Galapagos conservation progress

This video is called Galapagos Wildlife.

From the Malay Mail in Malaysia:

Ecuador‘s Galapagos Islands removed from endangered World Heritage list

Submitted by Najiah on Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Thursday, July 29th, 2010 11:16:00

BRASILIA: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) Wednesday removed the Galapagos Islands from its list of endangered sites, thanks to Ecuador’s protective efforts, reports China’s Xinhua news agency.

“The local government’s continued efforts to strengthen conservation measures were well received by the Committee, in particular the treatment related to invasive species,” the committee said in a statement.

Located some 1,000 km west of the Ecuadorian coast in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos archipelago consists of 13 main islands and 17 islets and is reputed to be a “living museum and showcase of evolution.”

Following its entry into the World Heritage List in 1978, the WHC in 2007 added it to the List of World Heritage in Danger due to invasive species, uncontrolled tourism and overfishing.

“Significant progress was made by Ecuador to address the problems,” noted the committee, which is holding a meeting in Brasilia till Aug 3 to examine the condition of World Heritage sites.

Meanwhile, the WHC decided to add the Tombs of Buganda Kings in Uganda to its list of endangered world heritage sites. The Ugandan site was heavily damaged by a fire in March.

Dubbing the property “an extraordinary example of architectural style developed by the Buganda kingdom dating back to the 13th century,” the committee said the site will be rebuilt.

The List of World Heritage in Danger currently contains 31 World Heritage sites, whose “outstanding universal value” is threatened by pollution, urbanisation, poorly organised mass tourism, wars or natural disasters.

Meanwhile, the WHC is reviewing 32 new sites which are candidates for the World Heritage List. The list now contains 890 properties, including 689 cultural, 176 natural and 25 mixed sites in 148 countries.

See also here. And here.

Galapagos off the danger list but: “Tourism could destroy the islands”: here.

Following the recommendations of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), important rainforest areas in Madagascar and the Everglades National Park (USA) have been added to the List of World Heritage in Danger at the World Heritage annual meeting, currently taking place in Brasilia: here.

Photos: New natural wonders added to World Heritage list: here.

World Heritage Site shame for UK territories: here.

2 thoughts on “Galapagos conservation progress

  1. Fears for Galapagos’ unique wildlife as islands lose protected status

    By Michael McCarthy
    10:53 AM Friday Jul 30, 2010

    A panel of politicians has voted to remove the Galapagos Islands from the UN’s list of World Heritage Sites in danger – in spite of a firm recommendation from scientists and officials who visited the islands that they should keep their status.

    The Pacific archipelago, whose unique wildlife inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution were included on the list in 2007 after scientists warned they were facing environmental disaster from mass tourism, immigration, development, overfishing and the invasion of alien species.

    Following a visit in April, a group of UN scientists raised concerns that port facilities in Ecuador, to whom the islands belong, and Galapagos were still not sufficiently bio-secure to prevent more alien species such as plants, fungi and even diseases being transported from mainland South America to the islands.

    They also raised new concerns about the sport fishing industry which is taking off in Galapagos without a proper regulatory framework, and recommended the islands remain on the danger list. However, on Wednesday the politicians, members of the World Heritage Committee of Unesco, the UN’s cultural body, ignored them, and in effect gave Galapagos a clean bill of health.
    CCID: 16375

    Last night Toni Darton, director of Britain’s Galapagos Conservation Trust, the principal charity supplying environmental backup to the islands’ national park and Charles Darwin research foundation, said: “We are very concerned by this decision and its implications. It is premature. It suggests the islands are out of danger and they are not. They are still in danger, absolutely.”

    There were 40 species on the islands whose conservation status was “critically endangered,” Mrs Darton said.

    The archipelago, 600 miles off Ecuador’s coast, the first location to be declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco 30 years ago, is remarkable for its endemic wildlife which has developed over millions of years in isolation and includes giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and 13 separate species of finch.

    After visiting the islands in 1835, Charles Darwin realised that these 13 separate species had probably originated in a single species that had arrived on the islands from the South American mainland many thousands of years earlier, and as a direct result began to conceive his theory of evolution by natural selection.

    In recent years the islands have become increasingly popular as a tourist destination, and the influx of tourists, combined with immigration from the mainland, has resulted in growing environmental threats. The population has grown from 2,000 people in 1960 to more than 30,000 now.

    Although the World Heritage Committee put the islands on its danger list only three years ago, they were removed from the list by the committee at its meeting in Brazil’s capital Brasilia. The panel of 21 states, which has a rotating membership and currently does not include the UK, voted 15-4 to delist Galapagos, at the instigation of Brazil, and after hearing an appeal from the environment minister of Ecuador.

    “Although the Ecuadorian government has taken significant steps to make Galapagos a national priority for conservation, it is too early for these to have any real impact,” said Mrs Darton. “Saving Galapagos is a marathon, not a sprint.”



  2. Pingback: Galapagos wildlife on Scottish camera? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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