Galapagos Marine Reserve: A Natural Heritage For Mankind

by : Eric Castro

Along with the national park, the marine reserve in Galapagos Islands has been declared as a Natural Heritage for mankind. The declaration is given in recognition to the unique characteristics of the Marine reserve. There is no other marine area like in Galapagos, this characteristic is reflected in the extraordinary combination of sub tropical ecosystems. In the same way, the high percentage of unique species, their dramatic changes during the cycles of "El Niño" - "The Niña", and the abundance of other species like sharks, marine wolves, seals furriers, marine turtles, among others.

With this declaration, the Government of Ecuador commits to conserve the wealth of this region so valued by the country and the world, and to assure that the economic use of this area is sustainable and harmonic with the conservation. At the same time, the reflective declaration of World Patrimony commits the international community to support the conservation of the Galapagos.

The Charles Darwin Foundation congratulates the Government of Ecuador deeply to be ratified in the decision of obtaining this recognition so important for the country. This foundation is the responsible for all the research in the Galapagos. It promotes conservation projects and environmental education across the Galapagos.

Of special transcendence it is the Special Regulation on Fishing issues inside the marine reserve after 3 years of deliberation, elaboration and discussion. Darwin Foundation offers the Government all the necessary information, consultant ship and control on the Galapagos to assure that the fishing regulations are accomplished for the harmonization of handmade fishing, tourism and conservation of the biodiversity, being based on the conservation principles. In a same way, the Foundation exhorts the Government to assure the integrity of the Reserve, as a protected area of scientific, educational, tourist use according with the Law of Special Régime of the county.

Galapagos Marine Reserve was created hardly 3 years ago. The decisions, actions and investments in this first decade of their existence will determine if the Reserve becomes the most important protected marine area in the planet. Their high biodiversity and the existence of different ecosystems would allow that this happens.

The Ecuadorian Government's first step was to promulgate the Law of Special Régime for the Galapagos province getting together the marine and terrestrial reserve of Galapagos. Another important step in this year was the attainment of a loan of the Interamerican Bank of Development (IDB) that includes US $6 millions to strengthen the handling capacities and investigation of the Reserve. To the moment, we conclude the year with a momentous stepFeature Articles, as it is the appointment of the Reservation Marina like Patrimony of the Humanity.