Galapagos Report 2010
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Galapagos Report 2010



Galapagos Report 2009-2010 addresses a wide range of issues related to the natural world, the inhabited areas of Galapagos, and the impacts of social and economic activities of humans in Galapagos ...

Galapagos Report 2009-2010 addresses a wide range of issues related to the natural world, the inhabited areas of Galapagos, and the impacts of social and economic activities of humans in Galapagos ecosystems. Understanding the interactions between the natural world and humans, as well as the connections between Galapagos and the rest of the world, is essential to developing sound policy and a shared vision for the future.



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Galapagos Report 2010 Galapagos Report 2010 Document Transcript

  • GALAPAGOS REPORT 2009-20103
  • Galapagos Report 2009-2010Prepared byFunded byGeneral coordinationM. Verónica Toral Granda, Charles Darwin FoundationAndrea Marín Luna, Charles Darwin FoundationSupervisionDr. J. Gabriel López, Charles Darwin FoundationDr. Christophe Grenier, Charles Darwin FoundationWork groupWashington Tapia, Galapagos National ParkDaniel Proaño, Governing Council of GalapagosLinda J. Cayot, Galapagos ConservancyEditingM. Verónica Toral Granda, Charles Darwin FoundationLinda J. Cayot, Galapagos ConservancyAndrea Marín Luna, Charles Darwin FoundationTranslation - Spanish to EnglishLinda J. Cayot, Galapagos ConservancyRichard Knab, Galapagos ConservancyFigures and Graphic DesignMaría Fabiola AlvarezPhotographsFront cover: Celso MontalvoBack cover: Jacintha Castora PhotographyPrintingImprenta Monsalve MorenoISBN 978-9978-53-045-0Copyright Registration Number: 035173How to cite this documentCDF, GNP, and Governing Council of Galapagos, 2010. Galapagos Report2009-2010. Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador.How to cite an articleAuthor(s). 2010. Article title. In: Galapagos Report 2009-2010. Puerto Ayora,Galapagos, Ecuador.Sources must be cited in all cases. Sections of the publication may be trans-lated and reproduced without permission as long as the source is cited.The authors of each article are responsible for the contents and opinionsexpressed.The Charles Darwin Foundation operates the Charles Darwin ResearchStation in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. The Charles DarwinFoundation is an International Non-profit Organization (AISBL, registered inBelgium with the number 371359) and subject to Belgian law. The addressin Belgium is Rue Dupré 15, 1090 Brussels.4
  • The Governing Council of Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park Service, and the CharlesDarwin Foundation are pleased to present Galapagos Report 2009-2010--a compilation of social,economic, political, and biological analyses that will assist decision-makers and help deepen ourunderstanding of the many diverse and complex challenges facing the archipelago.Galapagos is one of the best conserved archipelagos in the world, but the long-term protec-tion of its unique biodiversity and ecosystems requires effective policies and actions to ensureboth sustainable development and long-term conservation. These measures must be based onsound information and analysis.Galapagos Report 2009-2010 addresses a wide range of issues related to the natural world,the inhabited areas of Galapagos, and the impacts of social and economic activities of humans inGalapagos ecosystems. Understanding the interactions between the natural world and humans,as well as the connections between Galapagos and the rest of the world, is essential to develop-ing sound policy and a shared vision for the future.Our three institutions remain committed to working with all Galapagos stakeholders to builda shared vision for Galapagos and to ensure the long-term sustainability of one of the world’smost important natural treasures.FOREWARDIng. Fabián ZapataPresidentGoverning Council ofGalapagosBiól. Edwin NaulaDirectorGalapagos National ParkDr. J. Gabriel LópezDirectorCharles Darwin Foundation5development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 6
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS7The 2009-2010 edition of the Galapagos Report wasprepared by three Galapagos-based institutions: theCharles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the GalapagosNational Park (GNP), and the Governing Council ofGalapagos (GCG). Internal coordination for the pro-duction of the articles was provided by WashingtonTapia (GNP) and Daniel Proaño (GCG). We extend oursincere thanks to all of the authors for their time anddedication in the preparation of the articles includedin this publication.The articles presented in the Report representcontributions from many people and institutions,including: the Ecuadorian Agency for AgriculturalQuality Assurance (AGROCALIDAD), the NationalDirectorate of Aquatic Areas of the Ecuadorian Navy(DIRNEA), the Ministry of Transportation and PublicWorks (MTOP), the Provincial Transit Commissionand the Transportation Cooperatives of SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela, the NationalInstitute of Statistics (INEC), the Ministry of Tourism,municipal governments, various tour agencies andoperators, dive tour operators, tourist guides, lead-ers and members of the fishing cooperatives ofGalapagos, and members of the Galapagos commu-nity who participated in opinion surveys.The report was improved by photographic con-tributions from Celso Montalvo, Claudio Crespo,Elizabeth Knight, George Hillman, Jacintha CasthoraPhotography, Johnny Vásquez, Juan Carlos Guzmán,Mandy Trueman, Marco Rodríguez, MaryWitoshynsky, Mónica Calvopina, Sharon Deem,Susana Chamorro, Verónica Toral, Emmanuel Cléder,Christophe Grenier, and Etienne Ouvrard.The overall coordination, publication, transla-tion, and dissemination of the 2009-2010 GalapagosReport were made possible by a generous grantfrom the Galapagos Conservancy (GC), a US-basedconservation organization dedicated exclusively toconserving the unique biodiversity and ecosystemsof Galapagos. Galapagos Conservancy also providedpersonnel who worked closely with the coordinatorof the Report, both in editing and translations.Finally, several organization and donors provid-ed funding for some of the research presented in theReport. It would not have been possible to carry outthe field work, analyses, and syntheses of the resultswithout their contributions. We express our sinceregratitude to:• BESS Forest Club• Conservation International• Frankfurt Zoological Society• Galapagos Conservancy• Galapagos Conservation Trust• International Watch Company - Schaffhausen• Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund• Lindblad/National Geographic Fund• Nordic Friends of Galapagos• Proyecto BID ATN/SF-10957-EC• The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust• Swiss Friends of Galapagos• Oak Philanthropy Limited• Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust• The Truell Charitable Foundation• World Wildlife FundPhoto: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • Institutional PresentationGoverning Council of the Special Region of GalapagosOn the 10th of April 2007, following an analysis of the status of conservation and development inthe Galapagos Islands, the Ecuadorian Government’s Presidential Decree Nº 270 declared that theGalapagos Archipelago is at risk and its conservation and environmental management are anational priority.Article 258 of the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador states: “The Galapagosprovince will have a special governance structure. Planning and development will be conductedin strict adherence to the principles of conservation of the Nation’s natural heritage in accordanceto law.” Under presidential decree Nº 1880 (August 5, 2009), the two main governing institutionsin Galapagos, the National Institute of Galapagos (INGALA) and the Provincial Government ofGalapagos, were combined into a single institution.The process of combining the two institutions began on October 20, 2009, with the forma-tion of the Governing Council of the Special Region of Galapagos. All active and passive assets,employees, and responsibilities of INGALA and the Provincial Government were transferred to theGoverning Council.The Governing Council is the entity responsible for planning and coordination in theGalapagos province. It is committed to open dialogue and consensus among decision-makersand local communities and ensuring a balance between humans and nature that is essential tosustainable human development.The authority given to this new institution has allowed for the continuity and implementa-tion of a series of strategic programs and projects: immigration control, implementation of infor-mation and communication technologies for development, the strengthening of local govern-ments, planning for territorial zoning, education and human resource capacity building, andmanagement of the natural resources of Galapagos, with special emphasis on the control of inva-sive species.The new mission, vision, and values of the Governing Council of Galapagos are focused onsuccessfully implementing these strategic lines of action.Mission:The Governing Council of Galapagos is a governance structure created by constitutionalmandate with authority to administer the Province. Through its planning activities it permitssustainable human development while ensuring the conservation of Ecuador’s natural her-itage. Managing resources with transparency, responsibility, the best available technology,and a commitment to service, we guarantee a high quality of life in Galapagos.Vision:The Governing Council of Galapagos is a model government in its administration of theGalapagos Province, ensuring human development and protection of the environment.Values:The Governing Council of Galapagos is ethical, respectful, transparent, and balanced in itswork.
  • Photo Page 8 : M. Verónica Toral Granda
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010INTRODUCTIONSustainability in Galapagos: the needfor a shared vision and collaborativework for the good of the ecosystemsand the human population1Galapagos National Park2Charles Darwin Foundation3Governing Council of GalapagosGalapagos is recognized as a model of conservation. It is in fact a nat-ural laboratory where evolutionary processes can be observed andwhere unique ecosystems have largely been preserved.However, it is also true that for more than a century, since thefirst permanent human population was established, Galapagos hasundergone continued, exponential growth and has become a sociallaboratory, with a human population with many different origins, andas one would expect, many distinct interests. The problem arises withthe recognition that Galapagos is a geographically isolated oceanicarchipelago with few business opportunities that are both profitableand environmentally-friendly.There are those who believe that this is not a problem given thatthere are many natural resources in Galapagos that can be exploited.But what many do not realize is that these resources include bothbiotic and abiotic elements of unique ecosystems, which in the caseof Galapagos are fragile and have developed in complete isolation.Moreover they are resources needed for our survival and for the sur-vival of future generations.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography11development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Daniela Chalén12In the last 15 years, the archipelago has undergoneuncontrolled economic and population growthresulting from continually increasing tourism, withcorresponding increases in the generation of wasteand demands for water and energy. This process hasalso been accompanied by a significant increase inthe number of motorized vehicles and cargo ships,and the rapid expansion of a consumer lifestyle that isin direct conflict with the ecological reality of thisfragile archipelago.Humans have destroyed many of the geographicbarriers described by Darwin to help explain the evo-lution of the Galapagos biota. The results are clear:increasing numbers of invasive species, new threatsto the endemic flora and fauna, severe tension relatedto the provision of basic services, the arrival of pan-demic viruses, and increasing social problems com-monly found in rapidly changing societies through-out the world.There is a simple lesson that should be learnedfrom this. Galapagos is not a paradise separate from therest of the world. It is a constellation of very fragileecosystems that now requires special care and atten-tion to ensure that the forces of globalization do notovercome its capacity to assimilate, adapt, and recu-perate from natural and human-made disturbances.At this critical juncture, we must ask ourselvesimportant questions. How do we best share the mes-sage regarding the limits to growth that exist in sucha fragile and emblematic ecosystem? Are there alter-natives to the scenarios of growth that have ultimate-ly led to environmental degradation and the impover-ishment of the populations in other fragile ecosys-tems around the world?We ask ourselves these questions becauseGalapagos is at a crossroads with a narrow window ofopportunity to act in a decisive manner to put thearchipelago on a path to sustainability.The development of a shared vision for the futureof Galapagos is urgently needed. Arriving at thisvision requires reflection on a number of questionsthat are both simple and complex. Can naturalresources be exploited in Galapagos as they are inother parts of the world? What will happen to thehuman population if Galapagos loses the species andlandscapes that attract visitors? Is it possible to devel-op profitable businesses that can guarantee the wel-fare of the local population? Is it possible to achievehuman development without the conservation ofnature and vice versa? There are many questions butonly one response: a healthy and sustainable popula-tion and economy and a high quality of life for thepopulation of Galapagos require healthy and resilientnatural ecosystems.In this sense it is clear that while urgent measuresare needed to increase the resiliency of ecosystemsdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • confronted by human activity and the erosion of geo-graphic isolation, it is equally essential to understandand accept that the Galapagos social system requiresa profound transformation in terms of its structure,without which policies and management models willbe ineffective over the long term (Tapia et al., 2009).This transformation depends upon those wholive in Galapagos, as well as those in continentalEcuador and throughout the world, who have aninterest in conserving the archipelago and improvingthe quality of life of its human population. We mustbegin by recognizing that the only reason thatGalapagos is at risk is that it continues to be an archi-pelago in an excellent state of conservation. Theislands still have nearly all of the species and ecosys-tems that developed thousands or millions of yearsago, before humans even knew the islands existed. Itis critical that we learn to live in balance with the nat-ural systems in Galapagos, even if this means that wemust modify our way of life.The Galapagos ecosystem is extremely fragileand complex with strong links and interconnectionsamong ecological, social, and economic components.It is time to plan and implement whatever actions areneeded to protect this system, however simple theymay seem. We must all understand that resiliency isnot an absolute and fixed property. On the contrary,resiliency is variable over time and dependent in alarge part upon the actions of humans. The ancientHeraclitus stated,“There is nothing permanent exceptchange.” This statement gains greater validity in anincreasingly globalized world when speaking of sus-tainability. The transformation of complex systemssuch as Galapagos is inevitable, especially whenEcuador and the entire region are undergoing aprocess of transformation and adaptation to change.The biodiversity and ecosystems of Galapagos—properly managed—are capable of sustaining a qual-ity life for local residents. However the economicmodel in Galapagos and lifestyle of the local popula-tion will determine whether or not this balancebetween humans and nature is met. Twelve years ago,the Special Law for Galapagos called for conservationand sustainable development in the province.Achieving these goals will require consideration ofboth the natural and socioeconomic systems inGalapagos at all levels of decision-making.A new integrated vision of a sustainable andequitable society that lives in harmony with the natu-ral resources of Galapagos could be the solution forthe islands and at the same time serve as a model forthe world. But this vision must be built among allstakeholders, with a focus on both the short and longterm. This is still possible in Galapagos. Galapagos res-idents understand the need for change. The currentprocess to develop the new Special Law forGalapagos is forcing us to evaluate the situation andmake decisions that will lead us to a better, more sus-tainable future. But time is short. Clear, direct, andwell-founded decisions and actions are required.The current situation in the islands requires thecooperation and goodwill of all institutions and indi-viduals concerned about Galapagos and interested inbuilding a future that will ensure both the long-termconservation of the unique ecosystems of the archi-pelago and the welfare of its inhabitants. The chal-lenge is huge and time is short. The responsibility isours. Future generations will judge whether or not wemet the challenge.13development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • TABLE OF CONTENTSForeword 05Acknowledgements 07Institutional Presentation – Governing Council of the Special Region of Galapagos 09Introduction: Sustainability in Galapagos 11TRANSPORTATIONOptimizing marine transport of food products to Galapagos: 19advances in the implementation planFabián Zapata Erazo and Marcelo Martinetti GranjaTaxis in Santa Cruz: Uncontrolled mobilization 29Emmanuel Cléder and Christophe GrenierTransporting passengers by launches in Galapagos 40Etienne Ouvrard and Christophe GrenierThe first complete motorized vehicle census in Galapagos 48Marco Oviedo, Javier Agama, Enrique Buitrón and Franklin ZavalaMARINE MANAGEMENTIdentification of rearing areas for blacktip sharks Carcharhinus limbatus 57in the mangrove stands of coastal San Cristóbal IslandYasmania Llerena, Juan Carlos Murillo and Eduardo EspinozaHammerhead sharks of Galapagos: their behavior and migratory patterns 64César Peñaherrera, James Ketchum, Eduardo Espinoza, Alex Hearn and Peter KlimleyPopulation ecology of two species of chitons, Chiton goodallii and Chiton sulcatus, 70in the rocky coastline of San Cristóbal Island, GalapagosJuan Carlos Murillo PosadaA revised strategy for the monitoring and management of the Galapagos sea cucumber 76Anna Schuhbauer, Matthias Wolff and Mauricio CastrejónGEOGRAPHIC FOOTPRINTChanges in land use and vegetative cover in the rural areas 85of Santa Cruz and San CristóbalÁngel Villa C and Pool SegarraSIMAVIS – System of Managing Visitors of the Galapagos National Park 93Günther Reck, María Casafont, Edwin Naula and Magaly OviedoWater quality monitoring system in Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela 103Javier López and Danny RuedaRapid, recent and irreversible habitat loss: Scalesia forest on the Galapagos Islands 108André Mauchamp and Rachel Atkinsondevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201015
