WWF International statement on “undesirable” characterisation in Russia

Posted on 22 June 2023

We are deeply disappointed by the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office decision to designate WWF’s activities as “undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation”. As a result and with immediate effect, WWF-Russia (“Vsemirnyi Fond Prirody") has taken the difficult decision to no longer be part of the WWF network. Sadly, this brings to an end WWF-Russia’s proud history of conservation impact in Russia which spans more than 30 years.

WWF is a mission-driven network of conservation organisations, which operates in over 100 countries worldwide. Together, the WWF network shares a common mission: to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As part of this network, WWF-Russia has operated as a non-partisan national organisation, fully governed and managed by Russian citizens working towards the preservation of the biological diversity of the planet. 

WWF is proud of our record of supporting nature conservation in Russia. Eurasia has magnificent and globally important biodiversity to conserve, including in the Arctic, Amur-Heilong, Altai-Sayan, and the Caucasus ecoregions, where WWF-Russia has been implementing conservation programmes to help sustain the natural world. 

Since WWF first began working in Russia in 1989, the incredibly talented and dedicated staff there have established more than 1,000 field projects aimed at preserving nature. More than 72 million hectares of unique territories have been granted conservation status, the European bison and the Persian leopard have been returned to the wild, populations of Asian Big Cats, argali, polar bear, Oriental white stork and other species  have been restored and preserved.

We deeply regret the characterisation from the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office that WWF poses “security threats in the economic sphere”, and believe that conservation of our natural world is vital, particularly as the climate and biodiversity crises accelerate around the world. Resilience to a changing climate depends upon a healthy environment. An open and trustful cooperation of all stakeholders is vital for achieving the world’s climate and nature objectives—both in advocating for, and implementing, whole-of-society solutions to the environmental challenges we face.

At WWF, our mission is to create a world where people and nature live in harmony. Today we stand together with colleagues and supporters from all around the globe in their desire and efforts to build a world where all people and nature thrive.