WWF Mesoamerica has established a mechanism to receive and respond to complaints raised by stakeholders who may be affected by WWF Mesoamerica conservation activities. This mechanism reflects our Values and our commitment to Ethics, and to Integrity and Good Conduct.
WWF is committed to a culture which allows people to safely raise concerns of inappropriate conduct by employees of WWF, its partners, and people associated with WWF, without fear of reprisals. Likewise, local communities or individuals from those communities who believe they are negatively impacted by WWF’s activities are welcome to send their concerns. Complaints may be submitted in the complainant’s native language, to the local WWF office or to our EthicsPoint reporting line.
WWF commits to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics in our workplace and in our activities. This commitment is fundamental to creating effective, lasting, and equitable solutions to today’s environmental challenges.
Recognizing that WWF is only one of many actors, we expect our grantees, contractual partners, and other parties with whom we work to commit to the following:
1. Respect human rights, promote social inclusion, and implement social safeguards for vulnerable, local, and Indigenous communities, including:
2. Comply with, and provide active support to WWF to ensure reasonable compliance with, all applicable laws including but not limited to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1987 and similar laws in applicable jurisdictions.
3. Respect integrity in the use of funds and assets which may be provided by WWF, including taking appropriate measures to prevent, detect and respond to concerns of misappropriation or other illegal activity; this includes implementing appropriate policies and procedures, and ensuring that employees, sub-contractors or third parties respect the same.
4. Respect and safeguard employees to prevent and respond to discrimination, harassment, abuse of power, gender inequity, and sexual exploitation and abuse in the workplace.
5. Respect the legal rights of the labor force to health, safety, fair wages, benefits, working hours, freedom of association, collective bargaining, no discrimination or harsh treatment, no forced labor, and respect labor restrictions related to children pursuant to applicable local laws and/or ILO Labor Standards, whichever is the higher standard.
6. Respect applicable standards and agreements around confidentiality, including but not limited to the sharing of business sensitive information and personal data as protected by applicable law.
7. Never offer, give or agree to give to any person an inducement or reward (or anything which may reasonably be considered an inducement or reward) in connection with carrying out work with WWF. Represent and ensure there is no conflict of interest involving WWF related to any contractual commitments and promptly disclose in writing to WWF any conflicts of interest that arise during the contract term.
8. Require sub-contractors engaged to work with WWF on these issues to abide by these same commitments.
9. Commit to disclose to WWF any claims or allegations that arise in the context of our work together regarding the respect of human rights and the safeguarding of vulnerable, local, and Indigenous communities.
• Policy Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Conservation
• Polity Statement on Human Rights
• Policy on Statement on Gender Equality
These policies can be accessed here: WWF Social Policies
Any individual, group or community who believe it is or may be negatively affected by WWF Mesoamerica failure to follow values and commitments in the design or implementation of a WWF Mesoamerica project activity is considered an “Affected Party”. Any Affected Party may file a complaint. Representatives filing a complaint on behalf of an Affected Party must provide concrete evidence of authority to represent them.
Given that this project complaints resolution process is oriented towards direct dialogue and engagement among all parties, anonymous complaints will not be considered, although complainants can request confidentiality. There is a risk that confidentiality may limit efforts to resolve complaints, and complainants will be informed if confidentiality is impending the process.
The WWF Mesoamerica Complaints Resolution Process is overseen by a team in WWF Mesoamerica Guatemala office. Complaints should be directed to the WWF Mesoamerica Complaints Team by any of the following means.
WWF Mesoamerica, Attention: Project Complaints,1154 Sunrise Ave, Unit 101-102, Belize City, Belize
WWF Mesoamerica, Attention: Project Complaints, 19 ave. 5-01 zona 15, Vista Hermosa 1, Guatemala, Guatemala.
WWF Mesoamérica, Atención: Reclamos de Proyectos, Instalaciones de la FHIA, Contiguo al Instituto Patria. La Lima, Cortes, Honduras
WhatsApp: +502 5414-8263
Boxes: if available in the location of a specific project
The complaints should 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 location
• The harm that is or may be resulting from it
• The relevant WWF social policy provision (if known)
• Any other relevant information or documents (e.g. date of event)
• Any actions taken so far (if any) to resolve the problem, including contact with WWF
• Proposed solution
• Whether confidentiality is requested (stating reason)
The complaint can be filed either in English or Spanish
Step 1 The WWF Mesoamerica Project Complaints Team will assess the eligibility of the complaint and provide a response as to whether or not it is eligible, in accordance with the above requested information (10 business days after receiving the complaint).
Step 2 If the complaint is eligible, the team will come up with a plan and define a timeframe to investigate the complaint. The team will then communicate this information to the Affected Party (10 business days after Step 1 is finalized).
Step 3 The team will then investigate the matter, with additional technical support as needed, including support from the field offices. Based on the results, the team will then work with the affected parties to develop and implement an action plan and timeframe of steps required to resolve any issues identified.
Step 4 A summary of the complaint raised, actions taken, conclusions reached, follow up plan and timeframe for completion will be documented and communicated as agreed between the parties.
Agreed action plans will establish timeframes for regular process monitoring towards resolution of the complaint. The Project Complaints Team will coordinate the monitoring by organizing periodic checks – bringing together the affected parties and relevant technical advisors for meetings or other communication on the status of action plans, until they are completed. WWF Mesoamerica will assess the effectiveness of this complaints resolution process on an annual basis, and identify any needs for improvement.
WWF Mesoamerica strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate any form of retaliation against those who report complaints in good faith. Any WWF Mesoamerica employee who engages in such retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. WWF Mesoamerica will take all feasible actions to protect complainants against retaliation. Anyone who has made a report of suspicious conduct of a WWF Mesoamerica employee and who subsequently believes he or she has been subjected to retaliation of any kind should immediately report it by the same channels as noted herein.
• Andreas Lehnhoff, Program Director
• Karen Rosales, Finance & Administration Manager
• Oscar Rojas, Conservation Director
• Rosario Calderón, Communications Senior Officer
• Lilian Márquez, Design and Impact Officer and Safeguards Focal Point