In Pakistan, the WWF is enlisting university students to develop an “environmental conscience” among the poorest of the poor.

Multiple news sources in Pakistan are reporting that Bahria University has signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Wildlife Fund (see here, here, and here).

The university – which says it “plays a major role in grooming future leaders” of that country – has campuses in both Islamabad and Karachi. The WWF will “provide Internships and Community service to 147 students.”

What will those internships involve? Here’s a direct quote:

The programme aims to provide the students with environmental education and facilitate in their professional development. Through this programme the students will be exposed to the real environmental challenges faced by Pakistan. They will closely work with the slum schools and after getting trained by WWF-Pakistan’s trainers, they will provide the same education to those poor children. WWF-Pakistan and Bahria University Islamabad want to develop the environmental conscience of students and inculcate a sense of individual responsibility towards nature conservation.

Wow. 21st-century environmentalism, as practiced by groups such as the WWF, is characterized by religious fervour mixed with a particular political perspective. People who work for the WWF embrace an anti-capitalist, leftist worldview. (Nature is fragile. Humans are sinners. Consumerism is bad. Industry is rapacious.)

Would it be a good thing if a university arranged for 147 impressionable future leaders to complete internships with the Church of Scientology? Would it be OK if, as part of those internships, they spent time in slum schools spreading this same Church of Scientology gospel to poor kids?

Don’t children who live in slums have more pressing issues? Don’t they face enough challenges without being subjected to WWF-sponsored eco-indoctrination sessions? Does the WWF have nothing better to do than prey on some of the world’s most vulnerable souls?

Developing an “environmental conscience” and a “sense of individual responsibility toward nature” is something that comes naturally to people – after they’ve moved into decent housing with proper sanitation, electricity, and access to medical services.

According to two of the news stories mentioned above, the WWF is:

the world’s largest independent conservation organisation with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects.

This claim of being “independent” almost certainly appeared in a press release and was directly cut-and-pasted. Too bad it’s absolute rubbish. The truth of the matter is that the WWF runs an entire bureau devoted to helping its various chapters access European Union funding. As it says on the WWF website:

The European Commission is an important donor for the WWF network and funds several projects every year. [relevant webpage backed up here]

If you take money from governments you are not independent. If you rely on a steady stream of it, year after year, you are assuredly not standing on your own two feet, beholden to none.

If I hadn’t seen the above announcement regarding Bahria University I would have had no idea that the WWF runs offices in 11 different Pakistan communities. Eleven.

This is in a country in which – for every live 100,000 births – 260 women die of pregnancy-related complications. (By comparison, the maternal mortality rate in Canada and the UK is 12 women per 100,000.)

Twenty-one times as many women are dying unnecessarily in Pakistan – and the WWF is funding 11 offices aimed at saving the environment.


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