FCD was formed in 1989 under the name, Youth Environmental Action Group (YEAG) with the sole purpose of building a conservation ethic among the youth through discovery and exploration of the Belizean outdoors.
For ten years it existed under the name Youth Environmental Action Group thereafter it evolved into the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD).
In the early days, the organization recruited volunteer members from throughout the Cayo District and participated locally in global initiatives such as Rainforest Week, World Environment Day, Arbor Day, Earth Day and International Water Day.
FCD was registered and incorporated as a limited liability company in May 2005.
Officially it became registered in the Ministry of Human Development as a non-governmental organization in June 2005.
FCD started hiring full time staff in 2007 through Conservation Internationals’ Key Biodiversity Area program.
In 2007 FCD signed its first co-management agreement for the management and protection of Belize’s largest terrestrial protected area, the Chiquibul National Park.
In 2008, FCD signed a co-management agreement with the Institute of Archaeology for the administration and management of the largest cave system in Central America, the Chiquibul Cave System.
In 2012, the Government of Belize formalized and streamlined FCD’s conservation efforts at a landscape level in the western Chiquibul Maya Mountains.
Although the Chiquibul Forest is extensive, with multiple ecosystems it cannot survive on its own. FCD therefore, aims to consolidate its conservation efforts at a landscape level, centering its efforts in highly biodiverse areas and critical headwaters while extending its partnership and generating local support among stakeholders. Building local capacities that can withstand the rigors of the conservation challenges to make informed best management decisions will be key for the future as we consolidate the landscape approach.