The World Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Duke University, has announced a $25 million gift from Jeff and Laurie Ubben in support of wildlife conservation work and environmental research and education programming.
Most of the gift — $20 million — will enable WWF to act on its global conservation priorities, including reducing the demand for illegal ivory in China, protecting wildlife, and strengthening the ability of local communities to conserve the natural resources critical to their livelihoods. The remaining $5 million will support a partnership between WWF and Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment aimed at identifying sustainable solutions to conservation and development challenges and making them accessible to conservationists and environmental managers worldwide.
Jeff and Laurie Ubben are both Duke alumni, and Jeff is a member of the university's board of trustees.
"Jeff and Laurie do not mess around when it comes to conservation," said WWF president and CEO Carter Roberts. "You can see the difference their philanthropy has made in bringing the ivory trade to an end in key markets and in bridging research with real-world solutions. The Ubbens have sparked some of our most promising initiatives and partnerships. I'm grateful for their generosity and for their vision in driving sustainability at a scale that matters."