World Wildlife Fund (WWF)


Organizational profile:

As the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in nearly 100 countries. Their mission is to leverage sound science to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. WWF works to help local communities conserve the natural resources they depend upon; transform markets and policies toward sustainability; and protect and restore species and their habitats. Their efforts ensure that the value of nature is reflected in decision-making from a local to a global scale. WWF connects cutting-edge conservation science with the collective power of partners in the field, more than one million supporters in the United States and five million globally, as well as partnerships with communities, companies, and governments.

WWF’s work has evolved from saving species and landscapes to addressing the larger global threats and forces that impact them. Its new strategy puts people at the center and organizes work around six key areas: forests, marine, freshwater, wildlife, food and climate. WWF works to provide long-term, sustainable financing to biodiversity conservation by partnering with governments, private industries, communities and other non-governmental organizations. They develop financing solutions to protect and sustainably manage some of the most valuable natural resources in the world. Their work includes comprehensive assessments of potential sustainable finance mechanisms in target countries, negotiations with governments and donor agencies, and execution of complex financial deals that result in actual revenue for conservation.

On forests, WWF seeks to close the gap between how much is available for forest conservation and how much is needed. They help create multi-million-dollar funds to properly manage forests that are designated as protected. The funding is to train park officials about responsible forest management, buy satellite GPS collars to monitor and track endangered wildlife, and more. WWF also supports Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), a global initiative designed to pay groups or countries for protecting their forests and reducing emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants, especially carbon dioxide. 

Through the Earth for Life initiative, WWF works with partners to create, expand and ensure proper management of conservation areas. WWF works with government leaders, public and private sector donors, NGOs, and others to securing funding that is used to cover expenses related to properly managing conservation areas, which includes protected areas, community lands and other types of land designated for sustainable use or no development. Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) is an approach designed to secure the policies, capacity, institutional arrangements and full funding for the effective and long-lasting protection of our planet’s important natural places. 

Forests Forward is a new WWF corporate program that engages companies around the world to help them reduce their forest footprint and support other on-the-ground actions—like forest restoration—to keep forests thriving for people, nature, and climate. The program is a one-stop shop for companies looking to implement best practices around nature-based solutions to deliver on their sustainability and business goals. 

The Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) provides 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.

Financing Instrument: Grants, Technical assistance, Capacity-building

Project scale: In fiscal year 2022, total WWF programme expense on worldwide conservation reached US$ 332 million. Individual project scale is not known.

Applicable geographical regions/ country groups: Global

Recipient categories: Governments, Businesses, Communities, NGOs/NPOs, Individuals

Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for funds in connection with the Earth for Life programme, the national government of a given country must commit to putting in place the policies and staffing needed to make sure the conservation areas program runs smoothly. Also, a source of in-country funding must be identified to fully finance the areas after the initial funding from donors runs out.

Application guidelines:

Calls for proposals through the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program are published on the WWF website.

A guide to the Project Finance for Permanence approach can be found here:

Last updated: 6 September 2023

Publication Date
Thursday, 01 April 2021
Applicable location
Biodiversity conservation
Climate change
Forest conservation and management
Financing opportunities