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Update on Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project


Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project

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Wildlife Works Statement – Updates from the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project February 12, 2024


We promised we would keep you updated on the work we have been doing to remedy the situation at our Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project. Throughout December and January we held numerous community outreach meetings to continue to listen to what the community has to say about the project as well as to explain to the community what we have been doing to regain their trust and that of our employees. These meetings were very successful and have renewed our determination to improve and expand the Kasigau project. We were very appreciative of the community spending their time to inform us of their views on the project and the ways that they would like to see it improve for them. 


Not only did we meet with the community ourselves, but in December, several community leaders came together of their own volition to form new grievance committees to ensure that there are no violations occurring outside the company in the local community. We have welcomed this initiative and have started working alongside these committees to ensure that they also continue to hold us to account. 


The committees held their own investigations and reviewed the list of grievances alleged in the SOMO report. We are pleased to note that their findings were consistent with those of our formal investigation and many of the very serious allegations made by SOMO were unfounded. The main community committee has themselves written directly to SOMO with their findings. 


As part of our commitment to the community we will continue to hold regular meetings with them in the future. 


The community’s findings and their support for the Kasigau project have been reported on here:





*please note the coverage mistakenly states that 10 employees (instead of 2) have been terminated. 


We would also like to express our gratitude to the Governor of Taita Taveta County, His Excellency Mr Andrew Mwadime who has also spoken publicly in support of the Kasigau Project after he himself visited the project to assess whether we were taking appropriate steps to remedy the situation: 


Our commitment to helping the community and to ensuring that the project continues is of the utmost importance to us and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep supporting the community and improving the project for the benefit of all. 

As well as our ongoing work with the community, we are continuing to make progress internally including:


  • An interim HR consultant is conducting a full audit of Kasigau’s processes and procedures. 

  • We have contracted with a local, culturally-appropriate firm to conduct gender sensitivity and sexual harassment training for all Kasigau Project management, staff and contractors. This initial training will be performed in February and will be repeated annually.

  • We are in the process of forming a Kasigau project gender equity task force, which will be replicated at our other projects. 

  • We have formed a Global Gender Equity Task Force with representation from all of our regions to oversee project specific task forces.

  • We are designing and implementing new mitigation mechanisms in our grievance procedures that are needed to address risks identified by the gender equity task forces.

  • We will conduct company-wide management sensitivity and accountability training 

  • We have initiated weekly Kasigau Project Heads of Department meetings to improve communications and to address any specific internal grievances that have come forth through the listening sessions as well as our new grievance reporting process.


On February 1, 2024, Verra lifted their hold  on our Kaisgau Project.


We appreciate this opportunity to improve the way we work and to ensure we are acting on our values with the highest integrity and transparency. We thank all of our supporters throughout the years, especially our community partners who have trusted us on this journey to battle climate change as a global community. 


Please continue to follow our improvement journey here on this page. As always, ee are open to answering any questions or listening to suggestions please email:

press at wildlifeworks dot com or contact us.



PREVIOUS UPDATES:

Wildlife Works Statement – Updates from the Kasigau Project

December 15th 2023 

 

A lot of work has been taking place at our Kasigau project these past few weeks and we wanted to update and reassure the public, our partners, and stakeholders  of the efforts we have been making to regain the trust of our employees and the wider Kasigau community.

 

Since the two members of staff (the head of security and the HR manager) who were found to be the perpetrators of the misconduct were terminated three weeks ago following the results of the third-party investigation into the project, a counselor has been on site to speak with every employee at the project and help them through this time. As well as counseling sessions, she has also been carrying out training sessions for senior managers and these sessions – both the training and company-wide counseling - will continue to take place three times a year going forward.

 

Our CEO Mike Korchinsky has also been at the Kasigau project with the women directly affected to apologize and find a remedy that they are happy with. He has also met with every other employee at the project to apologize and reassure them that we are doing everything we can to ensure that the project can continue and that 428 vital jobs are not lost.

