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Galápagos Islands

Factors affecting the property in 1990*
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Fire (issue resolved); Limited protected area

International Assistance: requests for the property until 1990
Requests approved: 17 (from 1979-1990)
Total amount approved : 288,250 USD
Missions to the property until 1990**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1990

[Oral report by IUCN]

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1990
14 BUR IV.A.17
Galapagos (Ecuador)

The Bureau was specifically concerned with the capturing of about 40,000 sharks, using locally captured sea-lions as baits, in the marine waters surrounding the Galapagos world heritage site. Although the capture of sharks had been temporarily halted following protests from international agencies, the effectiveness of the ban was uncertain. The Bureau recalled that preparatory assistance from the World Heritage Fund had been provided in 1987 for nominating the marine areas surrounding the Galapagos National Park for inclusion as part of the world heritage site but noted that no such nomination has thus far been received by the Committee. The Bureau was also concerned thatthe number of tourists using the area is 100 per cent greater than the estimated carrying capacity for the area and is likely to continue to increase. The Bureau noted that the Chairman of the Committee had approved US $14,000 during April 1990 for a technical co-operation project to study the problem of excessive frequentation of this site by tourists. The Bureau recommended that the Secretariat request the Ecuadorian authorities to (a) extend the boundaries of the world heritage site to include the surrounding marine areas; and (b) submit a technical report on the study of over-visiting of the site for the consideration of the Committee at its fourteenth session in December 1990.

SOC: Galapagos (Ecuador)

Galapagos (Ecuador)

The Committee noted that this site was facing two separate threats: on the one hand, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese fishermen last year captured some 40,000 sharks in the waters adjacent to the site; this intensive fishing was halted following protests by international organizations, but the effectiveness of the ban was uncertain; on-the other hand, tourist pressure on the park has increased considerably to a level far beyond the park's estimated visitor capacity.

The Committee was pleased to note that remedial measures to counter these threats were being considered; the Ecuadorian authorities had indicated, in fact, that the waters surrounding the National Park would be nominated to the World Heritage List in 1991, thereby reinforcing the protection of the adjacent waters. Moreover, a study of the effects of tourism and the means to combat these effects was being conducted with World Heritage Fund support, and the results of this study should be made known in the first half of 1991. The Committee asked the Secretariat and IUCN to continue monitoring the state of conservation of this property.

No draft Decision

Report year: 1990
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2007-2010
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 14COM (1990)

* : 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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.