Russell E. Train Education for Nature





EFN has supported more than 2,700 individuals & organizations around the world and counts among its many outstanding grantees, Laos's first primatologist, Gabon's only female national park warden & Peru's leading orchid expert.

WWF knows that investing in training and education is critical for biodiversity conservation. That's why for 25 years the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) has been providing financial support to conservation leaders in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to gain the skills and knowledge they need to address the conservation challenges in their home countries. EFN supports conservationists to pursue graduate studies, attend short-term training courses, and train local communities in WWF priority places.

Started in 1994 to honor the late Russell E. Train, founder, president, and chairman of the board of WWF. EFN upholds Mr. Train’s vision of putting ownership of natural resources in local hands in the work it does every day. Click here to learn more about Mr. Train.


Meet the 2019 class of Russell E. Train Fellows

Selected for their innovative proposals and merit-based history, the 2019 cohort of Train Fellows will focus their research on key topics, from analyzing whale shark behavior in the Galápagos to preserving critical landscapes throughout Bhutan.

Sofia Green scuba diving

What WWF Is Doing

The Impact

EFN has supported over 2,100 local conservationists to pursue graduate degrees and attend short-term trainings, and more than 600 local organizations to conduct workshops.

Building Conservation Leaders

EFN is building the next generation of conservation leaders committed to protecting the world’s most biologically diverse places. EFN supports conservationists to pursue graduate studies, attend short-term training courses, and build institutional capacity to train local communities in WWF priority places. EFN is one of the largest conservation fellowship programs and provides significant support to participants to attend the world's top conservation training courses on important topics such as climate change, conservation finance, protected area management, and REDD.

Celebrating 25 years of conservation success

Anniversary Logo

This year marks the 25th anniversary of EFN. To date, the program has invested more than $22 million to support over 2,700 individuals and organizations from 57 countries around the world. These individuals and organizations play a key role in not only protecting species and habitats, but also leading research, communicating science, changing policy, and mentoring the next generation of conservationists in their countries. EFN alumni are tackling critical environmental challenges while also making the conservation community more diverse and impactful than ever before. 

How You Can Help

Contributions may be made to the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program.

The Train Legacy

Russell E. Train, renowned conservationist and EFN’s namesake, passed away in 2012. Supporters from around the globe sent meaningful and generous donations toward continuing his legacy of building conservation capacity worldwide. These memorial contributions are being used to support the Russell E. Train Legacy Program.

On July 7, 2017, Aileen Bowdoin Train, passed away peacefully in her home. She was an early champion of conservation who dedicated her life to the protection of wildlife and wild places around the world. Both Mr. and Mrs. Train shared a profound commitment to building local conservation leadership and institutions throughout the world. Every day, EFN works to fulfill their vision of putting ownership of natural resources in local hands.

I believe the most important thing we can do for conservation worldwide is to invest in the training of men and women to manage their own natural resources.

Russell E. Train Former Founder and Chairman Emeritus of World Wildlife Fund


  • Reforestation Grants

    EFN, with generous funding from The UPS Foundation, has launched a special grant opportunity focused on supporting communities in regaining ecological integrity and enhancing human wellbeing in deforested or degraded forest landscapes through forest restoration.

  • Mr. Russell E. Train and Education for Nature (EFN)

    Remembering Mr. Russell E. Train, founder, past president, and past chairman emeritus passed away on September 17, 2012 at the age of 92.

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