Richard Caines joins us following 21 years at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where he worked with clients, investment staff and affected communities to identify Environmental and Social (E&S) risk management steps to improve project outcomes. He worked globally, but with a strong focus on Asia (while based in Hong Kong) and Europe, Middle East and North Africa (while based in Istanbul). Since their introduction in 2006, Richard has been a contributor, practitioner, trainer and promoter of the IFC Performance Standards, the most widely recognized set of E&S safeguards in the marketplace today. He also steered a number of projects through dispute resolution and complaint processes managed by the office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO).
On joining WWF International, Richard said: “This position fulfills a long-held ambition to bring my lifelong passion for conservation together with the skills and experiences I have gained working in the development field. As WWF recognizes, these are not exclusive: conservation benefits when people benefit from conservation. The reality at the project level is challenging - requiring consultation and consideration of the issues and trade-offs involved. A well implemented E&S safeguards framework, together with an independent accountability mechanism - brings a consistency, rigour and trust to this process, so all can benefit from it. It will not stop debate or eliminate risk completely - but neither conservation nor communities would benefit if all such ambition and innovation was lost from WWF’s work.”
Before the IFC, Richard was a Technical Director at the consultancy, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), working with private sector clients to identify and manage their environmental risks and consulting to the IFC. His early career was in conservation working first in a sustainable development think-tank before moving to The Marine Conservation Society. He also worked with Dr Roger Payne, the biologist best known for discovering the songs of the humpback whale. Richard has a degree in Marine Biology.