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Russell E. Train Education for Nature


WWF knows that investing in training and education is critical for biodiversity conservation. That's why for over two decades the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) has been providing financial support to proven and potential 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.




EFN has supported more than 2,100 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.

Meet the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

WWF’s Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2015 Russell E. Train Fellowship. For over 20 years, EFN has supported inspiring individuals from across the globe to earn advanced degrees in conservation-related fields. Train Fellows attend top universities around the world, work closely with leading conservation specialists, and research topics critical to WWF and the conservation community.

EFN Grantee Celia

What WWF Is Doing

EFN is building the next generation of conservation leaders committed to protecting the world’s most biologically diverse places. EFN supports conservation leaders 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.

Proven Results

  • In a field largely dominated by men, more than 44 percent of EFN's grantees are women.
  • More than 90 percent of Train Fellows return home upon completion of their degree.
  • Over 99 percent of grantees are currently working in conservation.
  • While supported by EFN, grantees have discovered dozens of new species including birds, frogs, plants, fish and others.
  • Annually, EFN grantees supervise and train more than 11,000 individuals and manage over $48 million.
Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program

The Impact

EFN has supported over 1,550 local conservationists to pursue graduate degrees and attend short-term trainings, and more than 550 local organizations to conduct workshops.

Expanding EFN's Success

As EFN moves forward, it is increasing its investment in women, indigenous people and other underserved groups. To honor Mr. Train's life, we have set a bold new goal of doubling the number of grantees funded per year. Through EFN, WWF is building the future of conservation one person at a time.

The EFN Legacy

On September 17, 2012, EFN lost its mentor and namesake, Russell E. Train. Throughout his life, Mr. Train was an ardent believer in the need to build local capacity for biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. In 1994, WWF established EFN in recognition of his commitment to capacity building for conservation. Through EFN, WWF honors Mr. Train's legacy by investing in education and training of conservation leaders around the world.

How You Can Help

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

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


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