Ombudsperson, WWF Global Conservation Network
Human rights lawyer and international mediator Gina Barbieri is the first person to serve as ombudsperson for the WWF network. Previously she managed the Dispute Resolution function of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the independent accountability mechanism of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Before joining the CAO she ran a legal practice specializing in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). A South African national, she has mediated numerous disputes in the employment, commercial, and community arena and is the author of two books on labor practice in the public and private sector. Gina co-authored and edited two IFC publications on the establishment of ADR Centers in emerging markets and guidelines on the practice of ADR. She is a co-founder of the African Institute for Mediation, served as the Deputy Head of the Africa Center for Dispute Settlement, Stellenbosch University Business School, and sat on the steering committee for the establishment of the African Mediation Association. She obtained her BComm LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is a CEDR (UK) and IMI accredited international mediator.
The office of the Ombudsperson will report directly to the President of WWF International with support from the International Board subcommittee and has complete independence from the executive both from a reporting and budgetary perspective. The appointment of Barbieri is the first step toward the setting up of an office of the Ombudsperson, an ambition first announced by WWF in 2019 and endorsed in 2020 by the recent Independent Panel. WWF has committed to establish this office close to the key landscapes it works in.
“Establishing a strong and independent accountability system that can address community concerns in a manner that is fair, predictable, and respectful of community agency, is critical for an institution working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife. It creates a grassroots channel for communities to engage meaningfully with WWF, and will enhance WWF’s ability to respond to what it hears. I am excited to take up the position and build the relationships necessary to realize the mandate of the office in a meaningful way.”
More on Gina
- B-Comm LLB - University of KwaZulu-Natal
- EDR (UK) and IMI accredited international mediator
Areas of Expertise
- Human rights
- Dispute resolution and mediation