As some readers will be aware, I have somewhat casually criticised WWF recently on this blog.
I’ve had an anonymous post in the comment field on this post, and a few emails from WWF folks accusing me of scoring an own goal with my “campaign”.
I would hardly call it that myself. And the way WWF folks have responded is not exactly what one would expect. Notes to my colleagues, anonymous posts on my blog etc.
However, I would like to apologise to WWF. See below for more as to exactly why.
Here’s what I wrote back to someone there, in case readers are interested:
I will apologise publicly for the manner in which I have attacked WWF, ie in short casual form on my blog. I went too far.
However, my caveat is that I believe much of my messages hold water, but were expressed in too pejorative a manner.
I cannot ignore what my readers (more than 20-30 corporates, NGOs and others, have told me about their deep concerns RE WWF, particularly, but not exclusively, in the US), and customers tell me:
You have a serious problem, at least an image one, (I believe it is deeper), which you MUST recognise and deal with.
Your own employees admit as much to me.
The corporates and others I have spoken on this issue, worry that WWF does not push hard enough and is too soft, whilst also undermining the very partnerships you have had a hand in setting up, when corporate money for bilateral deals is on the table.
But I should been more thoughtful in what I wrote, and backed up with evidence.
My solution is this: Aside from my blog Mea Culpa, I will commission an independent journalist to look into the concerns expressed.
I will not see, nor edit the piece. I will provide some contacts for him to talk to. But none one would not expect to be interviewed.
My editor, Ian Welsh, (who does not subscribe to the same views as I, he is his own man) will edit the piece.
We will of course present a balanced view. But of course also note challenges. That is the way of responsible journalism.
I will, once the piece is published (and I will not change a word, nor see it beforehand), apologise further if my concerns are unfounded.
The article will be published in the next few months. I’ll keep you posted as to exactly when.