Certified Wildlife Friendly™ Agriculture

WCS - Andean and Patagonian Steppe
Published: 13 November 2017
Last edited: 01 October 2020
remove_red_eye 7341 Views


With over one-third of the planet’s land used for agriculture—and over one-quarter used for livestock grazing—farms and ranches offer both a great threat and a tremendous opportunity for wildlife conservation. Applying strategies to protect key species on agricultural lands is critical to the viability of wildlife populations, especially as open space diminishes and once-remote areas become accessible. By offering scientifically-sound, measurable standards to agricultural producers round the world, Certified Wildlife Friendly™ celebrates farm-level wildlife stewardship. Through this approach, the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) works to support both communities and wildlife alike by creating incentives for sound ecological management of farm and ranch lands around the world.


Central America
East and South Africa
North America
North and Central Asia
South America
South Asia
Southeast Asia
West and Central Africa
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Coastal forest
Coral reef
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Grassland ecosystems
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Pool, lake, pond
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Rocky reef / Rocky shore
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate evergreen forest
Temperate grassland, savanna, shrubland
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Tropical grassland, savanna, shrubland
Tundra or montane grassland
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Ecosystem services
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Land management
Local actors
Poaching and environmental crime
Sustainable livelihoods
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 3: Incentives reformed
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources


Bainbridge Island, WA, United States | India, Cambodia, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kyrgystan, Madagascar, Zambia, Namibia, Philippines, Italy, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, United States, Canada


Agricultural production poses many threats for global biodiversity with examples that include loss and fragmentation of critical habitat, land conversion and fencing, killing of predators that cause livestock losses, and chemical use. In many communities, a lack of economic opportunity results in hunting or poaching of wildlife as a means to survive. While best practices have been implemented in some places, these guidelines are not always accessible to farmers working in some of the most challenging places for human-wildlife conflict who may see solutions as too expensive to implement, even when available. However there is a growing community of producers who strive to minimize impacts on biodiversity and a growing consumer segment which gravitates to products that contribute to wildlife conservation. WFEN seeks to minimize barriers to entry for farmers making truly Wildlife Friendly™ products, and their respective markets, a reality.


WFEN enterprises provide benefits to 270,000+ people worldwide through training, employment opportunities, improved education for children, and health care resulting from reinvestment of revenue. 

How do the building blocks interact?

The criteria for certification must be tailored to the local context to ensure that communities are benefitting from the enterprise approach, to support building value in the conservation of biodiversity. Simultaneously, local stakeholders should be involved from the onset of the planning process, in the drafting of the standards, and in implementation of the criteria.


Wildlife Friendly™ certification provides best practice guidelines for farming and ranching enterprises who seek to generate environmentally-sustainable employment and food security in some of the most critical biodiversity hotspots on the planet. The stories behind the products build consumer brand loyalty as well as open access to new markets, bringing benefits to local communities. Incentivizing best practices across the landscape works to ensure positive conservation outcomes and increased tolerance for wildlife. Wildlife Friendly™ farmers and ranchers possess a strong conservation ethic and many have been willing to change practices to achieve certification--enterprises have opted to prohibit trophy hunting, put in place monitoring programs, and provided new benefits for communities. Ibis Rice™ supports communities growing high-end rice, protecting critical wetlands in Cambodia, and gives a share of rice and profits to farming villages. New business enterprises are forming around the idea of Wildlife Friendly™ from inception, including recently-certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea, a collaboration with the University of Montana Broader Impacts Group, and Jaguar Friendly™ coffee, a collaboration between ProCAT, the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo and Press Coffee.

Contributed by

marissa_32834's picture

Christine Lippai Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

Other contributors

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network
Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network