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Galápagos Islands

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 1994*
  • 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
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1994
Requests approved: 22 (from 1979-1994)
Total amount approved : 405,350 USD
1994 Fire figthing equipment for Galapagos (Approved)   50,000 USD
1992 Revision of the management plan for Galapagos Islands (Approved)   29,000 USD
1992 One fellowship for an officer from the Galapagos ... (Approved)   3,100 USD
1992 Support to 3 resource persons and organization of a ... (Approved)   15,000 USD
1992 Financial contribution to a training course organized ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
1990 Training in Costa Rica of one specialist from the ... (Approved)   2,000 USD
1990 Study to investigate the impacts of tourism on ... (Approved)   14,000 USD
1989 Purchase of 2 motor-boats and spare parts, as well as ... (Approved)   59,500 USD
1989 Financial contribution to the Charles Darwin Foundation ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
1989 One study grant enabling the superintendent of ... (Approved)   4,000 USD
1988 Purchase of 4 boats for strengthening the protection of ... (Approved)   54,000 USD
1988 Consultancy services for reviewing and preparing a ... (Approved)   4,250 USD
1987 1.5 month consultancy mission to follow-up the zoning ... (Approved)   2,500 USD
1987 Contribution to consultancy mission for the development ... (Approved)   2,000 USD
1987 Provision of 2 experts for 3.5 months to advise on the ... (Approved)   15,000 USD
1986 Financial support to the environmental education and ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
1985 Contribution to the training of an environmental ... (Approved)   2,500 USD
1985 4-month training in management of protected areas ... (Approved)   6,000 USD
1985 Contribution to purchase of equipment for Galapagos ... (Approved)   10,500 USD
1982 Financial contribution to a training course organised ... (Approved)   10,000 USD
1979 Purchase of equipment to eliminate invasive species in ... (Approved)   50,000 USD
1979 Training seminar in the Galapagos (Approved)   12,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1994**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1994

It is recalled that a fire burned some 8,000 hectares of Isabela Island, part of the Galapagos National Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. Emergency assistance was provided to the site under the World Heritage Fund (US$ 50,000). Meanwhile, the World Heritage Centre has received a preliminary report, photos and a video film on the fire.

The President of Ecuador wrote a letter on 26 July 1994 to the Director General of UNESCO thanking him for the important contribution made by the World Heritage Fund and the immediate action undertaken by the World Heritage Committee and the Centre to preserve the fragile biodiversity system of the islands in the framework of the World Heritage Convention.

On 30 September 1994 the Centre was informed that the President of the Republic of Ecuador has taken further action concerning the Galapagos Marine Reserve. IUCN will report in more detail on this issue under the agenda item on nominations.

______________________________________________

Report included in Document WHC.94/CONF.003/7rev:

The Bureau recommended that the Committee include the Galapagos Marine Reserve proposed as an extension to the World Heritage site of Galapagos Islands on the World Heritage List.

The Bureau requested the Committee to commend the Ecuadorean authorities for extending the World Heritage property to include marine habitats extending to 40 nautical miles from the islands.

The Bureau however, was concerned that the proposed Marine Reserve, and the Galapagos Islands faced the following threats to their integrity:

  • overfishing and illegal fishing of a wide range of species;
  • human pressures from the local population and tourism on both terrestrial and marine resources;
  • inadequate management capacity and infrastructure ;
  • adverse impacts of introduced animals and plants.

These threats call for mitigative actions via-a-vis:

  • augmenting management capacity;
  • encouraging institutional cooperation;
  • stepping up law enforcement, and
  • conducting research on sustainability.

 The Committee is requested to examine IUCN's report and then to decide on the appropriate actions.

______________________________________________

Report included in Document WHC.94/CONF.003/7rev:

In view of the prevailing threats to the integrity of the extension proposed in the Marine Reserve and the Islands, the Bureau recommended that the Committee include the Galapagos (Islands and the extension of the Marine Resource Reserve) in the List of World Heritage in Danger and request the Ecuadorean Government to convene, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre, a donors conference to prepare a plan for financing a programme of actions to mitigate the threats to the integrity of the site.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1994
18 BUR VI.B
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

The Bureau was informed that a fire broke out at Isabela Island on 12 April 1994 and was discovered by a patrol boat of the Galapagos National Park authorities. The fire combat was very difficult, involving park personnel and both the army and the navy. After one month the fire was under control, but 4,500 ha were burnt. The giant tortoises are not at risk, but the extinction danger remains. The authorities have received emergency aid from the World Heritage Fund (US$ 50,000), UNESCO (US$ 20,000) and several governments, NGOs and individual donors. The Bureau took note of the report and recalled that the extension of the marine reserve of the Galapagos Islands will be discussed under the nomination section of this report.

18 COM XI
Deferred Extension: Galapagos Marine Reserve (extension of the Galapagos Islands) (Ecuador)

Galapagos Marine Reserve (extension of the Galapagos Islands)

1bis

Ecuador

The Committee recognized that the Marine Reserve met natural heritage criteria. However, in accordance with the recommendation of IUCN and the wish of the Observer of Ecuador, it deferred the inclusion of the Galapagos Marine Reserve as an extension of World Heritage site of Galapagos. The Committee commended the Ecuadorean authorities for their efforts to enlarge the World Heritage property to include marine habitats extending to 15 nautical miles from the islands. It also noted the proposal of the Ecuadorean authorities to extend marine habitats up to 40 nautical miles. But the Committee was seriously concerned that the proposed Marine Reserve and the Galapagos Islands faced the following threats to their integrity:

  • overfishing and illegal fishing of a wide range of species;
  • human pressures from the local population (growing at an estimated rate of 8.5% per year, mainly due to immigration) and tourism on both terrestrial and marine resources;
  • inadequate management capacity and infrastructure;
  • adverse impacts of introduced animals and plants;

These threats call for mitigative action vis-a-vis:

  • augmenting management capacity;
  • encouraging institutional cooperation;
  • stepping up law enforcement, and
  • conducting research on sustainability of resource use in the Marine Reserve.

The Committee noted the commitment of the Ecuadorean Government which, in cooperation with IUCN, the Centre and a number of international conservation organizations, is considering several measures to ensure protection of the Marine Reserve and the Galapagos Islands. Furthermore, the Committee was informed that the Ecuadorean Government was considering a donors' conference in early 1995 to propose a series of actions to mitigate the prevailing threats to the integrity of the Marine Reserve and the Islands, as well as a financial plan for the implementation of those actions. Hence, the Committee requested IUCN and the Centre to report back to the Bureau at its nineteenth session on progress made to strengthen the conservation of the Marine Reserve and the Islands.

No draft Decision

Report year: 1994
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2007-2010
Exports

* : 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.


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