Scientific research is a significant part of Frontier's work. Since 1989 we have carried out research in many of the world's most significant biodiversity hotspots. Often, these places are little-known in the scientific community and there is a real need to build up a base of knowledge regarding each unique environment and its species, so that they may be protected into the future.
Biodiversity surveying and monitoring is central to Frontier's research activities, as many sites where our scientists are working lack baseline data. Other work includes terrestrial and marine habitat mapping, investigation of the ecology of many different species of interest (like puku antelope in Tanzania, sea turtles in Fiji, or lemurs in Madagascar), and socio-economic research into sustainable livelihoods. The results of these studies contribute to the establishment of protected areas and the implementation of sustainable resource management for local communities.
In some cases, such as Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania's first marine park, this involved setting up marine protected areas around coral reefs with a high conservation value. In others it involved promoting alternative sources of income for communities relying on rainforests, such as medicinal plant cultivation by Hmong farmers in Sa Pa, Vietnam.
We work hard to maintain our relationships with local communities and governments, universities and institutions, as effective conservation is best achieved by involving all stakeholders. In order to maintain the highest scientific standards we work in consultation with a wide range of professionals at institutions and universities from around the world. This ensures our methods are sound, our conclusions are accurate and we remain at the forefront of scientific research.
We aim to keep our work relevant to modern science so that in the future researchers can build upon it. We employ credible scientists who have already established their position as high calibre, published researchers. All of our research volunteers are trained in standardized methods of data collection, which often goes on to be published in peer-reviewed journals. We also regularly attend international conferences and symposia on biodiversity and conservation, and have discovered a number of species new to science.
We offer opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students looking to do their dissertation in the field, who are given a significant discount on regular programme fees. Please see our dissertations page for more information.
Capability in Research & Development
Frontier has over twenty years of experience in project management, with strong on-the-ground implementation and facilitation capabilities executed in conjunction with national NGOs, local authorities, community-based organisations and other community groups.
In addition to traditional baseline surveys and biodiversity research in forest, savanna, marine and freshwater ecosystems, our organisation has proven skills in natural resource management, community development, environmental education and biodiversity training workshops. We offer consultancy services in our areas of expertise, and also host talks, seminars and workshops both in the UK and overseas on conservation and development.
Please download our latest Capability Statement: The Society for Environmental Exploration / Frontier Statement of Capability
Local community participation in conservation efforts is imperative if projects are going to have a sustainable long term positive impact on the environment. Within the developing world rural communities are highly dependent on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods. It is therefore important that these communities are involved with conservation efforts to help protect not only the environment from destructive activities, but also to ensure that local rural communities benefit from such efforts.
From inception Frontier has been highly aware of the potential role that local rural communities can play in conservation projects. Local rural communities are sometimes referred to as being part of the ecosystem, and are therefore treated as another aspect to which conservation efforts have to be directed. Through practices such as capacity building, raising biodiversity awareness, training activities, alternative income generation and sustainable resources use, local communities feel the benefit of conservation and will be encouraged to continue conservation efforts long into the future.
Training is an essential component of Frontier's research projects and is necessary to ensure the local community is willing and aware of the importance of environmental protection.
There is a strong focus on raising awareness through workshops and lessons in the local schools and communities. Many individuals are lacking basic skills and knowledge in conservation management, thus formal training is required to ensure continued research and protection after Frontier leaves.
Training programmes and encouragement is provided to local stakeholder briefs to build confidence in the importance of their work, thus increasing their motivation to work efficiently and effectively. This training incorporates a range of necessary skills, from sourcing funding to practical workshops in biodiversity surveys and data collection.
In-Country Volunteer Project Partnerships
Frontier works closely with many institutions both overseas and in the UK. Our conservation programmes are a partnership with local, national and international conservation agencies, NGO's, governments, universities and communities. The expertise and assistance of scientific institutions and scientists world-wide is vital to the direction of our research. We are contracted and funded by conservation grant-making organisations as well as sponsored by international corporations.
We are grateful to our network of partners, affiliations, donors, contractors, sponsors and advisors who have helped make our conservation and sustainable development initiatives and research so outstandingly successful.
Relationships overseas are consolidated through formal partnerships with host country institutions, often ministries, universities, and research institutions. Our current overseas offices and operations are named according to the host country: Frontier-Cambodia, Frontier-Fiji, Frontier-Madagascar, Frontier-Nicaragua and Frontier-Tanzania. All Frontier projects have important main country collaborators as well as numerous other organisations on a smaller scale such as NGOs, individuals and community groups.
Frontier is currently working in collaboration with institutions in five countries across four continents. In each country of operation the Society for Environmental Exploration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with respective counterparts, forming:
Frontier-Cambodia a collaboration between the Society for Environmental Exploration (UK) and the Department of Nature Conservation and Protection within the Ministry for the Environment, Phnom Penh.
Ministry of the Environment, Department for Nature Conservation and Protection (DNCP)
Within Botum Sakor National Park we work with the management staff, rangers, and local community representatives.
Frontier-Fiji a collaboration between the Society for Environmental Exploration (UK) and The University of South Pacific, Suva.
International Ocean Institute - Pacific Islands
Frontier-Fiji is associated with the IOI Pacific Islands Department at the University of South Pacific, closely working with the communities of Gau and the Lomiviti Provincial Council, to set up 17 small marine reserves. Future developments are leading us to participate in the implementation of the FNTCS (Fiji National Turtle Conservation Strategy) with the USP and WWF.
Frontier-Madagascar is a collaboration between the Society for Environmental Exploration (UK) and the Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine (IHSM).
L'Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine (IHSM)
The IHSM is part of the university of Toliara and is Madagascar main marine research institute. We are also a founding member of the Capricorn Coastal Alliance (CCA) which is an initiative to coordinate, communicate and harness outputs from all organisations conducting natural resource projects in the marine and coastal environments of the Toliara region.
Madagascar National Parks (MNP).
Another partner in Madagascar is the MNP whose mission is to establish, conserve and sustainably manage a national network of parks and reserves representative of the biological diversity and the natural heritage of Madagascar.
Frontier - Costa Rica
Frontier-Costa Rica is a collaboration between the Society for Environmental Exploration (UK) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Costa Rica.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
WCS was founded in 1895. It's mission is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks. WCS has been involved in conservation in Costa Rica since 1970, when the first national protected areas were created. Today WCS conducts wildlife research and provides technical assistance to Costa Rican authorities for park planning, administration and protection.
Frontier-Tanzania a collaboration between the Society for Environmental Exploration (UK) and the University of Dar es Salaam and Institute of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar.
University of Dar Es Salaam (USDM) - Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) Zanzibar
We are also working with the Ulanga District Council and the Kilombero District Council. And within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism we work with the Wildlife Division and the Forest and Beekeeping Division. Our work on the Zanzibar archipelago is in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Co-operatives, Zanzibar.