Bram Büscher in ZEMBLA documentary, Dutch television

May 16, 2019

Professor Bram Büscher has a prominent role in a ZEMBLA documentary about WWF. The program will be broadcasted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm on NPO2 (Dutch television, Dutch spoken).


Embargo until 16 May 6 a.m.

World Wildlife Fund active in birth control

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is active in birth control in nature reserves in the third World. According to the WWF, overcrowding is a great danger to nature and fewer children must be born around protected areas. That is why the fund convinces people to use contraception or to have themselves sterilized.

The WWF, together with the American agency USAID and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, has set up health camps worldwide, which also includes so-called "family planning" projects. ZEMBLA is investigating one of the projects in North India and is talking to a doctor who carried out sterilization of the indigenous population for WWF. The doctor is positive about the initiative: "We have a population explosion here in India, we need to encourage more men to get sterilized." According to the doctor, people are convinced afterwards when they find that "sex is very enjoyable". The WWF also wrote a manual on how birth control can be integrated into nature protection. WWF Netherlands confirms to ZEMBLA that even today three family planning projects are ongoing in Cameroon, Congo and Uganda. WWF does not want to give a further response on camera.

Watch the first images of the broadcast (Dutch spoken)

Professor Bram Büscher of Wageningen University has been researching nature conservation for years and is critical of birth control as nature protection: 'The cause of the problem is placed with the wrong people, the problem is changing land use and there we [the West, red.] have a much greater role in that. It seems that poor people around nature reserves are blamed for the loss of biodiversity. While that is absolutely not the case'.

ZEMBLA investigates how far the World Wildlife Fund goes in the fight for protected animals and what the consequences are for the local population. In India, ZEMBLA speaks to relatives of people who died when a village was cleared with a heavy hand to make way for nature. The fight against poaching has become increasingly bloody in recent years. Park rangers from the Kaziranga National Park in India declare in ZEMBLA that they can "shoot unwanted visitors without asking questions." Soneswar Narah of human rights organization JKSS sees the involvement of the WWF up close: "Everything is managed by the WWF, like an invisible hand. Under the guise of nature conservation, they create a violent environment". Between 2014 and 2016, 50 people were killed in Kaziranga, according to Soneswar there are many innocent victims.

Earlier this year, the American Buzzfeed reveals that WWF finances park rangers around the world who are accused of torture, sexual abuse and murder of locals in various game parks. The WWF says to be shocked by the accusations. The nature organization has research done and will take measures where necessary.

ZEMBLA - Victim of the World Wildlife Fund
Thursday, May 16, 9:10 PM, NPO 2.

More information and (c): Marco de Lange (+316-45068170) or Jos van Dongen (+316-28835986).