  • 16The commercial sector of Puerto Ayora and its relation to the environment 113Pamela Villarreal and Christophe GrenierThe geographic opening of Galapagos 121Christophe GrenierThe national tourist in Galapagos: Practices and perceptions of the environment 130Verenitse Valencia and Christophe GrenierThe construction sector of Puerto Ayora 137Walter Jimbo and Christophe GrenierA geographic index to measure the carrying capacity for tourism in the 143populated centers of GalapagosChristophe GrenierEconomic dynamics and the workforce of Galapagos 151Teodoro Bustamante PonceBIODIVERSITY AND ECOLOGICAL RESTORATIONNative gardens for Galapagos – can community action help 159to prevent future plant invasions?Rachel Atkinson, Mandy Trueman, Anne Guézou, Patricia Jaramillo,Marco Paz, José Sanchez, Yolanda Sánchez and Miriam SilvaOptimizing restoration of the degraded highlands of Galapagos: 164a conceptual frameworkMark Gardener, Rachel Atkinson, Danny Rueda and Richard HobbsGalapagos in the face of climate change: considerations for biodiversity 170and associated human well-beingNoémi d’Ozouville, Giuseppe Di Carlo, Fernando Ortiz, Free De Koning,Scott Henderson and Emily PidgeonGalapagos as a laboratory for sustainability: Lessons from the International 177Workshop on Sustainability of Islands in a Globalized World, Santa Cruz Island,Galapagos, 22-26 March 2010Arturo Izurieta ValeryREFERENCES 183development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201016development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 18Photo Title Page Transportation Section: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • 19development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Table 1. Quantity of cargo transported from continental Ecuador by air and maritime routes (2009).Optimizing marine transport of foodproducts to Galapagos: advances inthe implementation planGoverning Council of GalapagosMaritime transport has been the principal means of supplying theGalapagos population with a wide range of products. Since the veryfirst humans inhabited Galapagos, cargo ships have transported pro-visions and other products unavailable in Galapagos in shipmentsthat increased in size and frequency with the growth of the popula-tion. Today, 86.7% of cargo destined for Galapagos is transported bysea, since maritime transport is the most inexpensive means of deliv-ering goods to the archipelago (Table 1). However, maritime trans-port presents greater probability of food safety problems because ofthe poor quality of docks, ships, and the latent risk of transportingand introducing invasive pests to Galapagos. It is estimated thatmore than 75% of the food products that arrive in Galapagos entervia maritime routes (Zapata, 2007). Guayaquil is the primary portfrom which cargo is shipped to Galapagos.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Economic development has generated a continualincrease in the demand for agricultural productsamong inhabitants of the islands and the thousandsof tourists who visit Galapagos annually. Food prod-ucts are transported to Galapagos from different partsof Ecuador under climatologically adverse conditions.Physical damage is common, caused by improperhandling, pests, temperature changes, and prolongedstorage.Optimizing maritime cargo transportOn January 21, 2008, the INGALA Council approved aproject and implementation plan entitled “A Systemto Optimize Maritime Transport,” with a key goalbeing the optimization of maritime transport of foodproducts. In this same year, a phytosanitary emer-gency was declared in Galapagos because of theintroduction of the fruit fly.The National Institute of Galapagos (INGALA), theEcuadorian Agency for Quality Assurance inAgriculture (AGROCALIDAD), and representatives ofthe commercial sector of the islands established a listof appropriate packing materials according to thecharacteristics of the product to be transported. Thislist was approved in December 2008 by theAgricultural Health Committee, the entity responsiblefor planning and ensuring compliance with healthand phytosanitary measures in Galapagos.This article documents problems associated withthe traditional maritime transport system, advancesin the implementation of the new system, andimprovements planned for the coming years.Traditional system of transportingcargo to GalapagosDuring the last 10 years the number of cargo shipsserving Galapagos has fluctuated between four andfive, with ships averaging between 30 and 40 yearsold. Ships deliver food products to the three principalislands in the archipelago: San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz,and Isabela. On average, each ship completes itsdelivery route (Guayaquil-Galapagos-Guayaquil) inthree weeks. The capacity of the ships ranges from300 to 1100 tons (Zapata, 2005). Food products (ani-mal and vegetable) represent 7% of the total mar-itime cargo. This low percentage has resulted in foodshortages and price speculation in local stores.The new plan addresses the many problems iden-tified in the current maritime transport system (Table2; Figures 1-4).20Traditional Transport System Problems Identified Potential SolutionsCargo is loaded on thecity of Guayaquil dock• Lack of port infrastructure forproper loading and quarantinecontrol• Physical damage to cargo espe-cially food products due to poorhandling• Implement the use ofcontainers and mechanizedloading techniquesPort facilities• An ideal location has not beenidentified in Guayaquil for theconstruction of an improved portfacility with quarantine facilities• The docks of Guayaquil andGalapagos do not have restrictedareas for personnel, climate-con-trolled storage areas, or cold stor-age for products arriving fromother regions• The docks of Galapagos aremade from reinforced concrete• Conduct design studies for portfacilities on the islands of SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela• Acquire a location in Guayaquilfor the construction of a portauthority for cargo and quaran-tine control• Construct port facilities on theislands of San Cristóbal, SantaCruz, Isabela, and the city ofGuayaquilTable 2. Problems and potential solutions associated with the current maritime transport system.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201021Port facilitiesand do not have adequate spacefor proper port facilities, includingquarantine control for food prod-ucts that arrive in Galapagos• The docks in Galapagos do nothave mechanical cranes to opti-mize loading and unloading oper-ations (it is currently done bymanual labor)• The docks in Galapagos are usedfor multiple purposes (fishing,fueling, and local inter-islandtransport)Pest control and fumigation• Pest control/fumigation systemson docks, ships, or in cargo facili-ties do not exist• Procedures do not exist tocertify fumigation services orto verify compliance withfumigations controls• Initiate pest control andfumigation procedures andquarantine of food products,merchandise, docks, and shipsin the city of GuayaquilQuarantine measures• There are no approved quaran-tine procedures for cargo andfood products in Galapagos or inGuayaquil• Current quarantine measuresinclude random visual inspec-tions; 60% of the cargo enteringGalapagos via maritime transportis inspected in this manner• Develop a procedures manualfor each type of food andrestricted product• Inspect 95% of the foodproducts that are shippedfrom the city of GuayaquilShips without infrastructureto transport food products• The majority of ships do nothave storage holds that canensure proper refrigeration of per-ishable products• The walls of the holds are oxi-dized and in bad condition andcan contribute to the deteriora-tion of cargo—especially foodproducts• Ships regularly overload cargoholds• Shipping containers are not used• Implement the use of coldchambers• Update older ships in themaritime cargo fleet
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201022Traditional Transport System Problems Identified Potential SolutionsStorage onboard ships• Essential goods, food, non-organic cargo, and inflammablegoods, such as construction sup-plies, household supplies, andcooking gas, are stored in thesame locations within ships; spe-cialized holds do not exist for stor-ing different kinds of items, andcross contamination occurs• Food cargo and general cargoare loaded without any kind ofplanning or procedures• Train dock hands, portpersonnel, and maritimetransport personalUnloading in Galapagos• Unloading is done manually andin an unorganized fashion, result-ing in mishandling and damage tocargo especially food products• Food and perishable productsare damaged during stowagebecause of inadequate orinappropriate packing materials• The smaller boats and bargesused to transfer cargo fromanchored ships to the docks arenot regularly cleaned, disinfected,or fumigated• These boats are obsolete andare inadequate for transportingperishable food and generalmerchandise• Train the dock handlers in theislands• Renovate the barges used totransfer cargo especially foodand perishable items from theboats to the docks in the islandsCommercialization ofessential goods and food• Due to scarcity of food products,many inhabitants of the islandsare obliged to buy products inbad condition and possibly con-taminated with bacteria, parasites,toxins, etc., which could causegastrointestinal problemsespecially among young people• Train the commercial sectorin best practices in handling,storage, and commercialization
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201023Figure 1. Ship transporting cargo overcapacity and in unsanitary conditions.Figure 2. There is no evidence of applica-tion of physical methods to control pests onthe deck of the cargo ships.Figure 3. Storage of organic consumerproducts alongside sacks of cement in thehold of the ship.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010As a result of current handling practices and inade-quate infrastructure, food products—especially fruit,vegetables, legumes, grains, and meat and dairyproducts—often arrive in Galapagos in bad condi-tion. Between 2000 and 2008, 60% of the food prod-ucts that were confiscated were prohibited products(PP), 30% were restricted products (RP), 8% were inpoor condition (PC), and 2% were infested with pests(IP) (Table 3). The current system allows for the possi-ble introduction of pests, including insects, rodents,mammals, and reptiles, which could have negativeeffects on the unique ecosystems of Galapagos.Eradication and control of invasive species is expen-sive and not always possible. The cost associated withintroduced species affects everyone in Galapagos—especially farmers and the institutions in charge oferadicating and controlling introduced species in theGalapagos National Park.24Figure 4. Caraguay Dock in the city ofGuayaquil, where cargo ships destined forGalapagos are loaded. There are no mechanicalcranes, no areas for pest control, receipt/han-dling of cargo, or road access to protect foodcargo.Table 3. Units of food cargo confiscated in Guayaquil, Quito, and Galapagos between 2000 and 2008(PP=Prohibited Products; RP=Restricted Products; PC=Poor Condition; IP=Infested Products).Implementation of system to optimizethe transport of maritime cargoThe implementation plan includes the production ofa guide geared to suppliers, transportation compa-nies, and merchants that explains the use of appropri-ate packaging materials and techniques for differentkinds of food products (Figure 5). For example, theuse of plastic bins, appropriately sized cardboardboxes, and sacks for less delicate items makes cargomore uniform and optimizes the space in the holds ofships (Figure 6). It also facilitates phytosanitary con-trols and the loading and unloading of products. Theguides were handed out at events held by INGALAand other organizations in Galapagos and the infor-mation was also disseminated via local radio and tele-vision.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201025Figure 6. Implementation of the measures outlined in the Packaging Guide, with packaging selected according to the type of produce.Figure 5 . Packaging guide for food products, designed to educate the commercial sector about selecting packing materials accordingto the characteristics of different products.Labeling cargo—especially food items—is essential.To assist in this, INGALA designed and distributed aguide of symbols used for the handling and storage ofcargo. Packaging of items destined for Galapagosshould include the following information: name ofthe consignee, island of destination, storage require-ments (for food products), and symbols that orienthandlers about how to handle the product. Beginningin 2010 colored tapes are used to identify the island ofdestination. This has helped to reduce confusion andeconomic losses.INGALA and AGROCALIDAD signed an agree-ment to design a campaign to certify Galapagos mer-chants selling food products, in order to facilitate thecollection of information by food quality inspectors.The campaign was carried out in August 2009, duringwhich time 264, 93, and 29 merchants were registeredon Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela, respectively.Merchants provided basic information about theirproducts (origin, destination, areas free of pests, list ofpests, etc.). This process also provided an opportunityto identify individuals with irregular immigration sta-tus who were involved in the commercialization ofbasic goods.INGALA will use the information obtainedthrough this process to create a phytosanitary moni-toring system to prevent the introduction of pestsand to provide up-to-date, relevant information toplanners and decision-makers.The implementation ofthis system involves educational activities for mer-chants, consumers, and inspectors on best practicesfor handling food items, food safety, and quarantine
  • Figure 7. Guide of best practices - developedto prevent physical, chemical, and microbiolog-ical contamination of food products through-out the transportation chain and in local stores.During three participatory meetings, representativesof the five maritime transport companies servingGalapagos and four representatives from the institu-tions responsible for pest control, quality of foodproducts, and maritime safety (Galapagos NationalPark, AGROCALIDAD, INGALA, and the Directorate ofInsular Water Areas) established requirements forships carrying food products to Galapagos. The mostimportant requirement is the separation of generalcargo from food products. The regulations stipulatethat fruits, vegetables, and legumes must be transport-ed in holds with cold storage capacity. Shellfish, fish,and processed meats must be kept frozen. Food prod-ucts that do not need to be refrigerated must betransported in sealed holds. General cargo and dan-gerous items must be kept in holds that are hermeti-cally separated from items for human consumption(Figure 8).Figure 8. Climate controlled storage containersonboard cargo ships help to preserve productsduring the three-day voyage from Guayaquil toGalapagos.Another requirement is that boats must be fumigatedbefore departing the mainland with cargo. SinceSeptember 2009, maritime authorities have prohibitedthe departure of three ships that did not comply withthis requirement. INGALA and AGROCALIDAD havedeveloped and disseminated a list of certified fumiga-tion companies that can be used by ships traveling toGalapagos (Table 4).26procedures. A guide has been designed on best prac-tices related to preventative sanitary practices toreduce the risk of contamination of food products andthe introduction of pests, which will help to guaran-tee the health of consumers and Galapagos ecosys-tems (Figure 7).development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 4. Fumigation companies certified by AGROCALIDAD.In 2008, the Government of Ecuador facilitated theentry of two new ships (Angelina I and Galapagos) tothe maritime transport fleet in order to ensure an ade-quate supply of food items for Galapagos (Figure 9).Both ships are equipped for proper transport oforganic materials.INGALA is working with the ProvincialGovernment, the Sub-secretary of Ports andTransportation, and the Consortium of GalapagosMunicipalities on the design of new port facilities forGalapagos, which will include piers equipped forloading and unloading and quarantine areas. INGALAprovided $50,000 to the local governments of SantaCruz and Isabela for studies and designs associatedwith new port facilities. In the case of San Cristóbal,INGALA will invest $50,000 to contract consultants tocarry out similar studies and designs. INGALA hasinvested $25,000 in a study to identify sites for dedi-27development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201028Figure 9. New cargo ships for Galapagos, theAngelina I (top) and the Galapagos (bottom).According to the new shipping regulations, onlyvessels with proper loading equipment and coldstorage can enter the fleet.cated port and quarantine facilities on the mainland.Once a location has been identified, design serviceswill be contracted.During the first 20 months following the imple-mentation of the Plan, INGALA invested a total ofUS$128,730 and implemented 39% of the project.Theimplementation plan, to be completed in 2012, hasthree components: (i) optimization of cargo (quaran-tine controls, fumigations/pest control); (ii) optimiza-tion of ship infrastructure, and (iii) optimization ofport facilities.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201029Taxis in Santa Cruz:Uncontrolled mobilization1University of Nantes, 2Charles Darwin FoundationIntroductionSince the 1980s, the lifestyle of the resident population of Galapagoshas changed rapidly, appearing more and more like the lifestyle ofcontinental Ecuador. This process of continentalization (Grenier,2007) has accelerated in the last decade and is characterized byincreased use of motorized terrestrial transportation. These changesare taking place primarily in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, the economiccenter of Galapagos and home to approximately two thirds of theinsular population (INEC, 2006). The increase in the use of motorizedvehicles – especially taxis – transforms both the inhabited space ofSanta Cruz and the relation of its inhabitants to their surroundings,which is referred to in this article as the “geographic milieu” of theinsular population. The objectives of this article are: (i) to betterunderstand the socioeconomic aspect of the taxi system; and (ii) toshow that the increasing use of taxis contributes to a transformationof the geographic milieu of Santa Cruz, creating challenges for deci-sion-makers who seek to maintain an insular lifestyle and to protectthe environment.MethodsStudy areaThis study was completed between February and April 2009 in SantaCruz. Santa Cruz was chosen because terrestrial transport is moredeveloped on the island, making it easier to observe the role of taxisin transforming living space and the geographic milieu.Photo: Emmanuel Cléder
  • 30Data collectionAt the time of this study, a complete census of vehiclesin Santa Cruz had not been completed (INGALA com-pleted one in 2009, which is reported in this volume).The only database available was the municipal vehicleregistry initiated in 1999. However, this source did notclearly indicate whether or not a vehicle was used as ataxi. Therefore it was necessary to cross-referencethese data with information obtained from the threetaxi cooperatives and two taxi companies on SantaCruz, each of which has documentation for the per-mits issued by the Provincial Council of Transit andTransportation (now the Provincial Commission ofTransportation, Transit, and Road Safety). However,knowing the number of taxis sensu strictu is not suffi-cient to explain how these vehicles and their use con-tribute to the organization and transformation of thelandscape and the relationship of the population withits environment.For this reason, the study observed the operationof taxis on the roads of Santa Cruz. Vehicles werecounted at seven representative locations in PuertoAyora. Circulating vehicles were counted every day ofthe week at the same times (7h-8h, 11h30-12h30,17h-18h). This process was conducted twice at eachlocation. Vehicles were classified by type: construc-tion machinery and cargo transport, taxi, private non-professional vehicle, bus and minibus, motorcycle,and institutional and private business vehicles. In thecase of taxis, it was also noted whether or not thevehicle carried passengers.To determine the relationship between the datacollected and the impacts of taxis, the study took intoaccount the organization and evolution of the physi-cal space of Santa Cruz (Sánchez, 2007). However, the119 surveys of taxi drivers and 63 of taxi owners pro-vided the best information regarding the space usedby taxis in Santa Cruz. The surveys provided a deeperunderstanding of the role of taxis in the evolution ofthe geographic milieu of Santa Cruz inhabitants, inpart because the relationship between society and itsenvironment includes a subjective dimension thatcannot be analyzed solely through traditional statisti-cal data. The surveys had the advantage of providinginsights based on perceptions, as well as qualitativeand quantitative data related to the financial dimen-sions of the taxi sector that are unavailable throughinformation provided by public institutions or taxicooperatives and companies. For example, only thosepeople directly involved in the sector could provideinformation on costs and benefits and the sharing ofcosts and income between taxi drivers and owners.ResultsThe total number of vehicles and taxis:unlimited growth?According to the vehicle census completed byINGALA in 2009, there were 1962 vehicles registeredin Galapagos, of which 1074 are located in Santa Cruz.In Santa Cruz, 205 of these vehicles were taxis (Oviedoet al., this volume). This number is lower thanINGALA’s 2006 estimate, which indicated “at least2051 vehicles in Galapagos” and 1276 vehicles inSanta Cruz (Villa, 2007; pp 74). However, even thecasual observer will note that the number of vehicleshas not declined. In fact, 93% of 120 inhabitants sur-veyed in 2008 indicated that traffic has increased inrecent years (Grenier, 2008).The current study is based on 260 taxis in SantaCruz, which is the number of taxis registered by SantaCruz taxi cooperatives and companies with theProvincial Commission of Transportation, Transit, andRoad Safety. The INGALA census of 2009 shows 55fewer taxis than the registry, highlighting a problemin data keeping, perhaps related to the sensitivenature of this topic.It is clear that taxis play an increasingly importantrole in the life of the population of Santa Cruz. In 1990there was only one taxi for every 350 inhabitants (15taxis in the island), while in 2006 (the last populationcensus) there was one taxi for every 50 inhabitants. In2008, it was estimated that 64% of the population ofSanta Cruz used taxis at least a few times each week(Grenier, 2008).The evolution of mobility in Santa Cruz is reflect-ed by the increase in the number of taxis as well as thenumber of vehicles in general (Figure 1), whichreveals a growing dependence on the use of motor-ized vehicles. The sale of fuel destined for terrestrialtransport is also a good indicator of this evolution.Using survey results and data from Petroecuador, it isestimated that each taxi consumes an average ofeight gallons per day, which translates into fuel con-sumption by the taxi fleet in Santa Cruz of approxi-mately 1800 gallons per day. This represents US$2500in average daily sales for Petroecuador or 55% of allfuel destined for terrestrial transport in Santa Cruz.