 

Similarly, we have met with community representatives to hear their perspectives and reassure them of our commitment to the project. The Kasigau project protects 200,000 hectares of dryland forest and works with around 100,000 community members who benefit from the project by way of bursaries, clean water conservation projects, new schools, a diagnostic health laboratory and the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. We are determined to ensure that these benefits are also not lost.

 

Our training going forward is going to focus on accountability at Kasigau and at all levels of the company as well as employee empowerment and trust. On top of this, the counselor has been working with the employees to understand what methods they feel comfortable with to report grievances and we will be tailor-making a new employee grievance process to ensure that we do not miss any future issues that could arise in a workforce of this size. We have also hired a safeguarding and HR specialist firm to continue working on our policies and procedures.

 

We have created a new global gender equity task force and they have started their meetings this week with the aim of developing and delivering company-wide training on gender-related issues.

 

We want to publicly thank our employees and the community for their continued support during this difficult time. The outpouring of support from the community has been especially comforting. It is clear from our conversations that the communities are not allowing the actions of those individuals who have now been terminated to distract them from the valuable role that Wildlife Works has played in Kasigau for over 20 years.

 

As we continue to progress on our journey of bringing about long-term and lasting positive change, we will be fully transparent about our progress on this journey and will continue to update you.

 

We are open to answering any questions or listening to suggestions please email:

press at wildlifeworks dot com



November 20, 2023


Following an extensive independent third-party investigation, Wildlife Works has terminated the head of security at our Kasigau Corridor project for gross misconduct, including conduct in violation of the company’s policy against sexual harassment. Our internal investigation is continuing in order to establish the circumstances surrounding all the allegations and to open a safe network for our employees to come forward with any further information.

We also terminated the HR manager on the basis that he created a culture of fear and intimidation that, according to interviewed personnel, prevented reporting of sexual harassment incidents. These individuals had previously been suspended immediately following our receipt of a letter from Somo in August 2023.


We firmly condemn these individuals’ behaviours. We sincerely apologize to the women and families directly affected, all our employees, our stakeholder communities in Kenya and our customers and partners around the world.


We realize that it is our responsibility to do more than apologize. We are committed to learning from this experience to ensure such behaviours never occur again in any of our projects around the world.


We have hired a female Kenyan counselor who is on site for several weeks to conduct listening sessions with staff and to provide ongoing support for the women affected as well as all employees who wish to speak with her. Part of this healing process will be to provide effective remediation to the women in our company and in the community who were directly affected.


We will not stop there. We need to continue to rebuild trust with our employees, the community who rely on the revenue from the sale of carbon credits for many essential community development needs, the customers who buy those credits, and the wider public. For this, we are committed to do the hard work to continue bringing about long-term and lasting positive change.


Beyond our zero tolerance policy, we are committed to ensuring a safe workplace with effective and anonymous reporting mechanisms. In addition to hiring Kenyan experts to help us create new processes, we have been holding a series of internal grievance meetings to understand from our employees how we can improve the way we work with them and our partner communities on safeguarding measures. The counselor will also be auditing our policies and procedures and assisting in the creation of our future grievance and human resources reporting policies. Already these actions have been productive.

We are in the process of forming a gender steering committee for the project whose members will be decided by the female staff. They will play a pivotal role in designing company policies and our ongoing engagement of gender rights specialists.


We will also be undertaking leadership and accountability training at all levels of the company.


Finally, out of an abundance of caution and concern, we will be carrying out independent investigations at our other global project sites and regional offices to make sure we go above and beyond the international safeguarding standards.


We have always believed in radical transparency and that includes being willing to talk openly about what happened and remediate it, very firmly and rigourously. In that spirit we will be fully transparent about our progress on this journey and will continue to update you.


We are open to answering any questions or listening to suggestions. Please contact us: or email at press at wildlifeworks dot com




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