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.