The first 24 participants in WWF's nature reserve management course have graduated from the three-year program. WWF initiated this first-of-its kind program in Xi'an (Shaanxi Province) in 2004 to address the increasing demand of nature reserves in the Qinling Mountains for a higher level of technical knowledge and capacity among their staff.
To provide the necessary training, WWF and the Shaanxi Forestry Department partnered with the Beijing Forestry University, one of the most distinguished institutes of forestry, nature reserve management and community development. Unlike its regular on-campus graduate courses, this program is based in the field so participants can apply what they learn to their work in the reserves. Courses cover topics such as nature reserve economics, reserve management, reserve master plan development, reserve co-management with communities, and sustainable forestry development.