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Sea Lion swimming in the Galápagos Marine Reserve

Galápagos Conservancy Celebrates Ecuador’s Historic Debt-for-Nature Swap

The Galapagos Islands is a natural wonder and home to species that are unique on Earth. Ecuador’s government announced a massive debt-for nature swap that will go towards conservation of the marine areas on these islands. Galapagos Conservancy recognizes the importance of this historic achievement in protecting the islands’ flora, fauna and ecosystems.

Marine reserves in the Galapagos Archipelago, Hermandad and other nearby areas are important breeding grounds for endangered species like whale sharks and scalloped-hammerhead sharks. It is vital to their conservation and protection that an international marine corridor be established across the Eastern Tropical Pacific. James Gibbs is the Acting President of Galapagos Conservancy. He says that this deal represents a significant step in protecting important migratory animals, like the critically endangered scalloped-hammerhead shark. It is an opportunity to speed up our conservation efforts.

Galapagos Conservancy – which has more than 140 marine and terrestrial projects – considers that this decision is a major achievement, and it will motivate them to continue their mission of conserving the Galapagos Archipelago, and its unique species. This historic swap of debt for nature will create a significant momentum that will help to secure the marine environment and species on Galapagos.

Galapagos Conservancy and the Galapagos National Park Directorate have worked together since 1985 to protect the natural resources on the islands, as well as share scientific findings for the conservation of the living laboratory. Its mission is the conservation of biodiversity and the environment in the Galapagos Archipelago.

Galapagos Conservancy commends the Government of Ecuador for this important milestone. It is a win-win situation that benefits the Archipelago and other countries in the region, as well as marine conservation worldwide. This agreement will improve the management of the Galapagos marine reserve and Hermandad, protecting the unique flora & fauna of these beautiful islands for future generations. Together, we can build a better future for the Galapagos Islands as well as the rest of the world.

Iconic Galápagos Landscape
Iconic Galápagos Landscape © Joshua Vela