The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is not just an environmental group — it is a monolith. It is also a big brand. And like all big corporate brands, it manages its media coverage quite well. There's so much of positive stories there to be read in the print media or seen on television, that you don't even know that there's a dark underbelly somewhere. Things, in fact,are so murky that your faith in the hitherto thought of as venerable NGO will stand shaken. Probably, for good.
Just as most negative stories of corporates are usually found only in the alternative media space, so are such reports about media-savvy organisations like WWF. The first time that major aspersions were cast on WWF was two years back when an article in The Ecologist made a scathing attack on the organisation for sitting at the table with the likes of Monsanto and Cargill. It was accused of going too far in trying to please multinationals.
In June 2011, a film by Wilfried Huismann, The Silence of the Pandas, targeted the WWF, the largest, most trusted, and best-funded environmental “protection” organisations in the world. The charge against WWF was simple: its reputation does not live up to its actions, however, which greenwash industries that are destroying the environment as well as indigenous cultures.
Today, WWF is the most influential lobby for the environment in the world. Thanks largely to its excellent contacts in both the political and industrial spheres. Behind this eco-facade, the film uncovered explosive stories from all around the world. Stories of displaced peoples, cleared rainforests and the huge moneymaking industry that is the WWF's green seal of approval. The documentary follows the donations.
The 45 minute film was broadcast on German public TV channel ARD on June 28. It prompted a denial by WWF. But that was all that you got to see or read. There were hardly any reviews worth reading anywhere. The allegations have been blacked out from the mainstream media. Both Mosanto and WWF are extremely powerful and infulential organisations. And they are in bed together.
You can watch the film in four parts: