TNRC Pilot Projects

Image representing TNRC's four focus areas: wildlife, fisheries, forests, and finance

Targeting Natural Resource Corruption

Harnessing knowledge, generating evidence, and supporting innovative policy and practice for more effective anti-corruption programming

Pilot Projects

Vida Silvestre

Vida Silvestre (WWF’s partner organization in Argentina) is delivering a pilot to address corruption that undermines effective fisheries governance. Based on media reports and private conversations with stakeholders, the pilot team learned that there was high probability of corruption related to bycatch and discards, even if concrete evidence was not possible to collect. The team took a politically-informed approach to address this corruption risk. In 2021-2023, Vida Silvestre rolled out an electronic fisheries information system (e-logbook) for reporting fishing information at the capture stage. In parallel, the team also conducted an advocacy campaign, which is ongoing, to encourage the passage of a national traceability law. Delivery of this pilot has involved interviewing captains and ship owners, testing and rolling out the e-logbook, developing advocacy materials, meeting with key decision makers, participating in Congressional debates, expanding the system of actors with which leaders engage, strategic media releases, and coordination of events advocating for the adoption of the national traceability regulation. Finals results will be available in late 2023.

Her story: Women targeting natural resource corruption | Daniela Gomel

On International Anti-Corruption Day 2022, we recognize the determination of women who are taking remarkable steps to address corruption through conservation programming. Daniela Gomel is a public policy and governance specialist at Fundación Vida Silvestre, a WWF partner organization in Argentina. She manages the policy and governance dimensions of several projects related to forests, protected areas, plastics and climate change. Daniela also coordinates a Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) pilot project that focuses on promoting transparency and sharing learning to address corruption that undermines effective governance in the fisheries sector, particularly at the capture stage.


Case Study | Using legislative advocacy and a transparency electronic system to reduce illegal and unreported fish discards in Argentina

From 2020-2023, Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (FVS, the WWF partner organization in Argentina), piloted a dual approach to reducing the illegal and unreported discards of fish in a context widely seen to be permeated by bribery and collusion. Their dual strategy consisted of advocacy for legislation for improved traceability and transparency electronic system to facilitate meeting those requirements. This case study documents learning from their work.

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WWF Adria

WWF Adria tested an approach for increasing citizen engagement in spatial planning processes to reduce the influence of special interest groups that can override environmental acts, increasing their wealth and harming free flowing rivers. The team worked with a consultant to complete a legal analysis that mapped out the relevant processes and regulations. Through this, they identified the most ideal points in the spatial planning process for local non-governmental organization (NGOs) to engage. In 2021-2022, the team delivered capacity strengthening to 10 NGOs on processes, regulations, and communications strategies. It also emphasized collaborative approaches as opposed to confrontational ones in addressing governance issues. This pilot has shown that knowledge about these issues is limited among Serbian NGOs, but there is strong interest in addressing them if the topic is presented in an accessible way. To that end, WWF Adria has developed a handbook (unofficial English translation available below), that lays out issues and opportunities for further citizen engagement, potentially closing some of the opportunity for corruption in the Serbian spatial planning process in the long term.

Manual for Serbian civil society organizations: Processes of development and adoption of spatial and urban plans with special focus on protected areas

There are challenges facing the preservation and management of protected natural areas in Serbia, despite the country's positive regulations and commitments. Illegal construction and large capital projects have endangered these areas due to limited management opportunities and insufficient government action. On the other hand, civil society organizations which have the capacity to address these problems, often have no standing to act in procedures related to the protection of these areas, which further hinders their active participation. This manual helps Serbian civil society organizations understand rules of spatial and urban planning, opportunities for public participation, key illegal practices in the management and implementation of activities within protected areas, legal procedures, and how to improve citizen participation to combat corruption.


Case Study | Increasing citizen engagement in spatial planning to reduce opportunities for corruption in protected areas

In 2021-2022, WWF Adria worked in Serbia to target corruption risks in spatial planning—specifically the approval of construction in protected areas in violation of those protections. This pilot involved three approaches: analyzing laws related to construction and advocating for better compliance, mobilizing the community in response to identified failures to follow the law, and raising general awareness about the damage that corrupt spatial planning decisions can cause to people and the environment. This case study documents learning from that work.

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WWF Guatemala

WWF Guatemala is examining how corruption enables the illegal hunting and trade in jaguars and undermines their conservation status in the Maya Biosphere. The work is undertaken from both a “top down” and “bottom up” perspective. The project is using a mixed methods approach, including a political economy lens and institutional risk assessment (if possible) to understand the interweaving influence of organized crime, illegal markets, and politics as well as institutional, historical, and ecological differences in areas of the Multiple-Use and Buffer Zones of the Maya Biosphere. Once the analysis is finalized the project will develop interventions in partnership with CONAP and local communities to address the findings. This pilot is generating a multitude of lessons learned related to applying political economy to wildlife conservation as well as the bottom up and top down approaches to closing corruption opportunities and vulnerabilities.

Case Study | Applying behavior change and community-based approaches to address the corruption linked to illegal hunting and trade of jaguars in Guatemala

From 2021-2023, WWF Guatemala led a participatory pilot to analyze the drivers of the illegal hunting and trade of jaguars, identify the role corruption plays in that trade, and develop behavior change and community-based solutions. This case study documents learning from their work.

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WWF Kenya

WWF Kenya is building on its work introducing key pieces of monitoring technology with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to work to further reform and enhance the management systems of KWS in order to reduce opportunities for corruption. The pilot is testing whether the strengthening of management systems further enhances and compliments the technology introduced to assist rangers with detecting poachers and reducing the risk of corruption.

WWF Nepal

WWF Nepal is taking a human rights-based approach to better understand and address governance challenges in Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs), particularly how corruption undermines good governance in six focal CFUGs. In 2021-2022, a participatory assessment explored the governance gaps and collected information on the socio-political context, engaging marginalized groups (including poor women, Dalit, and indigenous people). Findings from that assessment were used to target specific trainings for both duty bearers and rights holders, as well as state and non-state actors, to improve accountability and governance. The pilot has advanced learning on the effectiveness of participatory, rights-based interventions to build transparency and accountability in community forest management. Based on this learning, the team has expanded its theory of change to include a hypothesis that youth, with appropriate training on risks and responsibilities, may be able to address the corruption risks in CFUG governance. The team is assessing their potential influence both directly through their roles as youth leaders and indirectly via their peers and parents. Final learning from this pilot will be available in late 2023.

Her story: Women targeting natural resource corruption | Shambhavi Poudel

On International Anti-Corruption Day 2022, we recognize the determination of women who are taking remarkable steps to address corruption through conservation programming. Shambhavi Poudel leads the Campaigns and Education Unit at WWF Nepal. She works closely with children and young people, placing them at the core of conservation interventions. She recently helped to design a new pilot activity under the TNRC project that focuses on mobilizing youth to promote good community forest governance.


Case Study | Designing targeted capacity building strategies to improve community forest governance in Nepal

From 2021-2023, WWF Nepal and their partners assessed the quality of community forest governance in six locations, three in Western Terai and three in Eastern Mountain, and designed specific, tailored capacity building to improve the governance gaps identified. This case study documents learning from their work.

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WWF Peru

WWF Peru has trialed an electronic permitting app to enable small-scale fisheries to more easily obtain relevant permits and reduce instances of bribe paying. This pilot specifically tested whether introducing electronic permitting, which has the support of local fisheries, could eliminate that opportunity. In 2021-2022, the app was rolled out to fisheries in three cities who were provided support throughout the life of the pilot. Effectiveness was assessed using participatory methods to collect the experiences of fisheries. Risk mitigation measures were taken to support the anonymity of participants in data collection. In 2023, additional work in Peru will identify wider corruption risks in the supply chain of Peruvian fisheries, engage national stakeholders to consider appropriate responses, and expand WWF Peru's technological solutions to more industry sector and official processes.

Case study | Reducing corruption in the fisheries sector: Lessons learned from WWF Peru

In 2021-2022, WWF Peru piloted an electronic permitting app to enable small-scale fishers to more easily obtain departure permits. The pilot tested whether introducing electronic permitting, which had the preliminary support of local fishers, would reduce opportunities for corruption and strengthen fisheries management. This case study documents learning from their work.

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Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus