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GDF Profile

Greenland Development Foundation (GDF) is a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) free of any political, religious and ethnic affiliation. GDF was established in 2006 with its incorporation in Culver City in the state of California by highly dedicated individuals extremely concerned about the alarming environmental degradation and associated poverty in the developing world mainly in Africa. With its motto Making Africa Green Again and a vision to rehabilitate the environment by empowering the poor, GDF started its major integrated environmental project in Ethiopia in 2006. Since then, GDF became highly successful in (1) empowering the poor, women, orphan children and the youth through transformational education, training and employment-for-environment opportunities (2) bringing together thousands of people with diverse religious and cultural groups (3) integrating both traditional ecological knowledge and scientific findings towards a holistic and comprehensive socio-ecological adaptation in rural communities (4) facilitating collaboration between government and non-government entities and local communities (5) planting 1 million trees, constructing rural roads and developing clean water sources for many communities in Dangila, Northwest Ethiopia and (6) planting fruit trees and vegetables that can be harvested every three months by promoting irrigation systems instead of waiting for uncertain rainfall once a year.

These breakthrough actions have been recognized by various national and international organizations such as the Regional and Federal Governments of Ethiopia, United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), US Department of State ( and other media and civil societies globally.

Missions and Objectives

Our mission is to maintain an environment that supports livelihoods and biodiversity through empowering marginalized communities and increasing the resilience of ecosystems. GDF envisions and works for a greener Africa by promoting ecological sustainability, encouraging religious and cultural tolerance, improving food security and livelihoods, mitigating and adapting to climate change. Now GDF moved further to scale-up its positive achievements to different geographic regions in Ethiopia and neighboring regions in Africa. In order to achieve its goals at greater capacity, GDF is developing its financial and technical resources.

It welcomes any individual or entity that supports one or more of the following goals (1) facilitation and empowerment of youth, women and poor farmers in reforestation, natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and integrated rural development activities (2) provide financial and technical support through training (including transformational education) to establish community nurseries, to grow fruits and vegetables for consumption and market and to conserve soil and water (3) bringing together different communities irrespective of religion, gender, political affiliation for addressing common environmental and economic challenges (4) promote the role and collaboration of both Muslim and Christian religious leaders for participatory environmental management activities.

Management Profile: Ethiopian-American Gashaw A. Tahir is the CEO for GDF. He is a world peace activist, humanitarian, and a National Green Hero of Ethiopia recognized by the United Nations who has dedicated himself to "reversing global climate change" by "Making Africa Green Again." He was deeply concerned about the highly degraded environment and impoverished people in his birth place and then moved to work on environmental rehabilitation. He established GDF and started with two acres of land and a few dozen youth in 2006 currently working on over 11,000 acres land in Ethiopia collaborating with over 450 young people and women. Gashaw is inspiring people to believe and know that we can make a difference in making our common environmental future that works for humans and biodiversity.

Organizational Structure: Head Office in Culver City, California (USA), Branch offices: Addis Ababa (Contact Address), Bahir Dar (Contact Address).

Personnel: Nuru Legass, Elias Aklilu, Getachew Tadesse, and over 450 young people and hundred of women involved in tree and fruit planting, soil and water conservation.

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