to natural resources (e.g. issues of access, control, and management) and well-being.
  • Actively seeking out and engaging with partners who can complement WWF’s expertise to effectively address poverty-environment issues at all levels.
  • Integrating poverty and equity issues into our work on footprint and consumption.

Gender

WWF’s conservation policies, programs & activities benefit women & men equally & contribute to gender equity. WWF also commits to:

  • Ensuring an organizational culture and work environment that is gender sensitive.
  • Ensuring culturally-sensitive gender integration throughout the project cycle.
  • Mitigating negative impacts on men and women & promoting equitable conservation benefits.
  • Promoting gender equity in control over resources & power of decision making over natural resources.
  • Expanding WWF’s knowledge & commitment to social and gender equity, through staff training, documentation and sharing of lessons

Human Rights

WWF will ensure that policies, capacities & accountability measures are in place to fulfil the following commitments throughout the project / program cycle.          

  • Respect & promote human rights in conservation programs
  • Protect the vulnerable, marginalized, and minorities  
  • Encourage good governance
  • Establish relevant institutional policies & ensure implementation capacity
  • Establish accountability measures

Complainant / Affected Party [Who can Report?]

  • An “Affected Party” is any community or group (two or more people) that believes it is or may be negatively affected by a failure on the part of WWF to follow its WWF Social Policies and Safeguards which proffers rights to communities in the design and planning, implementation and/or monitoring of a WWF project activity which may impact them.

NOTE: The Project Complaints Process addresses issues related to human rights and social impacts on the entire or a portion of a community. An individual’s grievance/s made in good faith may be reported through this process, but shall be addressed outside of the Project Complaints Process.

  • If necessary a person [community representative, village head, etc.] or organization [Association, local / national or international NGO etc.] may be requested by an Affected Party to speak on their behalf in relation to a complaint to WWF if they can show concrete evidence of having been requested by the Affected Party.
  • Because this project complaints process is oriented towards direct dialogue and engagement among all parties, there is a risk that confidentiality may limit efforts to resolve complaints. Although complainants can request confidentiality, they will be informed if confidentiality is impeding the process. 
  • WWF-Pakistan strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate any form of retaliation against those who report concerns in good faith. Any WWF employee who engages in such retaliation will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.  WWF-Pakistan will take all feasible actions to protect reporters against retaliation. Anyone who has made a report of suspicious conduct of a WWF employee and who subsequently believes he or she has been subjected to retaliation of any kind by should immediately report it by the same channels as noted herein.

Prevention Measures by WWF

Measures taken to prevent grievances by following WWF Standards and keeping channels open to resolve issues before they escalate. 

  • Continuous awareness and commitment:  All relevant staff aware of / trained on social policies and complaints process. Induct all new staff on the Social Policies and Complaints Resolution within 1 month of hire. Provide refreshers to relevant staff every 12 months. Have information on complaints process and social policies readily available to staff through internal staff communications.
  • Translate social policies documents in local languages – for staff, public and communities. In some cases, this might require adaptation of social policies to address existing legal and social conditions. Upload documents in relevant languages on the WWF website.
  • Ongoing community outreach: Know our communities. Obtain information from community groups (e.g. community-based and organizations and village committees) and community leadership on their authorized spokespeople or representatives. Ensure that they understand WWF’s social commitments and specifically what they might legitimately complain about, know how they can raise these concerns and issues, and whom to address. Make it explicit that we support a “speak up” environment. Impart this information during project inception/start.
  • Project teams should regularly refresh communities’ understanding of our policies and the right to raise concerns. Provide community leadership with website, contact details of focal points, information about Project Complaints Mechanism, and inform them of the options to raise issues (locally and/or with WWF International) at least every quarter, depending on project duration and budget.
  • Stakeholder awareness and support: Government, local stakeholders, partners, and donors are aware of our social policies and complaints process. Discuss with WWF partners and donors: know and respect their requirements of reporting and resolving social issues.
  • Complaint Reporting Format and Filing Process
  • The complainant should raise his or her concerns in writing in the language that he or she feels most comfortable with or orally in case he or she cannot write, outlining the nature of the deviation and the details of the incidents, together with details of any witnesses or other complainants. This is not required for the Whistle-blower channel where the person who reports may not be the victim hence does not have all the details.
  • Complaints should preferably include the following information:
  • Complainant’s name and contact information 
  • If not filed directly by the complainant, proof that those representing the affected people have authority to do so
  • The specific project or program of concern including region and country
  • The harm that is or may be resulting from it
  • Any other relevant information or documents (e.g. date of event)
  • Any actions taken so far to resolve the problem, including contact with WWF
  • Whether confidentiality is requested (stating reasons)

 

Reporting Channels

WWF provides a range of options to report / escalate deviations to allow communities and employees to use the channels they feel most comfortable with. It is encouraged that the complainant raises the concerns with the WWF-Pakistan office first.

 

WWF-Pakistan Whistle-blower Contact Details:

Hammad Naqi Khan - Chief Executive Officer / DG               111 WWFPAK (993 725) / +92 42 35927904-06

Rab Nawaz - Sr. Director Programme                                     +92 51 2270020-3

Zahid S. Jadoon - Director Operations                                    111 WWFPAK (993 725) / +92 42 35927904-06   

Asma Ezdi - Head Marketing & Communications                   111 WWFPAK (993 725) / +92 42 35927904-06

S. Mehreen Shahzad - Head Programme Development         111 WWFPAK (993 725) / +92 42 35927904-06

Tahir Mahboob Ali - Sr. Manager Human Resources              111 WWFPAK (993 725) / +92 42 35927904-06

 

Email Address:                     Complaints@wwf.org.pk

Mobile Number:                    +92-300-0993725 [for text / WhatsApp messages only]

Address:                              WWF-Pakistan, Head Office, Ferozepur Road, Lahore

 

  1. WWF International Whistle-blower Contact Details

          Donna Lusti, Manager Ethics, Compliance and Standards   dlusti@wwfint.org