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Parliamentary questions
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2 March 2021
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006722/2020

The EU pursues a zero tolerance policy for human rights violations.

The EU’s support of conservation projects around the world is rooted in a full commitment to the protection of biodiversity, participation and consent of local communities but also the protection of human rights.

When made aware of allegations of human rights violations regarding the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) projects financed by the EU, WWF was urged to immediately take the necessary measures, including the strengthening of their safeguard systems, and to call for an investigation and prosecution of cases.

The EU suspended its funding of WWF activities in Messok Dja in the Republic of Congo and a complaints management mechanism was put in place in the Lobéké national park in Cameroon.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, on 28 December 2020 the military court of Mbandaka condemned five eco-guards of Salonga National Park implicated in the murder, kidnapping, torture, beatings and injuries of the local population.

In India and Nepal, there are no projects supported by the EU involving the WWF. Nevertheless, the EU is following sporadic conflicts between wildlife conversation efforts and the needs of local populations and indigenous peoples, notably relating to the Kaziranga National Park in India and the Chitwan National Park in Nepal.

In Nepal, investigations have been launched by the National Human Rights Commission and Nepalese Authorities into alleged human rights abuses in relation to incidents in 2020 involving Chepang people.

The EU will continue to closely follow-up on the recommendations of the report, and continue its efforts to ensure that EU support to conservation is respectful of the human rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.

Last updated: 2 March 2021Legal notice - Privacy policy