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 1. The growth in the number of taxis is part of a general tendency of unsustainable growth in the total number of vehicles, theannual number of tourists, and the annual fuel consumption. Sources: Taxi cooperatives and companies, 2009; Municipal records ofSanta Cruz, 2008; Petroecuador, 2008; GNPS, 2008; Grenier, 2007.Figure 2. Traffic on Baltra Avenue at 5 PM, Puerto Ayora, February 2010. Photo: Emmanual Cléder.Pervasiveness of taxis in Santa CruzThe vehicle counts in this study show that taxis repre-sent 62% of the vehicles that circulate in Puerto Ayoraand almost 80% if we exclude two-wheeled vehicles(Figure 3; Map 1). The highest densities of taxis arefound on Baltra Avenue (Figure 2) and Charles DarwinAvenue, which are the areas of busiest economicactivity. The area near the dock, where the two princi-pal routes cross, forms the circulation hub of taxis inSanta Cruz. Traffic jams are most frequent at the footof Baltra Avenue. Significantly fewer taxis circulate inthe residential neighborhoods in the northern part ofthe city, although a large portion of the populationlives there.31development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 3. Classification of vehicles in circulation in Puerto Ayora indicating the average number observed per hour by location. The letters(A-G) reference the sites where the counts were made – see map.Photo: Etienne Ouvrard32development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Map 1. Circulation of taxis in Puerto Ayora. Map design: Emmanuel Cléder33development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 4. Number of taxis observed by hour and rate of occupation (%), by location. Note: data from the road to the CDRS and the GNPSare not included as few taxis use that route.The increase in motorized transport and circulation oftaxis is directly related to the expansion of the urbanzones of Puerto Ayora. The road between PuertoAyora and the Itabaca Channel, the backbone of ter-restrial transport in Santa Cruz, concentrates themajority of the circulating taxis (Map 2). However,most taxi fares occur between Puerto Ayora andBellavista, which has become a suburb of PuertoAyora, in part due to the growing number of taxis.Today many people live in the highlands and work inPuerto Ayora. The increased population living in thehighlands results in greater dependence on the use ofpersonal cars or motorcycles, taxis, and buses.Impacts of taxis on the geographicmilieu of Santa Cruz inhabitantsThe increase in circulation and use of taxis has measur-able environmental impacts in Santa Cruz, such as ani-mals, especially birds, struck by vehicles (Jiménez-Uzcátegui and Betancourt, 2008). The high fuel con-sumption by taxis (taxis average 240 km/day) results incarbon dioxide emissions of nearly 12 tons per day 1. Inaddition, the high fuel consumption creates anincreased demand for tanker ships to Galapagos,which in turn increases the risk of fuel spills.Additional impacts that are more difficult to measuremust also be considered, such as increased noise, thedegradation of island vistas, and increased stressamong inhabitants due to the danger generated bythe vehicular traffic.The geographic milieu of the inhabitants of SantaCruz has been even more impacted. The use of taxismakes everything closer. People become more andmore accustomed to using motorized vehicles, evenfor short distances--sometimes less than two blocks,according to taxi drivers surveyed. Urban spaceappears to become larger for a population that “nolonger wants to walk,”as many of the taxi drivers indi-cated. These attitudes reflect a significant evolution inlifestyle. As the population attempts to gain economicbenefit from the geographical opening of the island,1According to the website of Toyota, a taxi such as those that circulate in Santa Cruz emits an average of 220 g of CO2 per kilometer( observed densities of taxis do not truly reveal theuse of taxis by the population. Since there are nospecified taxi stands, taxis often circulate empty(Figure 4). A high degree of competition and no coor-dination of schedules among taxi drivers result inconstant circulation, whether carrying passengers ornot. The number of circulating unoccupied taxisvaries by location. Baltra Avenue and Charles DarwinAvenue in front of the Port Captaincy representextreme examples of inefficiency in the use of taxis inSanta Cruz, with almost two thirds of the vehicles cir-culating empty. The current method of searching forpassengers by constantly circulating Puerto Ayoracreates traffic jams, increased noise and air pollution,and greater danger for pedestrians and cyclists thanwould occur if taxis circulated only when carryingpassengers.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Map 2. The circulation of taxis in Santa Cruz Island. Map design: Emmanuel Clédereverything becomes faster than before and more likecontinental Ecuador. One could hypothesize that anindividual does not have the same relation to his orher environment when they walk, ride a bicycle, or cir-culate in taxi (or in other motorized vehicles), and thattheir mode of transport will affect their perceptions oftheir environment and their views towards the con-servation of Galapagos. This theme must be investi-gated further (see Grenier, 2008).Why is the number of taxis in Santa Cruzincreasing so rapidly?The increase in taxis in Santa Cruz is driven by theincome generated by this sector (an average ofUS$380,000/month is generated by taxi fares in SantaCruz). To understand how this economic sector isorganized and why it attracts so many investors, it isnecessary to examine three categories of participants:(i) owners who lease their taxi to a driver; (ii) taxi driv-ers who own their vehicle; and (iii) taxi drivers who areemployees and do not own their own vehicle.Today in Santa Cruz, there are 204 owners of 260registered taxis; 84% own a single vehicle and 12%own two taxis, while seven owners have three or fourvehicles and the two major owners have six and eighttaxis, respectively (Santa Cruz Municipality, vehicleregistry, 2008). Of the 204 owners, about 43% drive35development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 5. Monthly average economic situation (in US$) of each person involved in the taxi sector. Source: personal surveys - taxi drivers (n= 120) and owners (n = 60).For owners who contract a driver (117), the purchaseof a taxi represents a sound investment, generatingapproximately US$365 per month (net) for each taxi.This amount alone explains why so many people havepurchased taxis in recent years. The initial cost of pur-chasing a taxi and the time required to recuperate thiscost is the most significant barrier to investment. Ataxi costs an average of US$20,000 and it must beexchanged for a new taxi every five years according tothe law. If the taxi is resold for around US$5000, theinvestment represents a cost of US$250 per month.Taxi owners pay a fixed salary to contracted driv-ers, averaging US$370/month. However, the drivermust pay a daily amount back to the taxi owner(between $40-$50/day) to help cover maintenancecosts and various permits. This payment or “leasingfee”, which is not related to the fares collected, pro-vides the owner approximately US$1150/month. Theother expenses for the owner include cooperative orcompany dues (average of US$20/month), municipaltaxes (average of US$50/year), and maintenance(approximately US$140/month).Taxi owners who drive their own vehicles earnthe most (average of US$745/month; Figure 5), sincethey do not pay a driver’s salary; however they mustwork at the same intensity of other drivers.Owner/drivers must also pay for their fuel. This is themost important expense, averaging US$290/month.However this cost is subsidized by the Ecuadoriangovernment, and has been for more than 20 years. In36their own vehicle, while 57% contract one or moredrivers, depending on the number of vehicles theyown. In other words, of the 260 taxis in Santa Cruz,67% are driven by employees and 33% by their own-ers. Income levels vary significantly among thesegroups. (Figure 4).development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 21997: Segundo Suplemento, Official Register No. 55, Wednesday 30 April 1997.1998: Ley Orgánica de Régimen Especial para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sustentable de le Provincia de Galápagos, approved bythe National Congress, Official Register No. 278, 18 March 1998.1999: Normas para la autorización y control del ingreso de vehículos motorizados y maquinaria al Archipiélago de Colón, approved bythe INGALA Council via Resolution No. 002-CI-IV-99.2005: Reglamento especial de control del ingreso de vehículos motorizados y maquinaria a la provincia de Galápagos, approved by theINGALA Council via Resolution No. 02-18-CI-2005, January 2005.2009: El reglamento substitutivo de control de ingreso de vehículos motorizados y maquinaria a la provincia de Galápagos, approvedby the INGALA Council via Resolution No. CI-11/ 12-II-2009.fact, the national fuel subsidy, plus an additional sub-sidy to cover the cost of transporting fuel to the archi-pelago, reduces the price of gasoline by approximate-ly US$1/gallon and the price of diesel by approximate-ly US$1.56/gallon (Jácome, 2007). In this sense, theEcuadorian government expends more than US$10per day for every taxi circulating in Santa Cruz.Finally, contracted taxi drivers earn aroundUS$380 per month. Although the average daily farescollected total around US$50, most of this is paid backto the owner. In general, fares are not sufficient tocover the cost of “leasing” the vehicle and buying thegasoline (the 119 taxi driver employees surveyed indi-cated that they pay for the gas). Although driver-employees earn only a bit more than the owner whodoesn’t have to do the driving, taxi driving is highlyattractive to young men from continental Ecuadorwho could not earn as much in their town of origin (ofthe taxi drivers who are not galapagueño, more than60% came to Galapagos for work). The surveys revealthat only 10% of taxi drivers were born in Galapagos,and that more than half of the immigrant taxi driversarrived in the archipelago after 2000.While taxis generate benefits, those benefits aredistributed unequally among owners, owner/drivers,and driver/employees. Taxis remain an attractiveinvestment to those with sufficient resources,because owners can find drivers willing to work for lit-tle money.Taxis in Santa Cruz – organized disorderWhile economic incentives explain the increase in thenumber of taxis in Santa Cruz, the traffic jams and dis-order created by taxis constantly circulating in PuertoAyora is better understood through the“organization”of this economic sector.To use a vehicle as a taxi, an owner must be amember of one of three taxi cooperatives or two taxicompanies of Santa Cruz and obtain a permit from theProvincial Commission of Transportation, Transit, andRoad Safety. Beyond this, each taxi owner managestheir business as they see fit, with limited controls orregulations (owners decide who to hire, how much topay, when to operate, etc.). In reality, the“taxi system”is a conglomeration of 204 independent businesses.Taxi cooperatives and companies are little more thanassociations of private interests. Members will defenda common objective only when personal interestsappear to be threatened, for example when themunicipality proposed to establish taxi stands toreduce traffic. The contractual relationship betweendriver/employees and the owners they work for mayexplain the competition among taxis for passengers(which translates into speeding and constant circula-tion), since drivers only begin to earn money afterthey cover the daily lease fees. Also, since the fare isindependent of the time required for a given trip, taxidrivers gain the most advantage when they delivertheir passengers as rapidly as possible.The lack of regulation can also help to explain thesense of competition that exists within the taxi sector.However, there are a number of laws that limit theimportation of vehicles, including new taxis. Five dif-ferent regulations2 have been established since 1997,when it was decreed that“importation of automobilesis authorized only for activities of conservation, agri-culture, and to renovate public and private transporta-tion.” The regulations of 1999 and 2005 establishedmoratoria on the importation of vehicles toGalapagos. Even so the number of vehicles and taxisin Santa Cruz continues to increase.The difficulty of regulating this sector wasdemonstrated when the project to establish taxistands, proposed by the municipality of Santa Cruz,failed. Taxis continue to circulate continuously search-ing for passengers, resulting in air and noise pollution,increased traffic, and even traffic jams on some streets.The situation is compounded by the lack of signage,which makes it dangerous to walk or to travel by bicy-cle in Santa Cruz, as demonstrated by recent accidentsinvolving taxis (see for example, the local newspaperEl Colono, April 2009 and May 2009).37development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Emmanuel Cléder38DiscussionIn just a few years, taxis in Santa Cruz have becomeomnipresent in the lives of the population. It hasbecome common to use a taxi to travel relativelyshort distances and the number of taxis continues toincrease.The high density of taxis in Santa Cruz can beexplained by the structure of the “taxi system.”Incentives in that system explain the competitionbetween taxi drivers, which results in a race for clientsand higher velocities.After months of study, surveys, and interviews,we asked ourselves if public authorities are capable ofregulating this sector, which appears to hold a greatdeal of power. Nevertheless, increased levels of traffic,noise, and danger to pedestrians and cyclists havedeteriorated the quality of life in Puerto Ayora, andthis must be reversed. With this in mind, we proposea series of recommendations:• Reduce the constant circulation of empty taxisby creating taxi stands in the principal areas ofuse and/or develop a radio system similar to thatof San Cristóbal.• Accompany these measures by rotations in workhours of the taxi drivers to better match supplyand demand, thus avoiding the excessive numberof taxis on the roads of Santa Cruz. This measurecould improve working conditions of the taxidrivers without reducing their income; if taxisonly circulate with passengers, the number oftaxis in circulation could be nearly halved withoutdecreasing the service to the population.• Develop other means of transport, includingbuses and minibuses, to reduce both emissionsand traffic. While a taxi usually has no more thanthree or four passengers (when they are notempty), a bus can transport up to 45.• Improve the conditions for bicyclists andpedestrians, by creating pedestrian walkwaysand sidewalks and extending the network ofbike lanes and paths, thus providing greaterincentive to use these modes of transport.ConclusionDecision-making requires political will and stronggrassroots support. As the principal means of trans-portation in Santa Cruz, the taxi fleet represents apublic service. At the same time, however, this sector istransforming the inhabited areas of the island. Thedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • extension of asphalt and the ever-increasing numberof vehicles is contributing to a lifestyle that is incompat-ible with the fragile Galapagos environment. Citizensshould be able to find a better balance between mobil-ity and protection of their quality of life. To do this,there must be greater transparency regarding the eco-nomic benefits of the taxi cooperatives and companies,and a commitment by these groups to improve theorganization of the sector. At the provincial level, therecently created Vehicles Committee must justify theimportation of every new taxi.It is disingenuous to present Galapagos as a “nat-ural paradise”if the current transportation situation inSanta Cruz continues. Sustainable, locally-basedtourism that is attractive to visitors who are tired oftraffic and noise in their cities of origin requires areduction in the number of taxis, the elimination ofcostly gasoline subsidies, and the development of atransportation system and culture that is betteradapted to the island environment.39development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201040Photo: Jacintha Castora PhotographyTransporting passengersby launches in Galapagos1University of Nantes, 2Charles Darwin FoundationIntroductionInter-island movement of people within Galapagos has greatlyincreased in recent years, due to a doubling of the population,increased tourism, and the associated transformation of the insularlifestyle. Although the biological consequences of increased boat traf-fic within the archipelago has been studied (Roque-Albelo et al., 2008;Causton et al., 2008), little is known about the socioeconomic aspectsof maritime transportation. Our objective was to describe and evalu-ate current human movement among the populated islands of thearchipelago via a fleet of speedboats, locally called launches.This system of maritime transportation has evolved rapidly. Until2004, trips between islands were available weekly aboard two publicboats and a few launches (Zapata, 2005). Today, transportationoptions have increased significantly in number and quality, as theboats have been replaced by much faster launches.The analysis of thispopular means of transportation contributes to an understanding ofthe kind of development that is occurring in Galapagos and its conse-quences for the conservation of the archipelago. This article presentsthe results of a study completed between February and May of 2009as part of the Geographical Index Project carried out by the CharlesDarwin Foundation.MethodsTo better understand the organization of the fleet of inter-islandlaunches, 23 captains and/or owners of launches were asked tocomplete a questionnaire. Additionally, interviews were conductedwith the Port Captains of Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristóbal, thecommander of the Second Naval Zone, and personnel of the
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201041National Institute of Galapagos (INGALA) and theInspection and Quarantine System for Galapagos(SICGAL). Finally, interviews were conducted with 166residents of Galapagos (77 in Santa Cruz, 49 in SanCristóbal, and 40 in Isabela) and 41 tourists to studytheir movements within the archipelago, their use oflaunches, and their opinions regarding this type oftransport. To complement these quantitative meth-ods, we also observed launch operations in the portsof the four inhabited islands and traveled in launches.ResultsOrganization of interisland transportAccording to the Ecuadorian Navy, 35 launchesoffered regular passenger transportation in Galapagosin May 2009, with seven additional launches makingsporadic trips. However, the Navy’s lists are not up todate; of 50 registered boats, 13 were listed as“inoper-ative”although they continue to function. Comparingthis information with observations we made in eachport, we estimate that the maximum number oflaunches providing inter-island transportation is 44(20 in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz; 14 in PuertoBaquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal; and 10 in PuertoVillamil, Isabela). There are three associations oflaunch owners, one in each of the main ports. Only20% of the owners operate their own vessels; the oth-ers employ a captain and crewman, who are general-ly paid daily for one round trip.There are various routes and types of inter-islandtransport. The most common type is the regularlyscheduled trips connecting the ports of the threeMap 1. Organization of the interisland transport of passengers among the inhabited islands.Sources: Questionnaires with captains (N = 23).
