FAQs | WWF South Africa


Who is WWF?

WWF is the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation, with close to five million supporters and a global network active more than 100 countries.

Our 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; and
  • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.


The WWF International Network is global, independent, multicultural and non-party political. WWF South Africa's head office is located in Stellenbosch, with a regional office in Johannesburg. Contact details for these offices are listed on the contact page.

What does WWF stand for?

Back in 1961 when it was founded, WWF stood for the "World Wildlife Fund". However, as the organization grew over the 70s and into the 80s, WWF began to expand its work to conserve the environment as a whole (reflecting the interdependence of all living things), rather than focusing on selected species in isolation. So although we continued to use our well-known initials, our legal name became "World Wide Fund For Nature" (except in North America where the old name was retained). 

For the print media we prefer: World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF).

Why the panda logo?

The inspiration for the panda in WWF's world-recognised logo came from Chi-Chi, a giant panda that had arrived at the London Zoo in the year 1961 when WWF was being created. Aware of the need for a strong, recognisable symbol that would overcome all language barriers, WWF's founders agreed that the large, furry animal with her appealing, black-patched eyes would make an excellent logo.

The first sketches were done by the British environmentalist and artist Gerald Watterson in 1961. Based on these, Sir Peter Scott, one of WWF's founders, drew the first logo, and said at the time:

"We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by people around the world. We also wanted an animal that symbolised all that was disappearing in the natural world."

The black-and-white panda has since come to stand as a symbol for conservation world-wide.

How can I contact other WWF offices around the world?

Visit www.wwf.org and choose the WWF office's website you want to visit.

What are WWF South Africa's areas of focus?

WWF works to conserve South Africa's natural habitat by addressing climate change and energy issues and contributing to environmental education while preserving and protecting our key fresh water, marine and land environments. Read more in the What we do section of this website.

Who does WWF South Africa work with?

WWF South Africa builds partnerships with government, local communities, farmers, business and industry, and other NGOs. We also work with scientists, economists and other conservation groups in order to create solutions to South Africa's environmental problems.

WWF South Africa strives to involve local communities in the planning and execution of our field programmes, respecting their cultural as well as economic needs.

How can I support the work of WWF?

Visit the Act now section of this site to see what you can do to join with us for a living planet.

I would love to work for WWF, how do I go about this?

All job opportunities at WWF South Africa are listed on the jobs page. To find out more about jobs in other WWF offices around the world, visit our job listing on panda.org.

Where can I study conservation?

The following institutions offer courses in environmental or nature conservation or related disciplines:

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Delta Environmental Centre, Johannesburg 

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 

North-West University, Potchefstroom 

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Pretoria

Rhodes University, Grahamstown

Stellenbosch University

Southern African Wildlife College, Kruger National Park 

University of the Western Cape

University of Cape Town 

University of Johannesburg 

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg

University of South Africa (UNISA)

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

You can apply for a scholarship at WWF International at www.panda.org/scholarships