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|About||Global Diversity Foundation promotes and sustains cultural, biological and agricultural diversity around the world through the development and use of applied research, training and social action.|
Global Diversity Foundation was founded in November 1999 by ethnobiologist and executive director Gary J. Martin and obtained charitable status from the Charity Commission of England and Wales in May 2000. It was registered as a non-profit in the United States in 2006.
GDF has a dual mission. Through our regional programmes, we support indigenous peoples' and local communities' efforts to protect their biocultural diversity, and peacefully achieve just and autonomous decision-making regarding their territories, resources and futures. In collaboration with diverse institutions, we provide support for communities to elaborate their own research, development and advocacy programmes. Areas of specific focus depend on community interests, although they tend to be community access to lands and resources, community-led conservation, advocacy and campaigning for social and environmental justice, the continuity of ethnobiological and biocultural knowledge, and health.
We fulfil the other aspect of our mission through our cross-cutting international programme, which builds the capacities of dynamic environmental changemakers working at local, national and international levels. Since 2011, we organise the Global Environments Summer Academy (GESA), a multidisciplinary course that works to broaden and deepen the knowledge, networking and communication skills of postgraduate students and professionals. Our international programme also serves to disseminate project results and organise seminars and workshops on contemporary issues in biocultural diversity, socio-ecological dynamics and the policy-practice interface.
GDF’s work is supervised, guided and supported by two dynamic, diverse and multidisciplinary teams: the Board of Trustees in the UK and the Board of Directors in the US.
GDF works in areas of biocultural richness: habitats where people and environments have evolved together over many generations. Our community and conservation initiatives build on local traditions and knowledge to secure education, health, nutrition and other basic human rights for marginalised peoples.
We have opted for a geographical spread that allows us to assess the impact of globalisation on communities and landscapes under diverse conditions. These starkly contrasting cultures and environments are changing in the face of climate change, migration, economic integration, urbanisation and social inequality.
We focus on regions where GDF staff has resided and worked for many years, developing specialist knowledge and close relationships with local people and institutions.
We always work over the long-term in collaboration with local partners.
Our research and education programmes target critical contemporary issues such as wildlife trade, people-park conflicts and community-based natural resource management.
We also support grassroots projects that use innovative approaches to achieve quantifiable results. With an emphasis on feasibility and sustainability, we focus on small-scale initiatives that can be replicated elsewhere.