  • Table 1. Comparison in the perception of their trip by launch between tourists and residents.42county seats of Galapagos. Launches leave PuertoAyora every day in the early afternoon for PuertoBaquerizo Moreno and Puerto Villamil, and return toSanta Cruz the next morning (Map 1). This systemprovides daily connections, via Santa Cruz, betweenIsabela (where no national flights arrive) and Baltra,the principal airport in the archipelago.The second type of transport by launch consistsof charters contracted by residents, institutions, ortourism agencies or hotels for their clients. Thesetrips might be “port to port,” or might cover the fourinhabited islands with the passengers spending thenight on each island (Map 1).The type of transport and the frequency of tripsdiffer among the islands. Santa Cruz is the hub of thelaunch network. It is from this port that the majorityof passengers travel to both Isabela and SanCristóbal using regularly scheduled service. In termsof charters, Floreana is the most common destina-tion. The schedules and routes of the launch systemappear to be directly related to the infrastructure(airports) on each island and scheduled flights to thecontinent.Evolution of transportation by launchesAlthough transport by launch developed during thelast decade, it is nearly impossible to document itsevolution. The only register that we were able toobtain from the Port Captaincy of Puerto Ayora indi-cated that there were seven launches in Santa Cruz in2004 and today the number is 20 (two of which beganoperation during the months of this study).The fleet of launches is growing not only in termsof number but also the size of engines used. Todaylaunch engines average 450 horsepower. Boats areable to make the trip between the major ports of thearchipelago in approximately two hours, when only afew years ago it took at least five hours to travel fromPuerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil aboard Isabela’smunicipal boat, the Estrella del Mar. The length of thetrip may be shortened even more given that 40% oflaunch owners have indicated that they want toincrease the size of their engines. It should be notedthat during the last two years, 55% of the launchowners purchased more powerful engines.Launches have an average authorized capacity of20 passengers. They generally travel full when con-tracted as charters, but this is not always the case forthe regularly scheduled trips. For example, the 30launches in which we conducted head counts carriedan average of 15 passengers. However, of the fivelaunches we traveled on during the study, three trav-eled over capacity. The excess of passengers is due toa lack of coordination and last minute ticket sales.Since the Navy rarely monitors the launches and morepassengers result in more income, owners often donot respect the legal passenger limits. If Navy person-nel do observe a launch with too many passengers,the owner is supposed to pay a fine. In reality, finesare often not levied by the Navy (which provides per-mits to the launches) because of arrangements withboat owners, such as allowing Navy personnel to trav-el for free.UsersInterviewing tourists proved difficult. Many declinedto participate because they did not have time or weretoo tired from their trip. However, from those inter-viewed it was possible to determine that their percep-tions of this means of transportation are differentthan those who live in Galapagos (Table 1).The research was carried out in March-April whenthe seas are most calm. Transport by launch is consid-ered more comfortable by residents than by tourists.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Etienne OuvrardTable 2. Type of transport preferentially used by residents.Tourists appear to expect certain comforts that resi-dents do not require. The opposite is true when ask-ing about safety. For some local residents the trips bysea seemed to be a kind of “test” – they were simplyhappy to arrive safely (28% of residents spontaneous-ly reported being seasick, compared to only 5% oftourists).Interviews reveal that residents appeared moreattentive to the marine environment while travelingon launches than tourists, who generally come toGalapagos to view wildlife. Some of the tourists inter-viewed explained that they were less concernedabout viewing wildlife aboard the launch becausethey had the opportunity to do so in the nationalpark. However, the Park’s last management plan high-lighted the fact that conservation problems can arisewhen the public thinks differently about areas dedi-cated to tourism, where certain activities are restrict-ed or prohibited, than they do about areas open forgeneral public use (such as the maritime routesbetween the inhabited islands), where there are fewrestrictions on human activity. According to thelaunch captains, in order to offer increased comfort,boats are becoming more and more enclosed, makingit more difficult to observe birds, marine mammals, oreven the surrounding ocean. In the absence of regu-lations, they are also continuing to increase the speedof their vessels to better compete with the smallplanes that transport passengers between islands(Table 2).43development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Galapagos residents tend to travel infrequently toother islands in the archipelago. However, inhabitantsof Isabela and Floreana must travel to either SantaCruz or San Cristóbal before continuing to the conti-nent (Map 2). Also, residents of Santa Cruz, Isabela,and Floreana must make occasional trips to PuertoBaquerizo Moreno, the capital of the archipelago, forvarious administrative matters. Even so, Puerto Ayorais the port most visited by residents of Galapagos.Figure 1. Number of islands visited by years of residency in Galapagos (above) and income (below).Source: Interviews of residents (N=166).44The number of islands visited by a Galapagos res-ident tends to increase with income and numbers ofyears living in the island (Figure 1). However, there arenotable exceptions: some residents interviewed havenever traveled to other islands of the archipelagoalthough they have lived in Galapagos for more than15 years.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Map 2. Movement of residents among the inhabited islands of Galapagos.Source: Interviews with residents (N=166).Effectiveness of the quarantine systemLaunches carrying passengers and cargo among theislands create a potential network for dispersing inva-sive species--one of the greatest threats to the conser-vation of Galapagos. In the four inhabited ports of thearchipelago, the personnel of the Inspection andQuarantine System for Galapagos (SICGAL) inspectlaunches in an attempt to limit the spread of invasivespecies. Zapata (2007) showed that due to budgetreductions that resulted in a decrease in the numberof inspectors, SICGAL has been unable to effectivelyreduce the entrance of introduced species toGalapagos. This situation continues to worsen as thenumber of passenger and cargo trips increases.Residents and tourists traveling on launches wereasked about the effectiveness of the quarantine sys-tem (Table 3). Approximately two thirds of residentsresponded that SICGAL was effective at achieving itsgoal of avoiding the introduction of invasive species.Tourists believed that the partial inspection of theirbags was insufficient. While 25% of tourists reportedthat their luggage had not been examined, only 13%of residents did.It is common to observe launches departing portwithout having been inspected by SICGAL. Inspectorsworking in SICGAL are aware of this situation andexplain that it is due to a lack of personnel. Anotherfactor is that with the exception of Puerto Ayora, SIC-GAL offices are located away from the docks, making it45development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 3. Effectiveness of the quarantine system (SICGAL) according to passengers on launches.Table 4. Indicators to measure the evolution in the impacts generated by launches inGalapagos.46more difficult for personnel to observe the movementof boats, cargo, and passengers.DiscussionCurrently inter-island transport using launches isunregulated, except for limited Navy and SICGALsupervision. There are serious safety issues associatedwith launch transport in Galapagos: insufficient lifevests, boats traveling at excess capacity and excessivespeeds that are dangerous in rough seas, the absenceof a life raft onboard, etc. The frequency of incidents(one of the authors was stranded aboard a launch thathad run out of fuel) points to the dangers inherent inthis form of transportation. The Navy, the NationalPark Service, the municipalities, and INGALA are allentities that could play a role in ensuring the safety oflaunch passengers. Will it be necessary for a seriousaccident to occur before implementing oversight andbasic safety measures?One could argue that the demand to connectGalapagos with the mainland, rather than internalactivity within the islands, drives the growth andorganization of this form of transportation. Launchschedules are based on flight schedules to and fromthe continent. For example, it is impossible to leaveIsabela on a launch later than 7 AM (the time it is nec-essary to leave Isabela for a flight to the mainland).Puerto Ayora serves as a hub for launch transportation,and is the source of the largest number of boats andpassengers. And although Puerto Baquerizo Morenoplays an important role in this system, the launch own-ers of Villamil obtain greater benefit by using theirlaunches for charters and tourism activities.Additional studies of other marine transporta-tion to Galapagos (cargo ships, etc.) are needed tocomplement this analysis and to provide a broaderunderstanding of the threats to the national park(such as invasive species) and the lifestyle of theinsular population.ConclusionsA number of indicators from this study provide abaseline to understand future trends and the impactof launches on Galapagos. These indicators havebeen integrated into the Geographic Index ofGalapagos Project of the Charles Darwin Foundation.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Emmanuel CléderGalapagos institutions should actively regulate thisform of transportation and review its organizationand operation. Safety issues must be dealt with assoon as possible, including:• Insufficient number of life vests,• Overloaded launches, and• High speeds that could result in boats sinkingin high seas.In addition to fuel consumption and associated airand water pollution, launches pose other potentialdirect impacts for insular ecosystems, such as thetransportation of uninspected cargo that could con-tain invasive species, collisions with sea turtles, etc.,and indirect impacts, such as changes in the relation-ship of Galapagos residents to the natural world inwhich they live.Finally, re-instituting a municipal transportationsystem between the inhabited islands could offer anattractive alternative for tourists (allowing betterobservation of marine species, vistas, etc.) and pro-vide Galapagos residents with a low-cost option tothe launches. A municipal maritime transportationsystem could also help to reduce pollution, increasemarine safety, and generally reduce the impacts thatlaunches have on the geographic space and environ-ment of Galapagos. A public system for inter-islandtransport could also generate additional income forthe government, which could in turn be invested inthe conservation of the Galapagos National Park.47development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010The first complete motorizedvehicle census in Galapagos1National Institute of Galapagos2Provincial Commission for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit,and Road SafetyIntroductionThe Galapagos Islands are one of the most complex and uniqueoceanic archipelagos in the world, considered a natural laboratoryof evolution with worldwide importance for science, education, andnature tourism. The increase in the human population and econom-ic activities has provoked an increase in the size of the vehicularfleet, which is affecting the local population and the environmentand biodiversity of Galapagos.The Special Law for Galapagos of 1998 (LOREG) established thatthe entry of vehicles into Galapagos must be regulated and con-trolled. Since then, there have been many efforts on the part of theNational Institute of Galapagos (INGALA) to meet this requirement.In 2005 a pilot census of vehicles on Isabela identified a total of 117vehicles and analyzed the socioeconomic and environmentalimpacts related to the increase in vehicles. In June 2008, INGALA car-ried out a study of the environmental impact of the vehicular fleet inthe three most populated islands (San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, andIsabela) to ensure adequate regulation.Based on the recommendations of the 2008 study, a census ofterrestrial vehicles was carried out in February-March 2009 for theentire province. This study provided updated data on the numberand characteristics of vehicles and provided information needed todevelop a database for better control.48Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201049Regulation of vehicles in GalapagosBetween 2005 and March of 2009, the entry of vehi-cles into Galapagos was governed by a regulationapproved by the INGALA Council in May 20051. Thisregulation established a five-year moratorium on thenumber of permits in the public service cooperatives,as well as a moratorium on the creation of new terres-trial transportation cooperatives. This initial regula-tion was replaced in March 20092.The 2009 regulationestablished that the entry of motorized vehicles andmachines into Galapagos was further restricted andpromoted the use of vehicles that use alternativeenergy or hybrids.These decisions complemented theGovernment of Ecuador’s vision for the elimination ofthe use of fossil fuels in Galapagos.Vehicle census of 2009A vehicle census was carried out between Februaryand March 2009 in all of the populated islands: SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana, and Baltra.Information was recorded on the technical charac-teristics of each vehicle, the reason for entry of thevehicle, the owner’s name, and if it was owned by anindividual or business. All of the data associated withthis study can be found in a database accessible viathe website of the Governing Council of Galapagos(Consejo de Gobierno de Galápagos). The informa-tion related to the rationale for entry of the vehicleswill be particularly important for anticipating futuredemand for vehicles generated by the business sec-tors of the province.Between February and March 2009, the censusidentified a total of 1962 terrestrial vehicles in the fivepopulated islands (Figure 1; Table 1). The studyshowed that the largest number of vehicles is onSanta Cruz (1074), followed by San Cristóbal (699),Isabela (154), Baltra (24), and Floreana (11).Figure 1. Number of vehicles in the inhabited islands of the Galapagos Province in February-March 2009.1 Special Regulation for the Control of the Entry of Motorized Vehicles and Machinery in the Province of Galapagos; resolutionNo. CI-18-I-2005 published in the Official Register No. 09 of 3 May 2005.2 Substitute Regulation for the Control of the Entry of Motorized Vehicles and Machinery in the Province of Galapagos; resolutionNo. CI-11/12-II-2009, published in the Official Register No. 555 of 24 March 2009.
  • Table 1. Number of vehicles in Galapagos by type and sector, 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.Table 2. Vehicles registered in San Cristóbal in 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.Most vehicles were designated for personal use(1144), followed by commercially owned (610), forpersonal use in business (181), and for public trans-port (27) (Table 1). The most common types of vehi-cles were motorcycles and scooters (935), followedby pick-up trucks (644) and trucks (88). There werealso 315 taxis and 187 institutional vehicles.A total of 699 terrestrial vehicles were censusedin San Cristobal (Table 3). Most public transportvehicles are taxis (110). Of the 438 vehicles identi-fied for personal use, 380 are motorcycles. Theremaining 151 vehicles are used for a variety of eco-nomic activities, such as agriculture, fishing, cargotransport, construction, and artisan activities.50development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 3. Vehicles registered in Santa Cruz in 2009.*In Isabela 154 vehicles were censused (Table 4). Nearlyhalf of them were pick-up trucks (68), of which 23were used for cargo transport, 11 by the tourism sec-tor, 10 by the agricultural sector, 9 by institutions, 9 forpersonal use, and the remainder by fisheries andother.Table 4. Vehicles registered in Isabela in 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.* Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.In Santa Cruz, 1074 terrestrial vehicles were censused(Table 3). The majority (627) were categorized for per-sonal use. Of these vehicles, 470 were motorcycles.There were 351 pick-up trucks, most of which pertainto the taxi sector (204).51development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Eleven vehicles were censused in Floreana, sevenbelonging to individuals and four to institutions(Table 5).Twenty-four vehicles were censused in Baltra: twelveinstitutional, nine private, and three for cargo trans-port (Table 6). Of those belonging to individuals, sixwere large, 45-passenger buses for passengers andtourists.52Table 5. Vehicles registered in Floreana in 2009.*Table 6. Vehicles registered in Baltra in 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.* Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201053ConclusionsThe vehicle census of 2009 indicates that between1999 and 2004, a period when no structured regula-tions to control the entry of vehicles to Galapagosexisted, there was a considerable increase in the num-ber of vehicles in the archipelago. From 2005 forward,with the new regulations in place, there was a reduc-tion in the entry of new vehicles, particularly pick-uptrucks used for taxis (public transport), due to the five-year moratorium on permits for new taxis and newterrestrial transport cooperatives.The 2005 regulation allowed for the unrestrictedentry of motorcycles for personal use and resulted ina considerable increase in the number of motorcyclesup to March 2009, when the regulation was modified.The new regulation required justification for import-ing a motorcycle based on its proposed use. If the jus-tification was approved, based on technical and legalreports, it was turned over to the Vehicle Committeefor consideration.The principal economic activity of the populationis tourism. However, the census does not reflect anincrease in the number of vehicles used in this sector.This is probably due in large part to the fact that themajority of tourists remain onboard tourist boats andthose who stay in the towns overnight generally usetaxis. Even so, it could be argued that the increase inthe number of vehicles is directly related to popula-tion growth and increasing tourism.Recommendations• A system for controlling the entry of vehiclesinto Galapagos is in place and functioning. Thereis ongoing coordination between INGALA (nowpart of the Governing Council of Galapagos) andthe Provincial Commission for TerrestrialTransportation, Transit, and Road Safety. It isimportant that this coordination is maintainedand that the two institutions play their respectiveroles in keeping vehicle registration and controlup to date.• The software program for the vehicle databaseshould be continually updated and improved toallow more information to be captured and toensure easy access for end users.• The use of vehicles using alternative energyshould be encouraged, to replace those that usefossil fuels. Incentives should be established tomake such vehicles accessible.• It is important to continue the process of vehiclecontrol; a study of the supply and demand ofvehicles circulating in Galapagos is planned.
