In March 2019, Buzzfeed News published the first of a series of articles tying international conservation giant WWF to violent and severe human rights abuses allegedly committed by park rangers working in Central Africa and South Asia. Based largely on field investigations by the advocacy groups Survival International and the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK), the reports sent shock waves through the conservation industry, depicting out-of-control eco-guards enforcing the boundaries of protected wildlife reserves through the torture, rape and murder of people living in nearby communities. In response to the broad outcry that followed, WWF commissioned an independent investigation by a panel of human rights experts that included a former UN high commissioner for human rights as well as luminaries in the fields of conservation and protected area management. On Nov. 24, after more than a year of interviews and review of internal WWF documents, the panel released a 160-page final report. The report found that staff members working in WWF country offices, particularly those in Central Africa, knew for years that there were allegations of violence and misconduct by park rangers who were receiving support from WWF that included salary bonuses. After human rights organizations began to publicize the allegations, WWF International hired consultants to investigate their veracity, but in some cases their reports were either kept from the public or their language was softened before being presented to senior figures in the organization. “In some cases, however, it is clear that to avoid fueling criticism WWF decided not to…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer