Founded in spirit in 1985, and formalized in 1997 as the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund (GDFCF) with a gift from the Kyoto Prize awarded to Dan Janzen, we have evolved to become the formal non-profit and close working partner to the Costa Rican government's 169,000 hectare Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) within their national system of protected areas.
GDFCF's formal mission statement is to: “Promote the long-term survival of the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Área Silvestre Protegido (wild protected area) of Área de Conservación Guanacaste in Costa Rica through conservation, education, science-based management and biodiversity development.”
Starting in 2012, GDFCF further institutionalized this mission by hiring its first executive director and formally expanding its Board of Directors and technical advisory group. Although GDFCF is a U.S. based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, essentially all funds go directly to Costa Rica to support 38+ resident Costa Rican biodiversity field managers/researchers, equipment, land acquisition, and educational programs in ACG. The exception to this in-country expenditure is GDFCF's U.S.-based executive director who travels frequently between the U.S. and Costa Rica.
The core GDFCF Team is composed of Dan Janzen, Winnie Hallwachs, Eric Palola, Sigifredo Marín, Luz Maria Villalta, Alejandro Marín, Eugenie "Jenny" Phillips-Rodríguz, Roberto Fernández, Felipe Chavarria, Federico Matarrita and Monique Gilbert, and our field based parataxonomists.
Critical to GDFCF's mission are our many friends, partners, collaborators, and technical supporters. We deeply appreciate their knowledge, their advice, and their past and ongoing support.