  • Photo Title Page Marine Management Section: Celso Montalvo
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201057Identification of rearing areas forblacktip sharks Carcharhinus limbatusin the mangrove stands of coastalSan Cristóbal IslandGalapagos National ParkSharks fill a vital ecological role within marine ecosystems as a toppredator (Stevens et al., 2000). They help eliminate dead and weakanimals from the water, impeding the spread of disease and strength-ening the genetic structure of populations (Galván et al., 1989).The current status of shark populations in the Galapagos MarineReserve (GMR) is unknown. However, they are under strong pressurefrom illegal fishing in spite of the prohibition of shark fishing (Reyesand Murillo, 2007). In Galapagos sharks are a symbol of the marinebiodiversity and at least five shark species (reef whitetip sharkTriaenodon obesus, whale shark Rhincodon typus, hammerhead sharkSphyrna lewini, Galapagos shark Carcharhinus galapagensis, and thesilky shark Carcharhinus falciformis) represent an important tourismresource in the GMR, especially for dive trips (Reyes and Morillo,2007). Knowledge of shark biology and ecology in the coastal zonesis critical for effective management and conservation.This study examines the different species of juvenile shark thatuse certain coastal zones of San Cristóbal Island for rearing. Thesedata will help to establish a baseline for these areas and to promotesimilar studies in the rest of the archipelago to improve manage-ment in all coastal areas of the GMR.Shark rearing areasGravid females of many shark species travel to specific rearingareas to give birth to their young or deposit eggs on the sea floor.Photo: Elizabeth Knight
  • Study areasThis study was completed in five mangrove areas inthe coastal zone of San Cristóbal: Tortuga, Cerro Brujo(the mangrove area), Puerto Grande, Manglecito, andBahía Rosa Blanca (Figure 2). At all sites, sharks werefished using gill nets, locally known as “trasmallo lis-ero” and generally used in Galapagos for fishing mul-lets. The number of neonate and one-year-old sharkscaptured was recorded.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010The young spend the first part of their lives wherethey are born, making these areas critically impor-tant to shark populations (Springer, 1967; Castro,1993). Rearing areas can be relatively closed or opento the sea, but are usually located in the shallow, high-ly-productive coastal zones, where the newborn canfind abundant food and protection from larger sharks(Simpfendorfer and Milward, 1993; Bonfil, 1997;Carlson, 1999). These areas can be identified throughobservations of gravid females, neonates, and young-of-the-year (Bonfil, 1997). This study focused on eval-uating five sites in San Cristóbal to determine if theyare rearing areas for sharks.Critical habitats for the protectionof sharksShark populations can be limited by the number ofrearing areas with adequate habitat (Springer, 1967).Knowing the location of the rearing areas is importantto ensure adequate protection for these species andto evaluate possible human impacts in these areas(Skomal, 2007).A variety of factors, such as increased fishingeffort, inadequate fishing regulations, and the degra-dation of important rearing areas in coastal habitats,estuaries, and fresh water, has resulted in a decline inshark populations in various regions of the world(Camhi et al., 1998). Ecosystems such as mangrovesare both ecologically and biologically important,given that they stabilize coasts, protect the inland ter-rain, and provide habitat for many bioaquatic species(Reserva Nacional de Investigación Estuarina Bahía deJogos, online). These ecosystems have high biodiver-sity with very high primary productivity, maintaininga complex trophic network that includes nestingareas for birds, and feeding, rearing, and protectivezones for reptiles, fish, crustaceans, and mollusks(MacNae, 1968).Management and conservation of critical habi-tats for reproduction and rearing in the waters off SanCristóbal through fishing closures and/or the estab-lishment of protected zones is vital to ongoing repro-ductive processes (Anislado and Robinson, 2001).These sites have similar habitat characteristics and aresurrounded by mangroves (Figure 1a), primarily thered mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). The roots of themangroves provide a refuge from predators for juve-nile sharks and young of other fish species (Figure 1b).58Figure 1. (a) Aerial view of the Tortuga study area surrounded by red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle); (b) Juvenile fish among the rootsof the mangroves.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201059Figure 2. The Galapagos Islands with details of San Cristóbal Island and the five coastal study areas: Tortuga, Cerro Brujo (mangrovearea), Puerto Grande, Manglecito and Bahía Rosa Blanca.MethodsFrom May to December 2008, direct observationswere made via snorkeling to detect and count sharksin the five study areas. In January, February, and Aprilof 2009, six additional field trips were conducted tocapture juvenile sharks using a gill net with 3-inchholes measuring 100 m x 3.5 m.The net was located atthe entrance of each study area during one hour.The captured sharks were immediately freedfrom the net and brought onboard where weight,measurements (total length, furcal length, and stan-dard length), sex, and species were recorded. Thestate of the umbilical scar was also noted as eitheropen or partially closed, to determine the shark’sstage of development (Figure 3).Figure 3. (a) Blacktip shark with an open umbilical scar (neonate); (b) Blacktip shark with a partially closed umbilical scar (young-of-the-year).
  • Table 1. Number of the three species of shark observed and captured in each study area in San Cristóbal.In terms of neonates and one-year-olds, the speciesmost often caught was the blacktip shark, which wasobserved in three of the study areas (Table 2). InJanuary, the number of neonates was greater thanthe number of one-year-olds in both Puerto Grandeand Manglecito, but not at Tortuga. In February, onthe other hand, the number was nearly the sameand they were present in Puerto Grande, Manglecito,and also Tortuga. In April, there were no neonatescaught in any of the study areas, while the most one-year-olds were captured in Puerto Grande.Table 2. Number of blacktip shark neonates and young-of-the-year captured atthree of the study areas between January and April 2009.60ResultsNineteen blacktip sharks were observed at Tortugaand Bahía Rosa Blanca and 23 reef whitetip sharks(both juveniles and adults) were spotted in the man-grove areas of Manglecito, Bahía Rosa Blanca, andCerro Brujo (Table 1). Using the gill net, 52 neonatesand one-year-old juvenile blacktip sharks were cap-tured at Tortuga, Puerto Grande, and Manglecito; oneneonate hammerhead shark was caught in PuertoGrande. This indicates that this fishing method ismore efficient for studying these two species, espe-cially the blacktip shark.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 5. Blacktip shark neonate of 65 cm total length (TL), captured at Tortuga, showing in the circle the umbilical cord, indicating thatit was born a few days before.Other fauna in the five study areasThe number and species of fish observed using bothmethods confirm that the five mangrove areas pos-sess a high abundance and diversity of species typi-cally found in coastal bays (Allen et al., 1995; Groveand Lavenberg, 1997; Humann and Deloach, 2003;Molina et al., 2005), such as black-tailed mullet(Xenomugil thoburni), yellowfin mojarra (Gerrescinereus), golden-eye grunt (Haemulon scudderii), andblackspot porgy (Archosargus pourtalesii). The majori-ty of these species remain in these areas during theirjuvenile stage.Species of rays and fish were observed in all fivestudy areas, with the greatest diversity of species atTortuga and Manglecito, followed by Bahía RosaBlanca, Puerto Grande, and finally Cerro Brujo (Table 3).Conclusions and recommendationsThe mangrove areas of Tortuga, Puerto Grande, andManglecito of San Cristóbal are rearing areas forblacktip shark, with 98% of captured sharks beingblacktip neonates and young-of-the-year.The remain-ing 2% were hammerhead sharks. Gill nets were moreeffective for collecting data on recently born sharksthan direct observation.It is evident that juvenile blacktip sharks prefermangrove areas. The lack of observations of adultsharks suggests that they do not frequent these zones.Additional studies are needed throughout theyear to determine other characteristics of the popula-tion dynamics of blacktip sharks and other species,including movement patterns and growth rates. It isalso necessary to determine if juvenile sharks useother types of habitats in the coastal zone of the GMR.The results suggest that blacktip sharks probably givebirth in the first months of the year. For example, atTortuga in February, young with a total length (TL) of65 cm and a portion of their umbilical cord attachedwere captured (Figure 5), indicating that they hadbeen born only a few days earlier. More frequent sam-pling is needed throughout the year to confirm thisfinding.61development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • The gill net was effective for capturing both neonateand juvenile sharks that live in mangrove areas.The fivestudy areas are all designated as fishing zones withinthe GMR zoning system and are regularly used by fish-ermen. This suggests that a continued incidence ofcapture of juvenile sharks and other protected species(i.e., rays) in nets may be occurring (Figure 6).Based on the results of this research, we recom-mend that additional studies be carried out in SanCristóbal and other islands to determine the fishingmethods and regulations that will help to protectshark rearing areas. The gill net used in this studyresulted in a high incidence of capture of neonateand juvenile sharks. Its use by fishermen over thelong-term could cause unintentional deteriorationof these ecosystems. We recommend the reevalua-tion of the current zoning of important rearing areasand the establishment of protected zones in man-grove stands. The creation of protected zones forshark rearing would improve the management ofthese habitats, and also protect and conserve juvenilesharks and other species.62development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Table 3. Diversity of accompanying wildlife species in the five study areas of San Cristóbal, by presence/absence.
  • Figure 6. Eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) captured incidentally in the gill net in Manglecito.63development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Hammerhead sharksof Galapagos: their behavior andmigratory patterns1Charles Darwin Foundation, 2University of California – Davis,3Galapagos National ParkHammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) are unique among sharks inmany ways, most notably in the shape of their head. Their gregariousbehavior has always fascinated people, so much so that manytourists spend large amounts of money to travel around the world toobserve them. In the Galapagos Islands, hammerhead sharks, alongwith whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinusgalapagensis), and reef whitetip sharks (Triaenodon obesus), consti-tute an important attraction for dive tourism (Espinoza and Figueroa,2001), generating substantial income for the local economy. This isdue to the fact that the archipelago remains one of the few locationsin the world where these animals can still be seen in large groups(Figure 1). This article presents a review of a series of studies carriedout under a hammerhead shark tagging and monitoring program inthe Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) .1Hammerhead sharks are at risk primarily due to overfishing.Strong economic pressure for the commercialization of shark finsworldwide has provoked an increase in the capture of sharks andtheir fins along the entire western coast of South America (WildAid,2005). An estimated 1.7 million tons of sharks are captured world-wide annually (Clarke et al., 2006). In the GMR, sharks are protectedby law (AIM, Resolution No.011-2000), but unfortunately illegal641The complete analysis of telemetry data of the hammerhead shark will be presented in the doctoral thesis of James Ketchum and inscientific publications currently being prepared by the research team.Figura 1. Impressive marine vista dominat-ed by a group of hammerhead sharksPhoto: Alex Hearn
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201065fishing continues to threaten their survival. In thelast ten years, up to 20,500 fins have been confiscat-ed (GNP, 2009).Why should we conserve these animals? In addi-tion to their high value as a resource for non-extrac-tive activities such as tourism (WildAid, 2001), sharksplay a very important role in marine environments.Most are top-level predators, meaning they feed onmany animals but almost no other animal feeds onthem. They help to maintain population stability oftheir prey, preventing disproportionate increases intheir numbers and any resulting negative impacts onother marine organisms. However, sharks are verysensitive to any deterioration in their population.Their life history characteristics (low reproductiverate, long-lived, and late sexual maturity) preventrapid population recuperation following significantreductions in their numbers (Compagno et al., 2005).Examples of direct negative impacts (in shark popula-tions) and indirect impacts (in marine environmentsas a result of the removal of sharks) are currentlyreported frequently in the scientific literature (forexample: Stewart and Wilson, 2005; Myers and Worm,2005; Heithaus et al., 2007; Myers et al., 2007).For these reasons, the authorities of theGalapagos National Park (GNP) implemented a com-plete ban on the capturing of any sharks within theGMR. Still, protection of sharks requires a betterunderstanding of their distribution, abundance,behavior, and interactions with the marine environ-ment. Baseline information is needed to detect trendsin their population status over time. Without thisinformation, conservation efforts will not have a solidscientific foundation. To address these informationneeds, the Research and Conservation of SharksProject began over three years ago, as a multi institu-tional effort of the Charles Darwin Foundation, theGNP, and the University of California-Davis.The shark tagging projectSince its beginning in 2006, the project has primarilyfocused on studying the movements of hammerheadsharks, at both macro and micro levels. To date, morethan 130 sharks have been tagged and monitored inthe northern zone of the archipelago, specificallyaround Darwin and Wolf Islands, using acoustic andsatellite telemetry. Three types of equipment wereused: (i) ultrasonic tags for continuous monitoring ofindividual sharks; (ii) ultrasonic tags for long-termmonitoring using monitoring stations, and (iii) satel-lite tags to permit remote monitoring at a macro scale(Figure 2). Continuous monitoring was done for morethan 48 hours at a time around Wolf Island.Monitoring stations were installed in strategic loca-tions throughout the archipelago to be able to detectthe acoustic tags, with the greatest density aroundDarwin andWolf Islands (Figure 3; for greater detail onthe methodology, see Hearn et al., 2008).Daily behaviorMuch as human beings follow daily routines, theseven hammerhead sharks monitored continuouslyshowed interesting movement patterns (Figure 4).During the day the sharks remained very passive inFigure 2. Left: Free diving method for attaching ultrasonic tags on the posterior portion of the dorsal fin of the shark (Photo: EduardoEspinoza). Right: Attaching a satellite tag onboard the Sierra Negra of the GNP. The tag is attached to the dorsal fin of the shark while aconstant stream of seawater is poured over the shark to allow respiration (Photo: Peter Oxford).
  • Figure 3. Location of the monitoring stations in the GMR. Upper right hand corner: photo of one of the monitors. Photo: Peter Oxford66zones surrounding the island and then became veryactive during the night with frequent trips to theopen sea.Three principal types of movement were detected(Ketchum et al., in prep.)1:(i) Resting - navigating at low velocity in areas closeto the island. Resting occurred primarily during theday, when the sharks stayed close to the rockyareas and coral reefs in the southern, eastern, andnortheastern areas of the island. Although ham-merhead sharks generally swim in schools orgroups, it is unknown whether the monitoredsharks stayed in groups or traveled alone.(ii) Directional - when sharks head toward openwater or return to the island. Directional naviga-tion was described for this species in BajaCalifornia (Klimley et al., 1993), but it was notknown if the sharks of Galapagos followed thesame movement pattern. The longest directionalnavigation recorded by this study was more than40 km, a direct route returning to the island. Buthow do the sharks find a path and maintain theirroute? Klimley (1993) suggests that hammerheadsharks use geomagnetism of the sea floor to orientthemselves, and that in open water, deep divesallow them to re-orient themselves (one taggedshark descended to 936 m). Hammerhead sharksuse electro-receptor organs located at theextremes of their heads to sense the electrical dif-ferential in their surrounding environment, includ-ing the electric field of other animals (Bennet andClusin, 1978). This ability is certainly one of theevolutionary reasons responsible for the strangeform of their heads, which in addition to geomag-netic-location allows them to better detect andcapture their prey.(iii) Non-directional or erratic - primarily in zonesaway from the shore. Non-directional move-ments occur during the night. The movementsare agile but without direction, with the sharkaccelerating rapidly for a short time and thenmoving slowly. Given that the diet of hammer-head sharks is composed almost 90% of squid(Castañeda-Suárez and Sandoval-Londoño,2007), it is assumed that these movements are aproduct of feeding behavior. Hammerheadsharks take advantage of the nightly verticalmigrations of squid when they move to openwaters to feed.