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WWF held a work-shop for NGOs at the Paris Peace Forum

12 november 2021
At the Paris Peace Forum 2021, WWF-Russia within the framework of People for nature project, implemented in partnership with the European Union, presented recommendations that will help NGOs and activists around the world to conduct a constructive dialogue with businesses to reduce their environmental impact

In 2020, the People for Nature project was listed by the Paris Peace Forum as one of the ten most promising initiatives. A year later, the project returned to Paris to talk about how to build an effective dialogue between environmental NGOs and business. 

Thanks to the work with the Paris Peace Forum, our knowledge and experience accumulated by the project during this year have become available to environmental organizations not only in Russia, but also in other countries. While collaborating with NGOs in Russia, we found out that for many of them the top-requested knowledge today is the ability to conduct a dialogue with business,” says Ekaterina Khmeleva, green economy and governance director at WWF-Russia. “It is very important for us to share our experience here at the Paris Peace Forum and show that today there are modern tools facilitating a dialogue between people, companies and the government to effectively solve the most pressing issues, both climate and environmental." 

For the third year in a row, the People for Nature project has been holding round tables and webinars for NGOs involved in forest conservation and monitoring of industrial impact on the environment. During this time, more than 30 events were held in different regions of Russia, in which more than 500 people took part. To share the accumulated experience, WWF-Russia is working on a collection of conclusions and recommendations on the involvement of NGOs and local communities in environmental protection. 

An important component of success in building an environmental dialogue with business and government is to increase the general level of conflictological literacy of the population in general and NGOs in particular. As a separate item the specialists identified the prevention and solution of conflict situations within the NGOs. 

On November 12, WWF-Russia and the European Union held an online workshop on the skills necessary for effective interaction between NGOs and business at the Paris Peace Forum. 

According to WWF-Russia, this efficiency is based on five components:

·      tracking conflict situations with businesses and exchanging such information with other NGOs;

·      expanding the expertise of NGOs;

·      the ability of NGOs themselves to negotiate and resolve conflicts;

·      creation of coalitions of regional NGOs;

·      involvement of a third party when the issue cannot be solved with own efforts.

During the event, Zoom part

The event brought together nearly a hundred participants from 20 countries of the world, including Russia, the USA, countries of Africa, Asia and the European Union. The workshop was attended by public organizations, scientific institutions, representatives of government agencies and business. 

All recommendations and conclusions in the field of building a dialogue between people, business and government will be included in a separate chapter of a practical guide for NGOs, prepared in the course of the "People for Nature" project and scheduled for publication in the summer of 2022. 

About the People for Nature project
Implemented throughout 2019–2022 by WWF-Russia in a partnership with the European Union, the People for Nature project aims at engaging the public in environmental protection. The objectives of the project include protecting forests through the prevention of their degradation and illegal exploitation as well as mitigating the environmental impact of the industry by improving the environmental responsibility of businesses and reducing air and water pollution. 

Announcement photo taken from the Paris Peace Forum web-site
Theme photo: (с) Michele Depraz / WWF-Canon
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