Frontier was established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and building sustainable livelihoods for marginalised communities in the world's poorest countries. Our first projects were in Tanzania, one of the world's poorest countries. Carrying out groundbreaking surveys in remote forest, savannah, and marine environments, our dedicated teams of volunteers set about building a comprehensive picture of areas that were heretofore ignored, despite being, as we discovered, among the most biodiverse areas in the world. At the time, Professor John Poynton of the Natural History Museum said:
"In its biodiversity and biogeographical dynamics, Tanzania is proving to be one of the most - if not the most - significant countries in Africa... Over the past decade Frontier's collecting and data recording has progressively developed to achieve high professional standards, which allow vastly improved knowledge of the biodiversity, ecology and biogeography of the area through a detailed recording of specimens, habitats and altitudes... Frontier's work certainly sets a new standard in the exploration and documenting of the African fauna."
Our exhaustive studies led to the creation of the Mafia Island marine park (a partnership between Frontier and WWF), widely hailed as the world's most successful multi-user marine park and one that today still exemplifies the original principles that underpinned its creation. Our years of research in the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Tanzania have formed the main part of the IUCN book "Biodiversity of the Eastern Arc Mountains", the most comprehensive data set ever produced for the area and one that is routinely cited by leading academics and policymakers around the world. Studies in the Kilombero Valley led to the protection of the critically-endangered puku antelope and to the gazetting of areas of miombo woodland that would be otherwise logged for teak, a critical support system for elephants in the area.
Originally focused largely on scientific and conservation research, Frontier's mandate soon evolved into one that combined community development, capacity building, ecosystem protection, economic growth, and the development of civil society. This reflected our fundamental belief that the only way to create a mutually-beneficial relationship between man and the environment is to address both human and environmental needs. Today, Frontier projects run the gamut of community development, educational, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, humanitarian and research and conservation projects. The holistic approach originally pioneered by Frontier has subsequently been adopted as an example of best practice by conservation workers and development professional in government agencies and NGOs worldwide including organisations such as Conservation International, and WWF.
2009 marked an important milestone for Frontier as we celebrated 20 years of delivering safe, relevant and successful projects. Volunteers are welcomed by Frontier staff and partners to take part in a wide and diverse range of projects in over twenty countries on every continent worldwide except Antarctica. All of our projects are long-term partnerships between Frontier, local NGOs and community organisations, government agencies and research and conservation institutes and all aim to build coalitions between stakeholders at the local, national, and international level.
Background & Mission
Why Travel with Frontier?
Research & Development
Frequently Asked Questions