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 4. Navigation routes of hammerhead sharks followed continuously for 48 to 72 hours around Wolf Island. (Source: Ketchum etal., in prep.).Hammerhead sharks were also observed to have highsite fidelity. One hundred percent of the monitoredsharks used the southeastern and northeastern facesof Wolf Island exclusively during the daytime. Thispreferential behavior was confirmed by informationobtained from the monitoring stations around WolfIsland, where the majority of ultrasonic tag detectionswere on the eastern side of the island (Figure 5). Visualcensuses of sharks carried out on both sides of theisland suggest that the behavior of schools of sharksdiffer on the two sides of the island. On the westernside, their movements are rapid and directed, whileon the eastern side sharks move about slowly andcover the same areas over and over. Hearn et al. (inprep.) suggest that this behavior could result from avariety of interacting factors. The southeastern side ofthe island is constantly bathed by currents thatimport nutrients, creating a large concentration oforganisms in a protected area where sharks can feedwithout moving great distances. Hammerhead sharksalso take advantage of these areas in the center oftheir range for resting and for the “cleaning services”provided by the local fauna. Important cleaning zoneshave been recorded in this area, with angel fish(Holocanthus passer) and blacknosed butterflyfish(Johnrandallia nigrirostris) the most important speciesfilling this role (Ketchum et al., in prep.).Connectivity and migratory behaviorLarge-scale movements observed were surprising.Monitoring station data indicate that the connectivi-ty within the archipelago is limited to the islands ofDarwin, Wolf, and Roca Redonda, while outside theGMR hammerhead sharks have been recorded inareas of the Pacific far from where they were tagged.Three hammerhead sharks tagged at Darwin andWolf Islands were detected at Cocos Island (CostaRica), a distance of nearly 500 km. One, tagged atMalpelo Island (Colombia), resided in the northernpart of Galapagos for nearly one year (this sharkmade its first stop at Cocos Island before heading onto Galapagos). Satellite monitoring of seven sharksalso shows an intensive use of the areas aroundDarwin and Wolf Islands as well as open waters out-side of the GMR (Figure 6; for more details, seeKetchum et al., 2009).These results confirm that the hammerhead sharkis a highly migratory species and that there exists con-nectivity between the northern waters of the GMR and67development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 5. Differences in the number of recorded detections of sharks by the four monitoring stations in Wolf Island in August 2007 indi-cate the preference of different areas by hammerhead sharks. The circular graphs indicate the nighttime detections (blue) and the day-time detections (cream); the concentric circles correspond to the number of tags recorded by the monitoring stations.68other protected areas of the Eastern Pacific. However, amajor question remains: Why were no individualsdetected in the central-southern regions of the GMR?Satellite tracking of seven sharks showed that only oneindividual traveled to the center of the archipelago.Historical data provided by divers with a long history inthe GMR indicate that more than 20 years ago largeschools of hammerhead sharks were observed in thecentral part of the islands, at sites such as NorthSeymour (Fernando Ortiz, pers. comm.). Today onlysmall schools of hammerhead sharks are observed atNorth Seymour and other sites where they were fre-quently observed in the past (such as Gordon Rocks,Devil’s Crown, and Kicker Rock).The historical presence and importance of ham-merhead sharks in the south-central portion of thearchipelago is indisputable. However, the absence ofconnectivity between this region and the north gener-ates many questions. To explain the current situation,two hypotheses are currently being discussed. The firstexplains the lack of connectivity by the migratoryresponse of hammerhead sharks as they becomeadults. The southern zones are probably used asbirthing and rearing areas, while the northern zonesare used as feeding grounds for adults. Evidence forthis hypothesis is based on observations and recordingof the presence of neonate and juvenile hammerheadsharks in the mangrove areas and bays of the southernand central archipelago, such as San Cristóbal (Llerena,2010). In the northern zones only adults and subadultsmore than 1.5 m long are sighted. The second hypoth-esis presents the possibility that there has been a con-siderable decline in the population in the south result-ing from over-fishing. In any case, more studies arerequired before the true reasons for this difference inabundance of hammerhead sharks throughout theGMR can be determined.Conclusions and recommendationsBased on the results of this study, it is evident thatthe hammerhead shark is a resident species ofGalapagos but at the same time highly migratory. Itssite and habitat preferences at both macro andmicro scales are beginning to be revealed but thereare still many questions that need answers. What arethe environmental conditions that make hammer-head sharks prefer specific sites? What drives themajor migrations to other areas of the Pacific? Whyhas no connection been detected between thenorthern and southern areas of the GMR? What isthe abundance of hammerhead sharks in the differ-ent regions of the GMR? Where are the rearing areasfor this species? Given these questions, additionaldevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 6. Navigation routes of seven hammerhead sharks tagged with satellite devices in Darwin andWolf Islands from November 2007to May 2009. Source: Ketchum et al., in prep).population, oceanographic, and geologic data, andenvironmental modeling is needed to increase ourunderstanding of the conditions and environmentalforces that mold the behavior of this species.Studies of this type for hammerhead and othersharks, such as whale sharks, Galapagos sharks, andreef whitetip sharks, are very important for under-standing their behavior and use of the various zonesof the GMR. In terms of management, identifying theareas of greatest use can result in improved and moreeffective control and patrolling to combat illegal fish-ing. Research will also determine rearing and restingpatterns in the coastal zones, which would help theauthorities to evaluate current zoning of the GMR andincorporate measures for greater protection in criticalareas. The protection of sharks will result in greaterprotection of some of the less charismatic species thatare of great ecological value for marine environments.Finally, understanding migratory patterns for thesespecies helps to identify priority conservation zonesin open water, which could serve as a basis for thepossible zoning of the open waters of the GMR.Cooperation with other countries, such as Costa Ricaand Columbia, is essential for adopting managementmeasures that will protect hammerhead sharks ininternational waters. These efforts are advancing andscientists in the Eastern Pacific are cooperating in theproduction of regional information critical to achiev-ing this goal (for more information on internationalcooperation visit the webpage: project was made possible thanks to the sup-port of: Conservation International, WWF-Galapagos,Linblad Expeditions, Galapagos Conservation Trust,and Swiss Friends of Galapagos.69development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Population ecology of two species ofchitons, Chiton goodallii and Chitonsulcatus, in the rocky coastline of SanCristóbal Island, GalapagosGalapagos National ParkIntroductionChitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) include approximately 600marine species. They live primarily in rocky, intertidal habitats,although some have been found at depths up to 7000 m (Campbelland Fautin, 2001). These organisms are relatively sedentary and aregenerally more abundant on exposed rocks, living in crevices oradhering to the underside of rocks using pressure they exert on theirventral foot and belt. They prefer living among algae in intertidaland submarine zones (Cruz and Sotela, 1984; Piercy, 1987; Randalland Martine, 1987).Thirteen coastal species of chitons have been recorded inGalapagos (Finet, 1994), six of which are endemic. Two of theendemic species, Chiton goodalli (Broderip, 1832) and C. sulcatus(Wood, 1815), are harvested by artisanal fishermen due to theirlarger size and abundance. C. goodalli is known locally as “smoothcanchalagua” and C. sulcatus as “sculpted canchalagua.” Collectionof these mollusks is carried out at low tide under full moon whenthese organisms are most accessible (Herrera and Bustamante,1996; Herrera et al., 2003)(Figures 1 and 2). To dislodge them, fish-ermen hit them with rocks until they detach themselves. Shells leftalong the length of the shores of Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal pro-vide evidence of their extraction and indicate a preference for C.goodalli over C. sulcatus, due to its larger size (Herrera andBustamante, 1996; Murillo, 2008).70Photo: Susana Chamorro
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201071Commercial fishing of chitons in Galapagos is pri-marily carried out by groups of fishermen who are noton the Fishing Register of the Galapagos NationalPark (GNP). They have been carrying out this activityfor many years and generally approach the fishinggrounds via land. To date, these fishermen have notbeen included in the formal fishery management sys-tem of Galapagos. Some of the artisanal fishermenregistered with the GNP also harvest chitons, but usu-ally only to feed themselves during longer fishingtrips to islands such as Española, Santa Fe, and islandsin the north. The chiton fishery is not included in fish-ery management plans in Galapagos.The objective of this study was to determinegrowth rates, recruitment, and mortality of twospecies of chiton, C. goodalli and C. sulcatus, in SanCristóbal, with the goal of providing recommenda-tions for future studies and for the management andconservation of these species.Figure 1. Measuring a chiton during nighttime sampling.Figure 2. Chitons grazing at night on a rock surface in the intertidal.MethodsThe study was carried out in the rocky intertidal zone ofSan Cristóbal. Four study areas were selected: two inthe intertidal zone of the town (designated “neartown”) and two located approximately 9 km fromPuerto Baquerizo Moreno (designated “far fromtown”)(Figure 3). Eight sampling periods were com-pleted at each site between September 2005 andApril 2006, covering the two climatic seasons. Bothday and night sampling was conducted during fulland waning moons. At night, the larger chitons moveout to eat and become more visible and vulnerable tofishermen (Figure 4). Chitons recorded during night
  • Figure 3. Chiton fishing sites in San Cristóbal selected as study areas. The sites near town are: Site 2 – La Predial and Site 3 – Playa delos Marinos. The sites far from town are: Site 1 - Cerro Mundo and Site 4 – Las Negritas.Figure 4. Specimens observed during nighttime sampling.72sampling periods were designated as“population vul-nerable to harvesting.”Sites sampled during the nightwere also sampled during the day in order to obtain amore representative range in size of individuals inorder to better estimate growth parameters. The day-time searches were conducted in crevices and underrocks (Herrera et al., 2003).The study considered two types of recruitment.The first was biological recruitment, which is theestablishment of juveniles in a given area (Bevertonand Holt, 1957; Royce, 1996). Juvenile chitons are notvulnerable to fishing; their use of cryptic habitat dur-ing the day and night allows them to remain camou-flaged. The second type of recruitment is adding indi-viduals to the adult stock (Pitcher and Hart, 1982).These chitons are vulnerable to fishing as they includedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 5. Comparison of average sizes of C. sulcatus and C. goodalii by study area located near and far from town and type of sampling(daytime and nighttime).At all of the fishing sites, growth of modal groups wasobserved throughout the sampling periods (Figure 6).A new cohort of juveniles appeared in February 2006at Playa de los Marinos and in December 2005 at LasNegritas. These events coincided with the seasonalchange in climate that begins in Galapagos inDecember. The average size of these juveniles whenthey began to appear in the fishing areas was estimat-ed at 0.87 cm in Playa de los Marinos for C. sulcatusand 0.79 cm at Las Negritas for C. goodallii.Growth parameters of the two species suggestthat C. sulcatus grows more rapidly and reaches its fullsize at six years of age but is significantly smaller thanC. goodallii, which reaches its full size at ten years.These differences in size produce a much strongerpreference for C. goodallii by chiton fishermen, giventhat it is larger and therefore has greater volume andweight of meat per individual (Figure 7).Conclusions and recommendationsThe characteristics of Playa de los Marinos, whichinclude low levels of wave action and the predomi-nance of a highly heterogeneous substrate, couldfavor attachment and recruitment of C. sulcatus inthe larger, older individuals that forage at night on thesurface of rocks, where they are more visible. This isconsidered as recruitment to the art of fishing(Beverton and Holt, 1957; Sparre and Venema, 1992;Tresierra-Aguilar and Culquichicón-Malpica, 1993).ResultsWhile chitons were measured at all four study sites,growth estimate data for C. goodallii was possibleonly from Las Negritas and for C. sulcatus from Playade los Marinos, as insufficient numbers of chitonswere observed in the other two areas.Larger chitons were observed during the night-time sampling at sites both far from and near town(Figure 5). The size of C. sulcatus observed both duringday and night sampling was larger in the two studyareas far from town.The average size observed at nightwas 2.9 cm (± 0.06 standard error) in sites far from townand 2.6 cm (± 0.02) in sites near town, compared todaytime average sizes of 1.6 cm (± 0.04) and 1.1 cm (±0.02) in these same locations. Sampling of C. goodalliishowed the same pattern: at night the average size was3.5 cm (± 0.03) far from town and 2.6 cm (± 0.08) neartown, while daytime sampling at these sites resulted inaverage sizes of 1.4 cm (± 0.03) and 1.2 cm (± 0.06).73development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 6. Monthly change in the size of the fourth cephalic plate for modal groups of C. goodallii at Las Negritas and C. sulcatus in Playade los Marinos. The arrows follow the growth of individuals of first and second cohorts, with the second cohort appearing at LasNegritas in January and at Playa de los Marinos in December.74the area. This could explain the constant, high abun-dance of chitons that were observed during all sam-pling months, even though it is known that this zoneis traditionally harvested by members of the localcommunity.The minimum size of individuals found in thefishing zone was 0.67 cm for C. sulcatus and 0.79 cmfor C. goodallii, which indicates an age of three to fourmonths. In Playa de los Marinos at least two recruit-ment events were observed during the study(September and December), which would also influ-ence the high abundance of chitons found duringnighttime sampling. For C. sulcatus, recruitmentevents seen at Playa de los Marinos could be closelyrelated to the spawning season of the parental stockthat lives in the zone. The Playa de los Marinos area isprotected from wave action and the fact that chitonshave short larval stages suggests that the larvae pro-duced by the parental stock in this zone settles in thesame area. This does not occur with C. goodallii in LasNegritas, due to the greater wave action and strongcurrents in this site, which disperse any larva far fromthe zone in which they are produced.Recruitment size corresponds to the stage atwhich chitons can attach to rocks and forage. At thisstage they are significantly larger than those initiallyrecruited to fishing zones. The sizes for the twospecies were 2.6 cm for C. sulcatus and 2.9 cm for C.goodallii.Given that there are as yet no specific managementmeasures for this fishery, the following is recom-mended:1. Present this study to the direct users of theresource and the natural resource managers ofthe GNP to initiate a discussion about this fisheryand potential management methodologies.2. Identify the fishermen involved in this activitywho harvest chiton for their own consumptionand those who depend economically on this fish-ery during at least part of the year.3. Establish a chiton monitoring system toinclude other inhabited islands and expand thedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 7. Critical stages and relative ages for C. goodallii and C. sulcatus, based on growth parameters calculated in this study.research through surveys of fishermen in anattempt to determine sustainable levels for thisfishery.4. Carry out parallel studies of the reproductivebiology and growth parameters of chiton, usingmarked individuals, in order to adapt manage-ment methodologies to the biological capacity ofthe species.5. Include management methodologies for thisfishery (beginning with issuing licenses specificto this fishery) in the overall FisheriesManagement Plan.75development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010A revised strategy for the monitoringand management of the Galapagossea cucumber1Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), 2World Wildlife Fund (WWF)IntroductionThe Galapagos sea cucumber fishery began in the early 1990s withcatches increasing annually until a peak period from 1999 to 2005.During this peak period nearly 30 million sea cucumbers were har-vested legally within the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), corre-sponding to a total fresh weight of over 8000 tons (CDF/GNPFisheries Reports). Catches peaked in the year 2002, with over 8.3million individuals harvested (Figure 1). Following 2002, the harvestcontinued to decrease as a result of permanent overfishing due tofactors such as overcapacity of the fishing fleet, a “race for fish” situ-ation - a worldwide phenomena caused by a total allowable catchfor all fishermen versus individual quotas for each fishermen makingthem fish as much as they can in as little time as possible - and areactive instead of proactive fisheries management system. In addi-tion, the determination of an annual quota was not based on a sci-entific study; rather it was negotiated with the fishermen and wastherefore largely based on their demands.In 2008, for the first time, a limit reference point (LRP) of 11 indi-viduals/100 m2 in the principal fishing zone west of Isabela Islandwas established - as derived from the pre-fishery monitoring - todetermine if the fishing season would be opened or not. The use ofthis LRP caused two problems. First, instead of using stock size as thebasis for the LRP, mean densities based on pre-fishery monitoring inthe principal fishing zone (western Isabela) were used as the conditionfor opening the fishery.This motivated fishermen, who participated inthe monitoring, to focus on areas where densities had traditionallyalways been high. The results unfortunately did not represent the76Photo: Diego Ruiz
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201077overall mean density in all fishing areas. The secondproblem was that once the fishery was opened, fisher-men harvested all sea cucumbers above the mini-mum landing size (20 cm total length) within theirquota (when applied) and economic limits. This led tothe post-fishery stock being extremely small withoutthe potential to rebuild prior to the next year’s fishingseason.When sea cucumber densities are too small, fer-tilization is not possible and the stock cannot recover.This study evaluated the monitoring and man-agement strategy of the sea cucumber fishery duringthe past 10 years and aimed to estimate the stock sizeFigure 1. Annual catch in number of individuals and Catch per Unit of Effort (ind/diver*hour) from 1999-2008 (2006 season was closed).Source: CDF Fisheries Reports.and to optimize the way in which the annual harvestquota is determined. In recent years, fishermen haveargued that sea cucumbers may be more abundant indeeper, less fished waters, thus providing the neededstock reserves to counteract heavy fishing in the shal-lower waters. Therefore, we compared mean densitiesin shallow areas (< 15 m) with those in deeper waters(> 15 m). The results of the 2009 monitoring seasonwere compared with those from the past ten years inorder to demonstrate density and size structuretrends, specifically the proportion of specimens small-er than 20 cm in the population. This trend in sizestructure should be indicative of recruitment strengthin previous years.MethodsArea estimates, transect numbers, anddensity estimatesMacrozones were defined based on historical and cur-rent major fishing areas, identified through onboardfisheries observations from 1999 to 2008, gathered bythe Galapagos National Park (GNP) and the CharlesDarwin Foundation (CDF). The zones were then delim-ited based on bathymetric data compiled by Chadwick(1994), which were interpolated using ArcGIS. Theouter boundary was set at the -30 m isobath, based onhistorical data indicating that it is the maximum depthat which diving for sea cucumbers is carried out (CDFFisheries Reports). With the isobath line as the outerand the coastline as the inner boundary, the area ofeach macrozone (km2) was mapped. Of the totalmacrozone area, the suitable habitat for sea cucumbersand therefore the effective fishing area was estimatedat approximately 50%, given that approximately 30%has unsuitable sandy bottoms and another 20% iseither intertidal waters that are too shallow (< 5 m) oruninhabitable steep slopes.To calculate the number of transects required torepresent each macrozone, we reviewed means andstandard deviations of stock densities from previoussurveys. Based on this, the minimum number of repli-cates (transects) needed to achieve a precision of±25% was estimated using the following formula:where n = minimum number of replicates required toachieve a precision of ±25% around our estimate ofmean density; t = value of the t distribution (student’st-test) for p < 0.05; Av = annual average sea cucumberdensity per macrozone, and SD its standard deviation.The number of replicates required for the differ-ent macrozones varied depending upon differencesin spatial distribution and stock density, with morereplicates needed in areas with greater patchinessand fewer in zones where the population appearsmore evenly distributed.
