Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Galápagos Islands

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Inadequate implementation of the Special Law on Galápagos;
  • Inadequate and ineffective quarantine measures;
  • Illegal fishing;
  • High immigration rate;
  • Unsustainable and uncontrolled tourism development.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount provided to the property: USD3.5 million for the capitalization of an introduced species Trust Fund, management of introduced species, tourism management studies and other technical support.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 25 (from 1979-2001)
Total amount approved : 567,850 USD
2001 Emergency assistance request for Galapagos Islands ... (Approved)   50,000 USD
1998 Ecological Monitoring in the Galapagos Archipelago - ... (Approved)   92,500 USD
1998 Urgent development of ecological monitoring through a ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
1996 Preparation of Interpretation Materials for the ... (Not approved)   0 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 2014**

June 1996: Joint UNESCO / IUCN mission (including World Heritage Committee Chairperson); June 2003: UNESCO mission; April 2005: UNESCO informal visit; February-March 2006: Joint UNESCO / IUCN mission; April 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission (including World Heritage Committee Chairperson); April 2009: UNESCO informal visit; April-May 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. An executive summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1/documents/. The State Party reports progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2010 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission:

  • The “Agency for Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galápagos” (ABG) was established in 2012 as a specialized technical body for invasive species control, with autonomy under the Ministry of Environment. The Galápagos Optimized Maritime Cargo Transportation System is under development, including a new Galápagos sea-freight terminal in Guayaquil and a new single freight reception and distribution dock at Baltra. Efforts have been made to increase self-sufficiency in organic products, to control and monitor invasive species and to restore island ecosystems.
  • The State Party notes the implementation of an improved ecotourism model in the property to stimulate better quality, lower impact tourism. A series of strategies are promoted, including longer cruise routes, better distribution of visitor sites, land-based, community and agro-tourism, and the installation of a Tourism Observatory. The State Party established a moratorium on the increase of hotel rooms and a quota for cruise ship and other tourist accommodations.
  • In 2012, the Participatory Management Board of Galápagos approved the artisanal experiential fishing as the only accepted tourist fishing activity, fully rejecting sport-fishing activities.
  • In order to strengthen governance in the property, the Chairperson of the Governing Council of the Special Regime of Galápagos (CGREG) has been given the rank of Minister of State. The State Party also reports the creation in 2013 of the Provincial Directorate of the Judiciary Council in Galápagos Province. Fishery management is said to be improved, with good coordination between park management and artisanal fisheries over species of commercial interest (sea cucumber, spiny lobster, shrimp, and pelagic and coastal fish), which are reported to be recovering.

Finally, several additional environmental projects focus on the urban areas of the archipelago. The State Party does not report on permanent habitation and recent immigration figures from the mainland, which in previous reports were said to be decreasing.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The concrete progress made by the State Party in addressing decisions of the World Heritage Committee is welcomed, particularly in regards to improved governance and strengthened biosecurity measures, as well as a number of alien species eradication programmes and conservation of emblematic species. The actions taken to control invasive species and to minimize the environmental impact of maritime shipping are recognized. With the establishment of the ABG, the existing tripartite agreement for the Galápagos Invasive Species Fund should be restructured to stimulate appropriate use of this fund. The development of the “Galapagos Optimized Maritime Cargo Transportation System”, which is expected to provide greater control at the main potential entry point for introduced species is also a positive development.

The State Party’s efforts at developing a suitable ecotourism policy for the property are positive. However, this policy has not yet led to stabilizing visitor numbers which have continued to rise from nearly 175,000 in 2010 to over 200,000 in 2013 (http://www.galapagospark.org/onecol.php?page=turismo_estadisticas). It is essential that the initiated plans and guidelines of this policy be accompanied by the enforcement of a strong regulatory framework, especially for land-based, low-budget enterprises and lodging. It is further essential that this policy and other measures result in a comprehensive, long-term sustainable tourism development for the property as a whole. Also, there has been no apparent action to reduce the frequency of flights to the Islands.

The steps taken by the State Party towards resolving the issue over the capacity of law courts in Galápagos to hear environmental crime and regulating tourist fishing activities are well noted, as well as the State Party’s decision to ban sport fishing in the property and to accept experiential fishing as the only tourist activity involving fishing. The cross-sectoral planning seems to be improving with a new, participatory developed Management Plan for the Galápagos National Park and Marine Park and the ongoing Sustainable Development and Zoning Plan for the Galápagos province (headed by CGREG). The State Party is encouraged to ensure full and coherent inclusion of the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in the overall planning framework.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.83
Galápagos Islands (Ecuador) (N 1bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.32, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party in implementing the recommendations of the 2010 World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission;
  4. Urges the State Party to sustain its efforts to fully implement all of the recommendations of the 2010 reactive monitoring mission, in particular putting in place the biosecurity infrastructure for the islands, with a particular focus on the requirements to rigorously apply international biosecurity standards both for cargo ships, and for loading and offloading facilities;
  5. Notes with concern that despite the reported implementation of a sustainable tourism strategy, visitor numbers continue to increase rapidly, and also urges the State Party to complement a comprehensive tourism strategy with the necessary enforcement of regulatory and monitoring instruments to achieve long-term sustainable tourism for the property as a whole;
  6. Also welcomes the State Party efforts to ban sport fishing in the property and strongly encourages it to closely monitoring the regulation to ensure that artisanal experiential fishing remains the only tourist activity involving fishing;
  7. Also encourages the State Party to finish and effectively implement its Sustainable Development and Zoning Plan as an instrument to provide integral management of the archipelago and to ensure conservation of its Outstanding Universal Value, and requests the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan, including the zoning plans, for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7B.83

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.32, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party in implementing the recommendations of the 2010 World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission;

4.  Urges the State Party to sustain its efforts to fully implement all of the recommendations of the 2010 reactive monitoring mission, in particular putting in place the biosecurity infrastructure for the islands, with a particular focus on the requirements to rigorously apply international biosecurity standards both for cargo ships, and for loading and offloading facilities;

5.  Notes with concern that despite the reported implementation of a sustainable tourism strategy, visitor numbers continue to increase rapidly, and also urges the State Party to complement a comprehensive tourism strategy with the necessary enforcement of regulatory and monitoring instruments to achieve long-term sustainable tourism for the property as a whole;

6.  Also welcomes the State Party efforts to ban sport fishing in the property and strongly encourages it to closely monitoring the regulation to ensure that artisanal experiential fishing remains the only tourist activity involving fishing;

7.  Also encourages the State Party to finish and effectively implement its Sustainable Development and Zoning Plan as an instrument to provide integral management of the archipelago and to ensure conservation of its Outstanding Universal Value, and requests the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan, including the zoning plans, for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;

8.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

Report year: 2014
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2007-2010
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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.


top