State of Conservation
Factors affecting the property in 2000*
- Financial resources
- Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
- Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
- Invasive / alien marine species
- Invasive/alien terrestrial species
- Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Fire (issue resolved);
- Limited protected area;
- Over fishing;
- Tourist pressure;
- Lack of financial resources;
- Need of a special law (issue resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 24
Total amount approved : 517,850 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**
June 1996: fact-finding mission
|1996||Report on the mission to the Galapagos Islands World Heritage Site (Ecuador, 2 - 10 June 1996)|
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph X.28 and of Annex VIII
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – paragraph IV. 32
New information: IUCN has reported that the President of Ecuador approved, in January 2000, general regulations for the enforcement of the Special Galapagos Law. Implementation of conservation provisions under the Law is slow, and there is a need for special regulations to be developed as soon as possible for regulating tourism, fisheries, agriculture and EIAs. In relation to the regulation of immigration into the Islands, regulations are now in the preparatory stages and work is continuing. INGALA is working to complete, as soon as possible, a demographic analysis of all Galapagos residents in order to distinguish between permanent residents and others.
The fisheries calendar for use of resources in marine areas was evaluated at the end of 1999 and a new calendar established for 2000. The calendar for the year 2000 requires that a zoning scheme is put in place before the sea cucumber harvests could begin again. The zones will aim to protect the species and limit the fishing effort. It is necessary to accelerate the development of fisheries regulations and to develop integrated educational programmes targeting local fishermen. IUCN has noted that there is continuing pressure to introduce semi-industrial fishing boats and for an industrial centre to be developed. Steps are underway to define “artisanal” fishing within the context of Galapagos and distinguish it from industrial fishing. Capability of Park staff to patrol marine areas has however, been strengthened and one illegal fishing boat has been apprehended and a case filed. The case’s outcome is being closely monitored by conservationists since the court judgement on the case is likely to have direct relevance to controlling future illegal fishing activity in the marine waters of Galapagos.
IUCN notes that it is important that the Government proceeds rapidly with the reform of SESA (Ecuadorian Service of Animal Health) to facilitates the operation of the Galapagos Inspection and Quarantine system, both at ports of entry into Galapagos and at ports of embarkation on the mainland (airports and seaports). The UNF-financed project has commenced and will strengthen the ability of the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) and the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) to introduce and improve the quarantine system for eradication and control of invasive species. A UNDP/GEF project, valued at US$ 8 million and, amongst others, focusing on the eradication of the larger mammalian introduced species such as goats in the Isabella Island, is also due to commence this year. The UNF and GEF projects include significant commitments to raise matching grants up to US$ 5-7 million that will be used to set up an endowment for Galapagos. CDF, CDRS and GNPS, in consultation with UNESCO, UNF and GEF are in the process of recruiting a specialist who would be responsible for launching campaigns to generate the funds for setting up the endowment. In addition, a loan-project, to be financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and valued at about US$ 20 million to address issues pertaining to marine resources protection, environmental management in the islands and institutional strengthening and capacity building, is due to be finalised before the end of 2000. The IDB is considering developing a separate project for developing ecotourism in Galapagos. UNESCO’s Unit for Co-ordinating relations with Development Banks (BER/BKS) is in contact with the IDB to seek a possible house-wide involvement of UNESCO, including the Centre and other units such as MAB, IOC etc. and partners like IUCN and CDF, in the implementation of IDB projects.
A staff member of the Centre and the Deputy Permanent Delegate of Ecuador participated in the Executive Council session of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) held at IUCN Headquarters, in Gland, Switzerland, from 4 to 7 April 2000. The role of the World Heritage Committee in facilitating the enactment of the Special Galapagos Law received widespread appreciation from members of the CDF Executive Council. The enactment of that Law has been a critical element guaranteeing the long-term prospects for the conservation of Galapagos and was a major consideration in the decisions of donors such as UNF, GEF and IDB to provide financial support to projects for enabling full implementation of the Law.