  • Figure 2. Sea cucumber fishing sites in Galapagos assembled from geographical referenced data from onboard and landing site mon-itoring (CDF and GNP data bases, 1999-2008).78A circular transect (radius of 5.6 m, area of 100 m2),proven to be effective in previous studies, was used.Transects were evenly distributed over the two depthstrata (<15 m and >15 m). The mean number of seacucumbers per m2 within each macrozone wasextrapolated for the entire macrozone and then thestock sizes of all macrozones were summed to deter-mine the stock size of the entire effective fishing area.Since the density values of each macrozone werenot normally distributed, a bootstrap resampling rou-tine (Efron, 1981) was applied. This consisted of a ran-dom resampling (1000x) of the data matrix for eachmacrozone. This yielded 1000 normally distributedmean density values and allowed for the computationof the standard deviation and coefficient of variationaround the mean. To test for depth differences in seacucumber densities, all measurements taken in eachdepth stratum (5-15 m and 15-25 m, respectively) wereconsidered for the calculation of overall means perdepth strata. The resulting mean densities were boot-strapped for each stratum and compared using a t-testof means. For comparative purposes we also applied anon-parametric Mann-Whitney U test for the medians.Calculating the catch quotaUnder conditions of sustainable exploitation, annualstock production is balanced by the sum of FisheriesMortality (F) and Natural Mortality (M), called TotalMortality (Z). Cadima (in Troadec, 1977) proposed thefollowing formula to attain maximum sustainable yieldfrom an already fished resource:Maximum Sustainable Yield (Quota) = 0.5 * Z * Bwhere B = current stock biomass.This formula was shown not to be applicable if F > M;however, and even in cases when F = M (at an exploita-tion rate of 50%; E = F/Z = 0.5), a stock may be over-fished as was shown by Garcia and LeReste (1980).Following this reasoning, we chose a more precaution-ary rate of 30% or E = 0.3, when applying the above for-mula. With our value for the Natural Mortality at 17%(M = 0.17) based on Hearn et al. (2005), the FisheryMortality was calculated as follows: F = 0.073. By insert-ing the resulting Total Mortality value (Z = F + M =0.243) in Cadimas formula we arrived at a quota esti-mate of:Quota = 0.5 * 0.243 * B = 0.122 * BTherefore, the annual quota or total allowable catch(TAC) proposed is 12.2% of the standing stock.ResultsEstimates of macrozone areas andnumber of transects per macrozoneThe distribution of sea cucumber fishing activities inthe archipelago from 1999 to 2008 was determinedfrom data collected by onboard fisheries observers(Figure 2). These data were used to define thedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 3. Macrozones identified based on the major fishing sites and their effective fishing area (50% of total macrozone area) in km2.Table 1. Mean and maximum density values (ind/100 m2) of all macrozones and islands with the number of transectsplanned and carried out, standard deviation (SD), and coefficient of variation (CV).*50% of the total macrozone areamacrozones (Figure 3). To adequately represent eachof these macrozones, the number of transectsrequired to fulfill a 25% precision limit was calculatedfor each one.The estimated size of the effective fishing area,which represents 50% of all of the macrozones, is 125km2 (Figure 3). San Cristóbal has the largest fishingarea (52 km2), followed by Isabela (33 km2) and SantaCruz (20 km2). Floreana, Española, and Fernandinacombined represent 20 km2. It is interesting to seethat replicate numbers vary greatly between zones,with Española requiring the highest number per area(49/5 km2), while Santa Cruz requires only 31 tran-sects in 20 km2 (Table 1).79development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 4. Left: pre-fishery monitoring mean densities (ind/100 m2) from 1999-2009, by island. Right: percentage of measured individ-uals that are smaller than 20 cm in total length, by island (1999-2009).Mean density values of our 2009 monitoring for thetwo depth strata were 4.5 and 3.2 ind/100 m2, for 0-15m and 15-30 m, respectively (Figure 5). The non-para-metric Mann-Whitney U test of the median densityvalues confirmed the significant difference found forthe mean values using the bootstrapping routine (t-test; p<0.05). Accordingly, a higher sea cucumberdensity in deeper waters, suggested by the fishermen,could not be verified. Instead, higher densities wereobserved in the shallow stratum.80The population monitoring was carried out in thelast two weeks of May 2009 by fishermen, and GNPand CDF staff. The work was coordinated andfinanced primarily by the GNP and WWF. Due to insuf-ficient funds, fewer transects were carried out thanoriginally planned.Densities and catch quota for 2009Mean density of sea cucumbers for western Isabela(3.28 ± 0.38 ind/100 m2) was far below the criticalvalue established for opening the fishery (11/100m2). Based on these results it was recommendednot to open the fishery for the year 2009, which waslater accepted by the co-management body, theInterinstitutional Management Authority (IMA).Following our new approach, the fishing quotaor total allowable catch (TAC) for the entire archipel-ago for the 2009 fishing season would have been598,938 individuals, based on the stock size (4.9 mil-lion individuals) derived from the overall mean density(3.9 ind/100 m2) and our combined area estimate(125 km2).Based on the pre-fishery monitoring data from1999-2009 for each island, the mean densities and theproportion of small (< 20 cm) sea cucumbers in thesamples show general trends over the past 10 years(Figure 4). In general, sea cucumber densities inGalapagos have decreased since 2002. Floreana,Isabela, and Fernandina show a steady decrease indensity over recent years, while Santa Cruz hasremained relatively constant. It is interesting to notethat the density value for San Cristóbal in 2009 wasthe second highest density value recorded there since1999. The proportion of juveniles (recruits) in thestock has steadily decreased for the western islands,Isabela and Fernandina, and in 2009 was the lowestever recorded in Española and Floreana. Santa Cruzand San Cristóbal reveal a slight increase in recruitsover the last three years.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • DiscussionEstimating the fishing area was difficult due to sub-stantial variability in topography and slope of theseafloor between macrozones. Polygon mapping todetermine the area (m2) between the coastline andthe -30 m isobath using ArcGIS could not always bedone without a certain margin of error. However weconsider our area estimation a good and necessarystarting point to calculate a fishing quota. The fishingseason was not opened in 2009, as the sea cucumberdensity was calculated at a value substantially belowthe set limit reference point (11 ind/100 m2 in westernIsabela). Although the quota calculation of nearly600,000 sea cucumbers for 2009 was only a virtualquota because the season remained closed, it pro-vides a reference point for the future.Using the new approach, we calculated a hypo-thetical quota for each of the past years and then com-pared them with the annual sea cucumber catches(Figure 6). The newly calculated quotas based on seacucumber densities from pre-fishery population moni-toring were lower than the actual catches during mostof the years, except for 1999, 2001, 2007, and 2008,when the quota was slightly higher than the catch.The rather low sea cucumber catch in 2001 was aresult of an individual quota system applied for thefirst and only time, where each registered fishermanwas assigned a quota of 3174 sea cucumbers, whichthey could use or sell. Many vessel owners boughtquotas from other fishermen. However, they miscal-culated the economical limit of their fishing activities,which resulted in a total catch of only 60% of the over-all quota (2001 CDF-GNP Fishing Report). The virtualquota of 2007 and 2008 is rather high based on thehigh pre-fishery density estimates, which we believeis based on biased population monitoring and there-fore cannot be trusted in the same way as the 2009estimate.Of the 459 planned transects, only 383 (83%)were carried out during the 2009 pre-fishery monitor-ing due to financial constraints. This was the largestFigure 5. Mean densities (ind/100 m2) shown with standard deviation for the two depth strata, after using a re-sampling bootstrapmethod.Figure 6. Annual sea cucumber catches and the calculated quota based on this study in millions of individuals from 1999-2009 (2006season was closed).81development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 82number of circular transects ever completed in theGalapagos sea cucumber fishing areas during a pre-fishery monitoring. The precision around the meandensities differs between macrozones, with a coeffi-cient of variation (CV) ranging from 12.2% for easternEspañola to 81.2% for southern Fernandina (Table 1).These differences can be attributed to the number oftransects and the degree of patchiness of the seacucumbers in each zone. When the transect data areintegrated for each island, the respective density esti-mate is greatly improved, with CVs always <25%. Thetwo islands that had the highest transect numbers(Isabela with 125 and San Cristóbal with 97) had thelowest CV around the mean density estimate (11.6%and 13.3%, respectively). The density estimate for alltransects combined (3.93 ± 0.26; CV = 6.8%) can beconsidered of very high precision.Of all macrozones sampled, none reached thelimit reference point of 11 ind/100 m2 to open thefishery, which points to a very critical state of thestock. Several factors may explain this situation. Sincethe last strong El Niño in 1997/98, which apparentlyresulted in improved recruitment of sea cucumbersobserved during 2000-2002, the past ten years weredominated by cold waters (Sea Surface Temperaturedatabase of CDF) and no further recruitment boomhas been observed. This lack of recent recruitmentand the problem of a too small spawning stockremaining after each fishing season may have com-bined to reduce overall spawning activity as well aslarval and pre-recruit survival, thus not allowing thesea cucumber stock the chance to recover.Furthermore the catch quotas determined during theco-management process were often too high or notpresent at all as in 1999 and 2002, leaving behind astock too small to recover prior to the next season.The general problem was that the quota was set withno available estimate of the absolute stock size.The belief that sea cucumber densities may behigher in deeper waters, giving the stock a strengthin reserve if fishing pressure in shallower waters ishigh, was shown to be incorrect. This is an importantfinding since it removes the basis for the argumentthat a large portion of the stock is out there in deeperwaters where it cannot be caught.We believe that the monitoring and manage-ment strategy of the Galapagos sea cucumber stockpresented here is an important step towards a sus-tainable sea cucumber fishery. It is the first time thatan attempt has been made to estimate the size of theentire fishing area and of the fishable stock. Moreover,the monitoring was adapted to specific conditions -primarily size and sea cucumber patchiness of eachmacrozone. The suggested quota was set as a fractionof the stock size (12.2%), which makes it adaptive tonatural inter-annual stock fluctuations. If environmen-tal conditions are not too adverse in the coming years,the proposed strategy should allow for sustainableharvests while the sea cucumber stock rebuilds. Thisstrategy also seems economically viable for the man-agement authority since it only considers one annual,pre-fishery monitoring instead of two monitoring sur-veys as in previous years.AcknowledgementsWe want to thank all participants of the monitoring sur-vey of 2009 who contributed the data for this study.Special thanks goes to: José Pilamunga, PolibioEspinoza, Washington Bran, Javier Araujo, Luis Lozano,Freddy Lucas, Federico Parrales, Yafet Araujo, AdrianoYamuca, Fernando Vélez, Javier Camacho, CarlosLozano, Iván Maffare, PedroTipán, Luis Bonilla, GustavoGil, Harry Reyes, Juan Carlos Murillo, Jules Paredes,Gabriel Vásquez, Leonardo García, Wilson Fuertes,Onivid Ricaurte, Juan García, Yasmania Llerena,Yesmina Mascarell, Mario Villalta, Mauricio Ortega, JoséLuis Ballesteros, Jerson Moreno, Julio Delgado, SamClarke, and John Tiernan. Thanks for financial supportfrom the Galapagos National Park, the WWF, and thefishing sector.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo Geographic Footprint Section Title Page: Christophe Grenier
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201085Changes in land use and vegetativecover in the rural areas of Santa Cruzand San CristóbalGoverning Council of GalapagosIntroductionLand ownership and use in Galapagos began in 1832 when the firstcolonists initiated agricultural activities for their self-sustenance. Thisrepresented the first economic activity in the islands. Over the years,areas with urban and rural human settlements have undergoneimportant changes in land use and vegetative cover. In these areas,the propagation of invasive plant species represents a threat withsignificant socioeconomic and environmental consequences.In 1974 the Ecuadorian government designated the boundariesof the Galapagos National Park (GNP) and areas for urban and ruralhuman settlements. Land ownership was formalized by theEcuadorian Institute for Agricultural Reform and Colonization(known by the Spanish acronym IERAC). In the ensuing years, theresident population grew and caused greater changes in land useand vegetative cover. As a result, propagation of invasive species onSanta Cruz and San Cristóbal, the two islands with the greatesthuman population, increased significantly.This analysis of changes in land use and vegetative cover wasbased on the following studies:1. Maps of Vegetation Formations and Current Land Use devel-oped as part of the study entitled “Cartographic Inventory ofNatural, Geomorphic, Vegetative, Hydrological, Ecological andBiophysical Resources of the Islands of Santa Cruz and SanCristóbal,” (scale of 1:100.000) carried out by the NationalInstitute of Galapagos (INGALA-PRONAREG-ORSTOM) in 1987.Photo: Celso Montalvo
  • 862. Study of Topographic and ThematicCartography of the Galapagos Islands, carried outin 2006 by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) incooperation with the Center for IntegratedSurveys of Natural Resources through RemoteSensors (CLIRSEN), with the collaboration of theGNP-Ministry of the Environment and the CharlesDarwin Foundation (CDF).The current analysis was possible only for SanCristóbal and Santa Cruz because the 1987 INGALAstudy did not cover Isabela and Floreana.This and similar studies by INGALA (now a part ofthe Governing Council of Galapagos) will contributeto regional planning and public policy for the inte-grated management of resources such as water, soil,and vegetative cover. These resources are directlyrelated to the conservation of watersheds and thecharacteristics of the hydrologic cycle, and are impor-tant for improving storage capacity and/or produc-tion of water, especially in San Cristóbal where thereare important natural sources of fresh surface water.MethodsThis study was conducted by superimposing mapscreated in 1987 and 2006 in the urban and rural areasof Santa Cruz (8352.8 ha) and San Cristóbal (14,841.3ha). The changes in vegetative cover and land usewere compared and analyzed for the period 1987-2006, using the following steps:• The 1987 maps were transferred to digital for-mat using a scanner, geo-referencing, and digital-ization. These maps describe five main categoriesand sub-categories of vegetation formations andland use.• The 2006 maps describe 14 categories of vege-tation formations, which were combined into fivegroups to permit the superimposition of themaps and the comparison of similar categoriesfrom 1987.• The maps were superimposed using a digitalformat (Arc-GIS version 9.2 software) to generatenew maps that demonstrate the changes in landuse between 1987 and 2006.ResultsThe superimposed maps show major changes in thevegetation formations and land use in both SanCristóbal and Santa Cruz between 1987 and 2006, pri-marily due to the significant increase in the propaga-tion of invasive species. In addition there are other localsocioeconomic factors that contributed to the changesin the areas of human settlement in the two islands.Vegetation formations and land use are definedin categories and sub-categories as follows:1. Natural vegetation and pastures dominated bynative and endemic species (a total of 6884.7 habetween the two islands in 1987).2. Agricultural use with three sub-categories:2.1. Artificial pastures, associated with long-cycle cultivated plants (13,049.4 ha; the sub-cat-egory with the largest area of land in bothislands in 1987).2.2. Short-cycle and long-cycle cultivated plants(498.8 ha in 1987).2.3. Coffee dominated (1151.5 ha for bothislands in 1987, with a greater predominance inSan Cristóbal).3. Invasive species. In 1987 guava (Psidium guajava)forests occupied 1310.7 ha on the two islands androse apple (Syzygium jambos) occupied 62.1 ha.Other invasive species were not recorded, probablybecause of lower incidence in 1987.4. Populated centers. Because of the nature of thiscategory (primarily buildings and roads), the mapsdo not show any change in vegetative cover.However, they do show changes related to landoccupancy in the urban areas. In 1987, San Cristóbalhad a larger urban area than Santa Cruz, while todaythe opposite is true. Unfortunately, the 2006 mapsdid not document this type of information, so deter-mining the magnitude of the changes of land occu-pancy is impossible.San CristóbalThe greatest changes in vegetation over the 19-yearperiod are principally due to the propagation of inva-sive species in all of the categories of vegetation for-mations and land use, with the greatest changes inthree of the categories (Table 1; Maps 1 and 2). Of thetotal agricultural area in 1987 (8352.9 ha), 71% haddevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 87development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Changes in Vegetation Formations and Land Use between1987-2006No Change With ChangesVegetation Formations andLand Use in 1987ha % ha % DescriptionProtected area of the GNP (zonearound El Junco lagoon; 128.9ha)24.2 19 104.7 81Invasive vegetation: primarily Hillraspberry, guavaNatural vegetation and pasture(2936.1 ha)684.8 23 2251.3 77Cultivated plants; invasivevegetation; urban structuresArtificial pasturesassociated with long-cycle crops(2726.2 ha)551.7 20 2174.5 80Cultivated plants and invasivevegetation (quinine tree, Spanishcedar, rose apple, guava, Hillraspberry); infrastructureShort- and long-cyclecrops (498.8 ha)71.3 14 427.5 86Invasive vegetation (guava, Hillraspberry, rose apple); grasses;infrastructureAgriculturalUseCoffee dominant(595.0 ha)456.8 77 138.2 23Invasive vegetation (Spanishcedar, guava, Hill raspberry, roseapple); grasses; infrastructureInvasive vegetation:506.0 39 804.7 61Crops and grazing areas; mixedinvasive vegetation (Hill raspberry,guava, rose apple)InvasiveSpeciesInvasive vegetation:rose apple forests(62.1 ha)41.2 66 20.9 34Crops and pastures; invasivespecies (guava)areas (95.1 ha)95.1 100 -- --TOTAL 8352.9 ha 2431.1 29.1 5921.8 70.9Populated centers in the ruralguava forests (1310.7 ha)Source: Maps of Vegetation Formations and Current Land Use, INGALA-PRONAREG-ORSTOM, 1987; andVegetative Cover,Topographic andThematic Cartography of the Galapagos Islands byTNC, CLIRSEN, MAE, PNG,2006.Table 1. Changes in vegetation and land use in San Cristóbal, between 1987 and 2006.converted to invasive species by 2006, while only 21%remained unchanged.Natural vegetation: Of the 2936 ha in 1987, 77%(2251.3 ha) has changed to cropland and at the sametime has been invaded by introduced species. In SanCristóbal one can observe agricultural productionunits that have been semi-abandoned, probably dueto the low profit levels associated with this activitybecause of high production costs and lack of avail-able labor.Artificial pastures associated with long-cyclecrops: Of the 2726 ha in 1987, 80% (2174.5 ha)showed changes in 2006, corresponding to cropsand primarily to the presence of invasive species,especially rose apple, guava, and Hill raspberry(Rubus niveus).Short-cycle crops (vegetables and grains) and long-cycle crops (banana, sugarcane, and fruits): Of the498.8 ha in 1987, 86% (427.5 ha) was impacted princi-pally by invasive species.Invasive species: The areas in this category in 1987now show some positive environmental and socioeco-nomical effects. For example, of the 1310.7 ha of guavaforest identified in San Cristóbal in 1987, 61% (804.7 ha)has been converted primarily to crops and grazingland. But it must also be remembered that invasivespecies have been propagated transversally over theother categories (Table 1), with 68% (5643 ha) of theagricultural area affected by invasive species.Populated centers: Since populated centers in therural areas are relatively small, and this category wasnot included in the maps of 2006, no comparison inland occupancy was possible.
  • 88development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Map 1. Vegetation formations and land use in San Cristóbal in 1987.Map 2. Vegetation formations and land use in San Cristóbal in 2006.
