WWF, the venerable nature-conservation group, has a darker side, BuzzFeed News reported Monday, drawing on a yearlong investigation across six countries. "In national parks across Asia and Africa, the beloved nonprofit with the cuddly panda logo funds, equips, and works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and murdering scores of people," BuzzFeed says. The documented or alleged abuses committee by WWF-funded rangers or staff includes admitted waterboarding and alleged murder in Nepal, an arms deal in Central African Republic, and extrajudicial killings in India.
"The enemy is real, and dangerous," BuzzFeed notes:
WWF, a global nonprofit founded in 1961 and based in Switzerland, has also "assumed the role of a global spymaster in its efforts to protect wildlife," BuzzFeed reports, paying "informants" despite the risks. WWF says it is taking BuzzFeed's report seriously. "Human rights abuses are totally unacceptable and can never be justified in the name of conservation," the charity said in a statement, and it has launched an urgent "independent review" by human rights specialists "to get to the bottom of the allegations BuzzFeed has made," which "do not match our understanding of events." You can read more about specific instances and view documents at BuzzFeed News.
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