Originally published November 4 2014
World Wildlife Fund's hidden role in spreading harmful corporate practices is revealed in new book
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) Overcoming adversity by piercing through the corporate fabric in which the world's corporations are banded together, PandaLeaks - The Dark Side of the WWF exposes the ugly underbelly of the planet's largest conservation group.
Written by award-winning German journalist and filmmaker Wilfried Huismann, the book almost didn't make it to print after the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) fought tooth and nail to stop its sale. The group's efforts to stop the book's publication, which included a massive campaign of threats and a series of lawsuits, fell short of preventing the controversial report from reaching the market.
Two years of on-the-ground investigative research reveals a number of horrid, and incredibly disappointing, facts about the WWF. While earlier skepticism has surrounded the conservation group for years, their unethical and hypocritical tactics have not yet been exposed in depth until the release of Huismann's recent research.
The book accuses the WWF of "selling its soul" to corporations in exchange for their donations, as well as forging alliances with powerful, non-sustainable businesses that are destroying the planet and "greenwashing" their operations under the conservation group's label.
New book blows the whistle on WWF's cozy relationship with Big Business
Originally released under the name The Silence of the Pandas in 2012, the book became a German bestseller before being recently published in English following a series of injunctions and court cases, according to The Guardian.
Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Shell, HSBC, Cargill, BP, Alcoa and Maine Harvest have reportedly all benefited from the WWF's green label while continuing business as usual, said Huismann. While publicly condemning such corporations, behind closed doors the WWF has set up "round tables" of industrialists on hot commodities such as palm oil, timber, sugar, soy, biofuels and cocoa.
"WWF is a willing service provider to the giants of the food and energy sectors, supplying industry with a green, progressive image... On the one hand it protects the forest; on the other it helps corporations lay claim to land not previously in their grasp. WWF helps sell the idea of voluntary resettlement to indigenous peoples," said Huismann.
WWF involved in the beatings and torture of indigenous peoples in the name of "conservation"
Aside from being in bed with some of the world's biggest polluters, the WWF has also been accused of committing crimes against indigenous peoples by funding their "displacement" and "cultural extinction," contributing to more than 20 million people who are now classified as "conservation refugees."
An ethnic group residing in the Congo, the Baka people, say they've been forced from their ancestral lands in the name of "conservation." Restricting indigenous people's access to their own lands has resulted in roaming, fee-paying game hunters who are often accompanied by wildlife officers and soldiers during patrols. Baka men and women say they've been harassed, beaten and tortured, some of whom have died as a result of the beatings, by these patrol forces that are reportedly funded by the WWF.
An elite club consisting of 1,001 of the world's richest people, including philanthropists, industrialists and upper-class naturalists, are reportedly operating out of the WWF, which was set up more than 50 years ago by Prince Philip and Prince Bernhart of the Netherlands. This elite club serves as an "old boys' network," holding "influence in the corridors of global and corporate and policy-making power."
Some previous members include Henry Ford, Alfred Heineken, Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli and Swiss billionaire Baron von Thyssen, as well as other corrupt politicians, The Guardian reports. While Huismann admits that he hates conspiracy theories, he's convinced that the club is still important and is holding influences over the WWF's strategic decisions.
In response to the controversy created by the book, the WWF said they don't believe they sold their soul but are choosier regarding who they receive donations from and are working toward "global transparency and accountability standards for business partnerships."
To learn about the WWF's facade in depth, you can order the book here.
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