WWF in Brief

What is WWF?

  • WWF is one of the world's largest conservation organizations.
  • It was conceived on the 29th April 1961.
  • Its first office opened in September 1961 in the Swiss town of Morges.
  • The central secretariat for the network  - called WWF International - is now located in Gland, Switzerland (organizational structure)
  • WWF is an independent foundation registered under Swiss law.
  • The organization has offices in more than 80 countries around the world.
  • It employs around 6,200 full time staff
  • ...and values the support of more than 5 million people.
  • Over the 50 years since it was founded, WWF has invested around US$11.5 billion in more than 13,000 projects

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 / ©: National Geographic Stock / Michael Nichols / WWF
© National Geographic Stock / Michael Nichols / WWF

What do the initials WWF stand for?

  • WWF originally stood for "World Wildlife Fund".
  • However, in 1986, WWF had come to realize that its name no longer reflected the scope of its activities, and changed its name to "World Wide Fund For Nature".
  • The United States and Canada, however, retained the old name.
  • The resulting confusion caused by the name change in 1986, together with its translation into more than 15 languages, led the WWF Network in 2001 to agree on using the original acronym as its one, global name - the acronym that it had always been known by since its inception way back in 1961: WWF
  • Find out more on the panda symbol and how it has changed over the years...

What is WWF's mission?

WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:

  • conserving the world’s biological diversity
  • ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
  • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

What does WWF do?

WWF focuses its work around the magnificent diversity of life on this planet, the extraordinary places they live in.  All the while trying to reduce humanity’s impact on this life and in these places.


How many projects does WWF have?

  • Since our founding, we’ve invested nearly US$10 billion in more than 13,000 conservation projects in over 150 countries..
  • WWF runs about 1,300 projects at any one time.

Who works with WWF?

In carrying out its work, WWF cooperates with many partners, including UN organizations, IUCN, and development agencies such as USAID and the World Bank. WWF also works with business & industry partners.


Who is in charge?

  • WWF is governed by a Board of Trustees under an International President, Yolanda Kakabadse.
  • President Emeritus is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
  • The Director General of WWF International is Marco Lambertini.


How popular is this website?

In 2012, this website (which is just one of many WWF websites) received more than 5 million visitors and more than 15 million page views from 236 countries and territories.


How popular is WWF in social media?

We have setup a web page to keep a track of how many people engage with WWF offices around the world using a number of social media platforms. You can see the latest numbers here: panda.org/socialstats


Virtual Gifts

Virtual Gifts / ©: WWF

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Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.