An accountability charter for conservation NGOs

IIED worked with major international conservation organisations to develop a set of principles addressing human rights concerns, and a mechanism for monitoring compliance with those principles.

Dilys Roe

Principal researcher and team leader (biodiversity), Natural Resources

Conservation activities sometimes result in undesirable and unacceptable social costs which can, in turn, undermine the local and global support base on which successful conservation relies.

Many conservation organisations are working to better understand the impact of conservation actions on local people and the role that those affected by conservation could have in both promoting conservation and benefiting from it.

International law and a multitude of accords have laid out many standards but their relevance to, and application by, international conservation organisations has been limited in terms of their requirement for accountable action and/or accessibility to local communities seeking solutions for damage or loss suffered.

What IIED did

To guarantee that conservation organisations can meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation while respecting the rights and needs of those affected by their actions, IIED and FIELD worked with a number of conservation NGOs to explore the possibility of setting up a process for developing minimum acceptable standards.



Wildlife Conservation Society

The Nature Conservancy

Fauna and Flora International

Birdlife International

Wetlands International


We also worked with consultant Nick Winer who was previously coordinator of a Botswana community based natural resource management programme.