Charles Darwin Foundation History

To celebrate our 61st birthday on July 23, 2020, we are launching a new initiative to record and learn from our history!

This new blog about old times is entitled "History of the Charles Darwin Foundation". It will start with a couple of articles focusing on the creation of the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station six decades ago and then, it will grow continuously as an increasing number of “old-timers” will contribute their stories, memories and experiences at the Darwin Station. All who consider themselves “old-timers” are invited to contribute!

This blog is being edited, and in part written, by Peter Kramer, Director of the Charles Darwin Research Station from 1970 to1973, in cooperation with our Communication Officers.

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) was established in 1959, the year when the Galapagos National Park was also legally created. Both institutions were set up to protect the wildlife and conserve the ecosystems of Galapagos, - the National Park as a government institution enforcing conservation laws and rules, the CDF as an international organisation undertaking research and providing scientific expertise. The two institutions complement each other and both carry out education and training programs.

Who were the people who joined forces in the nineteen fifties and created an organization with the aim to set up a research station on the Galapagos Islands? I was able to know some of them when I started working as a biologist and conservationist in the sixties and seventies. At the time, I did not really understand the great significance of what they had accomplished. Most of them were scientists, some specifically evolutionary scientists, some were leaders of important scientific institutions, and all of them had traveled and done work in the tropics. While some had never been on Galapagos, they all, of course, understood the role Galapagos had played in Darwin’s thinking.

The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Chaussée de la Hulpe 177 Bte 20 (rez) - 1170, Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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