Guiuan Development Foundation Inc. (GDFI)

GDFI Logo Card

Guiuan Development Foundation Inc.

Samar, Philippines

The Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI) is a non-stock, non-profit, non-government organization committed to empowering communities and protecting the environment. Since its founding in 1988 up to the present, GDFI worked with the fishers in the northern Leyte Gulf to conserve and protect the coastal resources. To date, 25 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) have been established in the municipal waters of the 7 coastal municipalities GDFI works with. These MPAs are mostly managed by the community with support from their respective local government unit (LGU). Environment-friendly livelihoods were developed through participatory research approaches to provide supplemental income sources to the fishers while helping improve the fishery wild stocks. Highlighting the vital role of a healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems, GDFI has also piloted the “Building Resilient Coastal Community" program that builds on the social-ecological interface of building community resilience with support from Give2Asia.

In institutionalizing fishery reforms, GDFI facilitated the formation of an inter-LGU alliance called the Alliance of Seven Municipalities for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (A7 for ICZM). Inter-LGU collaborations are needed for the effective management of fishery resources. GDFI also partnered with the BFAR and the Environmental Defend Fund (EDF) to craft a science-based Fishery Management Plan together with the fishers and other stakeholders for FMA 8.

GDFI also works with women and youth in capturing fisher’s voices through the Small-scale Fisheries Hub that documents stories of struggles and successes in the different coastal communities. This platform also capacitates youth on visual storytelling and videography while they learn more about their community and the environment.


GDFI Resources

Explore some of GDFI's publications, videos, and guides available in the Resource Library. 


Blue Swimming Crab Card

The Blue Swimming Crab Fishers and Fishing Practices in Leyte and Samar, Philippines


Sea Cucumber Card

Diversity and Abundance of Shallow-water Sea Cucumbers in Samar and Leyte, Philippines


Pagbalud card

"Pagbalud" (When the Waves Swell)


Particle size card

Effect of Holothuria scabra (Jaeger) on Particle Size Composition and Components of Sediment

Celebrating GDFI’s 34 years of community-based coastal resource management

To celebrate its 34th Founding Anniversary, Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI) in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Guiuan Marine Fisheries Development Center (BFAR-GMFDC) held a habitat enhancement activity by seeding 500 young (5 years old) Giant Clams (Tridacna derasa) in 4 MPAs: Maybay Fish Sanctuary in Guiuan; Cansarigan Fish Sanctuary in Salcedo, Panaloytoyon Fish Sanctuary, and Mantampok Fish Sanctuary in Quinapondan. The activity was done on August 31,2022 and participated by the MPA managers, Bantay Dagat, some Brgy. Local Officials, Municipal employees, and local fishers. Mayor Rafael Asebias of Quinapondan provided the truck to transport the 300 Giant Clams for the 2 MPAs in his municipality by land. On hand to assist the GDFI-BFAR Team were representatives from the MAO, MENRO, and MPA caretakers who arranged for the boats to transport the clams to their MPAs. It is hoped that these clams will not only enhance the MPAs but will also contribute to the enhancement of the coastal fisheries. The MPAs are also envisioned to become learning and recreation sites for the young and adults alike who wish to learn about and enjoy the marine ecosystems.

GDFI Community

Meet some of the fishers and communities in Samar, Philippines that work with GDFI. 

Fisher Stories

Samar Card

Meet the fishers of Eastern Samar, Philippines

Women Fishers

Women Fishers Card

Read the stories of the women of fishing villages in Samar, Philippines

Tubabao Island

Primo Allera

A story of Mr. Primo Allera, a blue-swimming crab fisher and Sanctuary guard in Tubabao Island

Eastern Samar

Market Challenges


Hear about market challenges for small-scale fishers in Eastern Samar, Philippines

Market Impacts

Public Market


Market vendors discuss the ways that their businesses are impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crab Fishers

Crab Fishers


Hear from crab fishers on the challenges they face with stock changes and managing sustainable fisheries.

IUU Impacts

IUU Fishing

Small-scale fishers discuss the negative impacts of IUU fishing and how their communities are working to address it.

Lawaan Sanctuary

Efren Minguel


Efren Minguel speaks to his experience as a guard in the Lawaan Sanctuary


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