The Global Diversity Foundation is currently developing applied research and community conservation projects in four regions: Mesoamerica, North Africa, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa.
GDF began its first regional programme in North Africa in 2000, with field projects in southern Morocco. A second programme was initiated in Southeast Asia in 2003, comprising diverse activities in Sabah, Malaysia.
We launched our field programme in Southern Africa in 2006, and we plan to develop various initiatives in Botswana and Namibia. We hope to begin work in Mesoamerica in 2008, with an initial focus on Oaxaca, Mexico.
How do we select our regions?
Biocultural diversity: Our first concern is to select areas of biological and cultural richness – the hotspots around the world where people and environment have co-evolved over many generations. These are ‘observatories of biocultural diversity’ that give us a vista onto diverse expressions of the human condition.
Experience and expertise: Within selected regions, our focus is on specific areas where GDF’s Director and Regional Coordinators have worked for many years, developing specialist knowledge and close relationships with local people and institutions.
Global scope: 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 similar global trends: climate change, economic integration, instantaneous communication, urbanisation and others.
Long-term viability: We work in conflict free areas of emerging countries that have stable political situations and good governance, and where local people and institutions embrace our participatory initiatives. We value places where we can work from the bottom up, in collaboration with local partners.