Chales Darwin Foundation

Charles Darwin Foundation

"The Charles Darwin Foundation is not only the archipelago’s oldest private scientific research organization, it is also an institution that I believe the islands could not live without. There are manifold challenges endangering the biodiversity and environment of the Galapagos, and additionally the social challenge of having to achieve the “Buen Vivir” (good living) for local communities. Now more than ever is the time to invest in solid scientific research, in order to reach out to the decision-making bodies of the Government of Ecuador and provide them with sound information and technical advice."

Swen Lorenz, Execitive Director

Charles Darwin Foundation

The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) is an international not-for-profit scientific organization. The CDF has been working in Galapagos since 1959 under an agreement with the Government of Ecuador and with a clear mission to work closely with Government Institutions, providing scientific knowledge and assistance to ensure the conservation of Galapagos.

For fifty years, the Charles Darwin Foundation has worked closely with the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), the main local government environmental authority, overseeing the safeguarding of the islands’ natural resources, providing the results of scientific research to conserve this living laboratory.

Over one hundred scientists, educators, research assistants, support staff, and volunteers from all over the world take part in this effort. The organizational staff is 90% Ecuadorian and CDF is committed to the training of Galapagos residents as future scientists for the good of the islands and the country at large.


"Our mission is to provide science that will help to conserve the environment and biodiversity of the archipelago and that enables decision-makers to work towards a truly sustainable Galapagos. We are doing this within the context of dynamic changes in the commercial, political, and social landscapes of the Galapagos Islands. It is perhaps fitting that in this bastion of evolution, the Charles Darwin Foundation continually evolves as a matter of adaptation."

Dr. Dennis Geist,  President of the CDF

CDF’s mission is to provide knowledge and assistance through scientific research and complementary action to ensure the conservation of the environment and biodiversity in the Galapagos Archipelago.

Within this context, the vision of the CDF for 2016 is to be the world's leading research institution dedicated to the conservation of the biological diversity and natural resources of Galapagos, and committed to building a sustainable and collaborative society to achieve this objective.