Since 2000, GDF has launched vibrant applied collaborative research programmes with indigenous communities in Mesoamerica, North Africa, Southeast Asia and southern Africa. In collaboration with local and national institutions, we provide training and advocacy to support communities as they design and implement their own initiatives to maintain local environments and enhance their livelihoods and wellbeing. Our areas of focus depend on community interests and priorities, and to date we have worked on community-based biocultural diversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods, community access to lands and resources, the continuity of ethnobiological knowledge, community health and wellbeing.
We recently consolidated our regional activities into two programmes: the North America regional programme, which expands from our Mesoamerica programme to include the US and Canada; and the Mediterranean regional programme, which grows out of our North Africa programme with a view to including countries on the Northern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea. The Southern Africa and Southeast Asia programmes, which ran for five and ten years respectively, are no longer active but form part of GDF’s legacy.
GDF also runs an International Programme which promotes biocultural diversity through workshops, training, documentation and networking opportunities. Since 2012, most of our training and networking efforts at the global level have been channeled through the Global Environments Network. Our International Programme now focuses on publications and sharing methodological innovations.
Between 2000 and 2011, GDF’s International Programme promoted biocultural diversity through training, documentation and networking opportunities. We established the Biocultural Diversity Learning Network, organising seminars, workshops and trainings at regional and international scales on the topic. We maintained an online repository of resources on biocultural diversity, and continue to animate a dedicated Facebook page. In 2012, we created the Global Environments Network (GEN) through which we now channel most of our international work.