The Bureau welcomes the positive developments for conservation at this site and encourages the State Party to accelerate the development of special regulations, particularly for regulating tourism, fisheries and introduction of plant and animal species and to consider extending the World Heritage Area to include the marine zone. The Bureau requests the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party to submit a progress report on the measures undertaken to enforce the Special Galapagos Law, including the zoning plan for marine areas, for consideration by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 2000.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000
Following the meeting with the Minister of Environment of Ecuador in May 2000, the extension of the Galapagos Islands to include the marine part was provided on 1 July 2000 for review in 2001. IUCN has received the State Party report on progress in the conservation of this site. IUCN notes that good progress has been made in implementing the Management Plan. IUCN also notes that regulations to the Galapagos Special Law have been developed for: immigration, invasive species and tourism. Regulations for fisheries are also close to adoption and a fisheries zoning plan, including provision for ‘No Go’ areas has been developed. IUCN welcomes the comprehensive and detailed report on the implementation of management activities, particularly in relation to the control of illegal fisheries and invasive species. IUCN notes that the State Party proposed the Marine Reserve for addition to the World Heritage site and that an evaluation mission will be carried out in 2001. IUCN considers that it would also be worthwhile to carry out a monitoring mission of the terrestrial part of the World Heritage Site at the time of the evaluation, if acceptable to the State Party. IUCN welcomed efforts by the State Party to harmonise the Management Plans for both the Marine Reserve and the Terrestrial Reserve.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Centre highlighted a number of projects currently under way on the protection of the Galapagos Islands, including the UN Foundation project (US$ 3,9 million), a UNDP/GEF project valued at US$ 8 million and a loan project, to be financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), for about US$ 20 million to address issues pertaining to marine resource protection, environmental management in the Islands, institutional strengthening and capacity building
IUCN noted the positive progress made, but highlighted a number of issues including (a) the need to develop regulations to the special law as soon as possible on tourism, fisheries, agriculture and Environmental Impact Assessment; and (b) such regulations need to be linked with appropriate education and community outreach activities to increase compliance. IUCN was delighted to host the Executive Council of the Charles Darwin Foundation linked with a workshop on sustainable financing for World Heritage sites – a topic relevant for many natural and cultural World Heritage sites. Guidelines will be published shortly on this issue.
The Observer of Ecuador welcomed the reports from the Centre and IUCN and underlined the commitment by his Government for all the projects. He also expressed his satisfaction to the World Heritage Centre for the progress made in the pilot project with UNFIP and hoped to see UNESCO and the Centre as partners in the implementation of the IDB loan. A renomination of the marine area is currently under preparation. His Government is also implementing all regulations, although it is sometimes difficult to accommodate the different interests involved. Thanks to the management plan for the site, the situation has improved.
The Bureau welcomed the positive developments for conservation at this site and encouraged the State Party to accelerate the development of special regulations, particularly for regulating tourism, fisheries and introduction of plant and animal species and to consider extending the World Heritage Area to include the marine zone. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party to submit a progress report on the measures undertaken to enforce the Special Galapagos Law, including the zoning plan for marine areas, for consideration by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 2000.
State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee
State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Pirin National Park (Bulgaria)
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
Gros Morne National Park (Canada)
Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks (Canada)
Comoe National Park (Côte d'Ivoire)
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Lorenz National Park (Indonesia)
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
Huascarán National Park (Peru)
Danube Delta (Romania)
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)
Doñana National Park (Spain)
Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
Gough Island (United Kingdom)
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau welcomes the positive developments for conservation at this site and thanks the State Party for implementing its requests to consider extending the World Heritage Area to include the marine zone. The Bureau commends the State Party on the excellent progress with implementing the Management Plan and recommends that a monitoring mission be linked with the IUCN evaluation of the marine extension in 2001.”
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).