Accountability and Grievance Mechanism

The purpose of Conservation International’s Accountability and Grievance Mechanism is to address concerns and complaints by stakeholders, individuals and communities connected to Conservation International initiatives. Its aim is to provide stakeholders, individuals and communities with the assurance that they will be heard and assisted in a timely and consistent manner and have all grievances addressed. CI believes access to justice in response to harm or potential harm ensures accountability and strengthens the legitimacy of the wider suite of stakeholder rights, consistent with our Rights-based Approach to conservation, and this mechanism is one way of ensuring access to that justice and redress.

Each grievance is reviewed to understand whether a potential breach of CI’s environmental and social safeguards, principles, standards or procedures has occurred. CI’s Accountability and Grievance Mechanism then looks to identify the root causes of the subject of the grievance and ensures that issues of non-compliance with CI’s environmental and social safeguards are corrected.

What is a grievance?

A grievance is a complaint about something that is affecting or could affect you negatively. In this case, it is a complaint about a negative impact or potential impact from a Conservation International program or project. Some examples of potential grievances include (but are not limited to):

  • participation in or exclusion from a Project-led consultation, or the process of free, prior, and informed consent;
  • harm to persons related to the effects of Project activities (waste or water pollution, noise, dust, disruption, etc.);
  • adverse risks related to community health, safety and security (e.g., use of security personnel, COVID-19 protections, road/traffic safety); and
  • conflicts related to land and resource use restrictions affected by project activities.

Who can report a grievance?

Any community, organization, project stakeholder or affected group that believes it may be negatively affected by Conservation International’s work may submit a complaint. Representatives can submit a complaint on behalf of a community, project stakeholder or affected group. Anonymous complaints may be submitted, or complainants identities may be kept confidential upon their written request. Alternatively, grievances may be submitted by a third party.

Why should someone report a grievance?

If something about a Conservation International project is affecting or has the potential to affect you negatively, reporting it helps Conservation International find a solution that can improve our collaboration. This mechanism is one way to ensure that people have a voice in the work of Conservation International, which aims to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity and the well-being of humanity.

What is a grievance mechanism?

An Accountability and Grievance Mechanism is an efficient and effective way of anticipating, collecting, recording, addressing and, where possible, resolving grievances. An effective AGM can facilitate the early indication of grievances and prompt remediation for those who believe that they have been harmed or have the potential to be harmed by a CI project activity.

What will happen when I report a grievance?

The grievance will be addressed through an open and transparent process so that you and CI may find a suitable solution to the problem. You will be treated with confidentiality and protected from retaliation.

If you should need to file a grievance:

  1. Please contact the Project-level or Site-level Accountability and Grievance Mechanism.
  2. For grievances that are unable to be resolved at the project level or site level, please contact Conservation International’s Senior Director of Risk Management and Compliance at: Electronic mail: Mailing address: Senior Director of Compliance Conservation International 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 600 Arlington, VA 22202, USA
  3. Alternatively, Conservation International has established an online and phone mechanism that is accessible to partners, communities and other stakeholders to report grievances or raise concerns about the implementation of CI projects, including issues related to rights as embodied in CI’s Environment and Social Safeguards Framework. This mechanism can receive reports online or by phone in multiple languages. This mechanism is able to accept anonymous or confidential grievances or grievances submitted by a third party.