Galapagos, UNESCO World

Galapagos UNESCO

news 100729 1 3 Galapagos Removed from World Heritage List (AC19)At the annual meeting of the UNESCO committee for World Heritage Sites, which was held this year in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, it was decided that Ecuador has improved the situation in the Galapagos Islands to such an extent that they need no longer be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Galapagos Islands were added to the List of World Heritage in Danger during the 2007 meeting for three reasons:

  • Uncontrolled human population growth,
  • Unregulated tourism, and
  • Insufficient measures to stop invasive species from entering the islands.

For the past three years, the Ecuadorian government—working in conjunction with the Galapagos National Park Service and several other governmental and non-governmental environmental groups (including foreign NGOs such as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society), have been working hard to improve the situation in the archipelago.

news_100729_1_1_Galapagos_Removed_from_World_Heritage_List_(AC96))The following are examples of these improvements:

  • Illegal immigrants have been deported, and immigration control has increased.
  • The tourist sector is better regulating the influx of a high number of tourists each year.
  • Several projects are underway to minimize the transportation of invasive species on cargo and tourist boats.
  • Sea Shepherd Galapagos has several running projects that contribute to a better-controlled environment, such as the Police Dog Project, Radio Communications Project, Automatic Identification System (AIS) Project, and more.

Sea Shepherd will continue to work on these initiatives, as it is clear that despite improved measures, threats to the natural inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands remain. In a world were biodiversity is diminishing at an astounding rate, we must continue to focus our full attention on this unique and special place.

news 100729 1 2 Galapagos Removed from World Heritage List (AC98))Sea Shepherd congratulates the Ecuadorian government for its improved protective measures that have led to the removal of the Galapagos Islands from the List of World Heritage in Danger. It is quite uncommon to be removed from that list in such a short period of time, and we commend Ecuador for understanding the urgency to preserve this World Heritage Site and acting on it.

Some caution is advisable though, as being removed from the list is not sufficient or permanent, and efforts to protect the Galapagos must not slow down. Tourism, population growth, introduced plant and animal species, as well as illegal fishing still present serious threats if not managed properly.

From its permanent office in Galapagos, Sea Shepherd will continue to act on behalf of the endemic species that populate the islands, with the goal of keeping these enchanted islands off the List of World Heritage in Danger for good. Galapagos is our line in the sand; we need your continued support to stop the destruction of our natural world from passing this threshold.

Las Islas Galápagos retiradas de la Lista de la UNESCO de Patrimonios en Peligro

news_100729_1_4_Galapagos_Removed_from_World_Heritage_List_(AC74))En la reunión anual del Comité para Patrimonios mundiales de la UNESCO que se celebró este año en Brasilia, la capital de Brasil, se decidió que el Ecuador ha mejorado la situación en las Islas Galápagos de manera que ya no necesitan estar inscritas en la Lista de Patrimonios Mundiales en Peligro.

Las Islas Galápagos fueron inscritas en la Lista de Patrimonios Mundiales en Peligro durante la reunión del Comité en el año 2007, por tres razones:

  • Descontrolado crecimiento poblacional
  • Turismo no regulado
  • Insuficientes medidas para detener la introducción de especies invasoras

Durante los últimos tres años, el gobierno ecuatoriano, en trabajo conjunto con el Servicio del Parque Nacional Galápagos y otros grupos ambientales gubernamentales y no gubernamentales (incluyendo organizaciones no gubernamentales como Sea Shepherd Conservation Society), han estado trabajando fuertemente para mejorar la situación en el archipiélago. Los siguientes son ejemplos de estas mejoras:

  • Inmigrantes ilegales han sido deportados, y control de migración ha incrementado.
  • El sector turístico esta regulando de mejor manera la afluencia de un elevado número de turistas cada año.
  • Varios proyectos están en marcha para reducir al mínimo el transporte de especies invasoras en embarcaciones turísticas y de carga.
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