  • Santa CruzAs in San Cristóbal, important changes wereobserved in Santa Cruz (Table 2; Maps 3 and 4). Ofthe entire agricultural area (14,841.3 ha), 50% had noobservable changes while 49% changed during theperiod 1987-2006.Natural vegetation comprised of both native andendemic species: 86% (3415.3 ha) of the 3948.7 hain 1987 changed to crops. This zone was affected bythe propagation of invasive species due to the semi-abandonment of areas previously used for agricul-tural production.Artificial pastures: This island had the most artificialpasture in 1987 (10,323.1 ha), of which 68% (7061 ha)remained in 2006.Coffee dominant: Of the 556.5 ha recorded in 1987,94% (522.0 ha) had been affected by invasive speciesduring the period analyzed (1987-2006).Short-cycle crops: Unlike San Cristóbal, there was nochange in Santa Cruz, primarily because the majorityof the land use is dedicated to extensive grazing andshort-cycle agriculture, which has become more tech-nical and more intensive in recent years. Although thiscategory does not appear in the analysis, it likelyexists in small areas at a scale too small to be meas-ured on the maps.Invasive species: In 1987, invasive species were notrecorded, probably due to their low incidence and thescale of the maps. Even so, in 2006 it was evident thatinvasive species had become propagated throughoutall categories of vegetation formations, with approxi-mately 50% (7199 ha) of the agricultural area affected.89development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010No Change With ChangesVegetation Formations andLand Use in 1987% haha % DescriptionProtected area of the GNP* -- -- -- --Natural vegetation andpastures (3948.7 ha)533.4 14 3415.3 86Artificial pasturesassociated with long-cycle crops(10,323.1 ha)7061.0 68 3262.1 32Crops; woody vegetation according toelevation; invasive species (quininetree, Spanish cedar, guava, Hillraspberry); infrastructureShort-cycle and long-cycle crops(0.0 ha)-- -- -- --Invasive vegetation (guava, Hillraspberry); pasture; vegetationassociated with each zone;infrastructureAgriculturalUseCoffee dominant(556.5 ha)34.5 6 522.0 94Invasive vegetation (Spanish cedar,guava, Hill raspberry); treesassociated with each elevation;pasture; infrastructureInvasiveSpeciesGuava forests,quinine tree, Hillraspberry (0.0 ha)-- -- -- --Populated centers in the ruralarea (13.0 ha)13.0 100 -- --TOTAL 14,841.3 7641.9 51.5 7199.4 48.5Crops; invasive vegetation;infrastructureChanges in Vegetation Formations and Land Usebetween 1987-2006Source: Maps of Vegetation Formations and Current Land Use, INGALA-PRONAREG-ORSTOM, 1987; andVegetative Cover, Topographic and Thematic Cartography of the Galapagos Islands by TNC, CLIRSEN,MAE, PNG, 2006.* There is no protected area in the human settlement zones on Santa Cruz.Table 2. Changes in vegetation formations and land use in Santa Cruz, between 1987 and 2006.
  • Map 3. Vegetation formations and land use in Santa Cruz in 1987.Map 3. Vegetation formations and land use in Santa Cruz in 2006.90development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 91development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Conclusions and recommendations1. The comparison and analysis of the 1987 and 2006maps resulted in five major categories and three sub-categories of vegetation formations and land use forthe human settlement areas of San Cristóbal andSanta Cruz. Changes during that period were greatestin San Cristóbal where 71% of the area (8352.9 ha)was affected. In Santa Cruz, 49% of the area (14,841.3ha) experienced significant changes.2. Natural Vegetation areas, composed of both nativeand endemic species, showed significant changestoward greater cultivation, pastureland, and presenceof invasive species. In San Cristóbal, only 23% (648.8ha) of the 2936 ha of natural vegetation existing in1987 remained. In Santa Cruz, only 14% (533.4 ha) of3948.7 ha remained.3. Pasture areas, a subcategory of cropland, showedsignificant changes during the study period. In SanCristóbal, 80% (2174.5 ha) of this subcategory wasaffected by invasive species and some of the area wasconverted to crops. In Santa Cruz, pasturelandshowed no significant changes.4. The crop land of San Cristóbal underwent impor-tant changes (86% or 427.5 ha), due in large part tothe propagation of invasive species caused by thesemi-abandonment of agricultural production units.In Santa Cruz the area with coffee as the dominantspecies was greatly affected by the presence of inva-sive species, such as the quinine tree (Cinchona suc-cirubra), guava and Hill raspberry, with 94% of thearea impacted (522.0 ha).5. Invasive species constitute the central majorthreat to the islands, especially in the agriculturalareas where they are widespread across all land cat-egories. In 1987 San Cristóbal had only 1310.7 ha ofguava forest in the agricultural area, while in 2006the forest was four times larger (5643 ha). In SantaCruz in 1987, the presence of invasive species wasnot recorded in the maps, while in 2006, 49% (7199ha) of the agricultural area was affected by invasivespecies.6. In addition to affecting the natural environmentand conservation of Galapagos, invasive species alsoimpact the profitability of agricultural production. It iscritical to support the public and private sectors in thedevelopment of environmentally-friendly productionprojects suited to the particular environment of theislands.7. Guava is one of the invasive species that has beenrecognized by land owners as providing various eco-nomic benefits. In San Cristobal, this species plays animportant role in the protection of the watersheds.Research on possible positive effects of some invasivespecies, such as guava, should be carried out.8. Public policies on land use and vegetative covershould be established and implemented in order topreserve remaining natural areas, provide incentivefor the recuperation of native and endemic vegeta-tion and habitats impacted by invasive species, and toprohibit human activities that are not compatiblewith the environment.
  • Photo: Monica Calvopiña
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201093SIMAVISSystem of Managing Visitors of theGalapagos National Park1Institute of Applied Ecology of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito2Galapagos National ParkGalapagos tourism was conceived as nature-based tourism that isselective, educational, and designed for individuals whose primaryinterest was to enjoy the wildlife of the islands (Reck et al., 2008). Thisfocus was reiterated in the Special Law for Galapagos (LOREG), theGalapagos Regional Plan, and the Special Regulation for Tourism inProtected Natural Areas (RETANP). Everyone recognized the eco-nomic and social importance of tourism development and the needto minimize negative impacts and threats to the fragile insular biodi-versity. The current Management Plan of the Galapagos NationalPark (PNG, 2005) reflects this same view.The tourism management practices used in Galapagos haveincluded the designation of specific visitor sites, the use of trails, tourboat itineraries, naturalist guides, and a permit and concession sys-tem. These practices have contributed to keeping ecological impactsin the visitor sites within acceptable and/or manageable levels. Fromthe beginning, visitor management and interpretation have focusedon providing travelers with the opportunity to experience natureclose up. Interpretation techniques have sought to foster apprecia-tion and understanding of Galapagos wildlife and landscapes.Currently, an array of tourism management tools, such asCarrying Capacity (Cayot et al., 1996), tourism monitoring (PNG,2000), and the Network ofVisitor Sites for Ecotourism (PNG, 2005), arebeing adapted and integrated based on current needs and realities.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • 12Public Use ZoningAVL (GAOT)3ItinerariesSIMAVISSIMAVIS4Tourism Monitoring5ManagementStrategies(in situ)Figure 1. Principal components of SIMAVIS: Public Use Zoning (PUZ), Acceptable Visitor Load (AVL) measured as the number of Groupsat any One Time (GAOT), regulation of itineraries, tourism monitoring, and management strategies to respond to negative impactsdetected that result from tourism activities.SIMAVIS establishes guidelines to optimize the man-agement of visitor sites and the natural and socialresources that attract visitors to Galapagos (Figure 2).SIMAVIS should not be seen as a tool that will solvethe complex problems of tourism in the archipelago.Rather, it is a methodology designed to systematizeand implement technical planning and managementtools related to the public use areas of the park.0%10%20%30%40%50%60%21%Reason for visit or resource attraction16%59%4%Relaxation and natureSports and adventureViewing wildlife, geology,and landscapesContact with the communityFigure 2. Results of the survey on GNP visitor satisfaction, “Motive for your visit to Galapagos,”carried out in the following visitor sites:Punta Suárez, Punta Espinoza, Bartolomé, North Seymour, Punta Cormorant, El Barranco, Sombrero Chino and Cerro Dragón (GNP data).94The result of this process is the System of ManagingVisitors (SIMAVIS) (Reck et al., 2008).SIMAVISSIMAVIS is an adaptive management tool that inte-grates and addresses five key elements: zoning,acceptable visitor load, itineraries, tourism monitoring,and visitor site management strategies (Figure 1). Itdraws on various methodologies and managementtools that have been adapted to Galapagos realities,including Visitor Experience and Resource Protection(VERP; United States National Park Service, 1993),which was derived from the concept of Limits ofAcceptable Change (LAC; Stankey et al., 1985), andzoning principles based on visitor activities and expec-tations, originally proposed in the RecreationalOpportunity Spectrum (ROS; Clark and Stankey, 1979).development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 1. Comparison between the visitor site zoning in the Management Plan of 2005 and theproposed zoning according to SIMAVIS.Zoning: Public Use Zones within theNetwork of Ecotourism Visitor Sitesof the GNPThe 2005 Management Plan of the GNP redefined cat-egories within the visitor site zoning system, based ona study of biophysical, social, and management con-siderations in each terrestrial visitor site. This resultedin the designation of six Public Use Zones (PUZ)encompassing 70 GNP visitor sites (Table 1).The new visitor site zoning system adapts themanagement approach defined in the GNPManagement Plan (PNG, 2005) to the current reality ofeach visitor site, based on biophysical elements (nat-ural state, uniqueness, fragility), social elements(number of visitors, frequency of visits), and manage-ment elements (current, necessary, and acceptablelevels of direct management intervention and/orinfrastructure).Figure 3. Volcán Alcedo, Isabela is designated as a Restricted visitor site due to its fragility. This site is undergoing recovery followingthe elimination of introduced species that caused major degradation of the environment. Photo: GNP, 2008.The Restricted Zone, the area of greatest protection,includes those visitor sites whose biophysical ele-ments are more intact, unique, fragile, and/or vulner-able. They are areas for specialized research, interpre-tation, and observation; visitors are required to justifytheir visit and must obtain authorization prior to visit-ing the site. Management guidelines restrict thenumber of groups and the number of individuals pergroup, and require visitors to pass through a quaran-tine process to avoid the introduction of species. Interms of management in situ, physical interventionsare limited to the minimum needed to ensure thesafety of visitors. This category includes Alcedo(Figure 3), Punta Tortuga Negra, and Daphne.95development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 4. Playa Espumilla, on Santiago was designated an Intensive – Natural site due to its conservation status, natural state, and rel-ative fragility related to the high density of nesting sea turtles. Photo. GNP, 2008.Figure 5. Cerro Dragón on Santa Cruz is an Intensive – Managed visitor site. The deterioration of the trail from trampling can be seenin the photo. This is an acceptable impact for this zone. Photo: GNP, 2008.96Intensive - Natural visitor sites have highly attractivebiophysical characteristics. They are not as fragile asRestricted sites and are generally not vulnerable toguided tourism activities (Figure 4). The social aspectsof visits should be geared to nature tourism, creatinga sense of isolation and solitude for visitors.Management interventions should seek only toensure the safety of visitors and the delineation oftrails with boundary markers.Visitor sites in the Intensive - Managed Zone usuallyprovide the same level of attraction and importance interms of biophysical elements as those in the Intensive- Natural zone. The difference is that in these areas thecurrent or potential accumulated impact of visitors(usually erosion) justifies more direct managementinterventions, such as wooden retention barriers, therelocation of rocks, construction of scenic viewingareas, handrails, etc. (Figure 5). The management ofimpacts allows for a broader profile of potential visitors,and decreases the need for specialized visits.Infrastructure for safety and orientation is acceptable.Visitor sites in the Intensive - Near Town Zone areeasily accessible to the local population and havenatural and/or historical-cultural resources of signif-icant interest (Figure 6). These sites and their bio-physical resources can have a moderate to high leveldevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 6. El Junco, San Cristóbal, an Intensive – Near Town visitor site is easily accessed by the local population. It has infrastructure tominimize trampling and erosion and to facilitate a broader array of visitors. Photo: María Casafont, 2006.Figure 5. Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz is a Recreational visitor site that is accessible by foot from the local town. Photo: GNP, 2008.of alteration from tourism and local traditional use.The social expectations associated with the visit aregenerally lower, allowing for greater numbers andinteraction of visitors, without losing the necessaryconditions for observation, contemplation, andinterpretation. A wider range of management inter-ventions are allowed at these sites, including infra-structure to increase access and safety for a broaderrange of visitors (steps, hardened trail surfaces,gates, scenic viewing areas, etc.) and to protect andrecover degraded resources.Recreational visitor sites have the same level ofaccessibility as Intensive - Near Town sites and offerinteresting opportunities for interpretation (Figure7). However, these sites have conditions that areappropriate for the development of more variedrecreational activities, provided they do not jeopard-ize the sites’ biophysical resources. Given the differ-ent types of activities permitted, larger numbers ofvisitors are possible and more infrastructure isacceptable, as long as it makes use of local and/orenvironmentally friendly resources and blends inwith the surrounding area.Finally, the Cultural - Educational Zone includesvisitor sites that are artificial or semi-natural, whosemain function is to provide environmental education97development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 8. The Interpretation Center of San Cristóbal is a Cultural - Educational visitor site, constructed specifically for educational activ-ities. Photo: GNP, 2007.Acceptable Visitor Load (AVL)Beginning in 1996, Carrying Capacity (CC) was themethod used to define the maximum number of visi-tors above which a visitor site’s ecosystem wouldbegin to degrade (Cayot et al, 1996). CC is estimatedusing a formula that has been proven to be unsuc-cessful at correctly estimating the optimum numberof visitors for each visitor site:1. CC of some visitor sites was overestimated(e.g., Sombrero Chino or Playa de las Bachas),while CC of others was underestimated (e.g.,Puerto Grande or Punta Carola).2. CC calculations did not consider acceptablesocial conditions during visits. Some sites thatwere not considered overused according to theircalculated CC are subject to complaints fromtourists regarding the excessive number of visi-tors (e.g., Sombrero Chino).3. CC determines the maximum number ofgroups per day at each visitor site, without con-sidering an optimum distribution of those groupsthroughout the day.4. Degradation at sites cannot always be direct-ly attributed to overuse. Some sites do sufferresource degradation that is not caused byexcessive numbers of visitors (e.g., PuntaCormorant or Caleta Tagus).SIMAVIS defines the Acceptable Visitor Load (AVL)at each visitor site, replacing the concept of CC. Thismanagement tool was introduced by Reck et al.(2008) and is being used by the GNP to determine itin-eraries beginning in 2010.The parameter used to determine the AVL in eachvisitor site is Groups at Any OneTime (GAOT). Nationalparks in the United States use a similar parameter,known as PAOT (People at Any One Time). This newapproach assumes that the quality of the visit and theenvironmental conditions at each visitor site do notdepend on the total number of visitors in one day orthe next, but rather on the number of people at thesite at any one moment.To estimate the AVL, a series of social and man-agement factors are considered, including previouslyunanalyzed variables such as the quality of visit andthe organization/management planning related tovisits (Table 2).When applying this concept, it is assumed thatthe goal is to achieve the fewest possible visitors in asite at any one time, in order to foster greater satis-faction among the visitors. Given the high levels ofdemand, this is not possible in many sites and parkmanagers must look for the best options to reduceinterference among groups.for tourists and the local population (Figure 8).Accessibility, the absence of fragile resources, and thephysical capacity of these sites make them appropriatefor larger groups of tourists.The definition of these six Public Use Zones providesa framework for the management of each visitor siteand a starting point for using SIMAVIS to determineother necessary measures and actions.98development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 2. Sample evaluation matrix to determine the number of groups that can visit a site at the same time.Tourism monitoringMonitoring is an ongoing management tool aimed atdetecting changes over the long term and making nec-essary decisions regarding actions needed to maintainand restore the desired conditions at each site.SIMAVIS provides a systematic and ongoingmonitoring protocol, using a group of quantifiableecological, physical, social, and management-relatedindicators. It also establishes the desirable conditionsand the limit for acceptable changes for each zoneand site.The new monitoring process was structured tointegrate different management tools. Modificationshave been made to the system for defining systemelements, updating information, analyzing data, andmaking management and policy decisions.Dynamic variables reflecting tourism-relatedchanges occurring in each visitor site (impacts on thenatural resources and the social quality of the visit)were used to define indicators (Table 3). Measurementunits were established for each indicator, as was fre-quency of data collection, those responsible for datacollection, and standards and limits of change associ-ated with the zones and visitor sites.Once problems are analyzed and causes of unac-ceptable situations are determined, all available man-agement responses are discussed by the appropriateauthorities. All possible alternatives for resolving aproblem or conflict are considered, including the possi-bility of no intervention (acceptance of the impact).Management strategiesMonitoring is the foundation for adaptive and partic-ipatory management of visitor sites and optimizingcapacity for corrective response. This includes theidentification of causes of impacts, which is fundamen-tal in determining response alternatives.Management alternatives can include bothdirect methods that regulate and control tourismactivity in situ and indirect methods that influencethe behavior of visitors. The level of direct interven-tion depends upon the zone to which a specific visi-tor site has been assigned.A proposal for management interventionsdesigned to improve the quality of visits and mini-mize the impacts of visitors was developed based onthe evaluation of the sites and a search for diversifiedtourism activities in and around the sites. Examplesof interventions already implemented include theconversion of dead-end trails to circular trails to avoidencounters between groups and to create moreopportunities for interpretive activities on new trails,hardening the surface of some trails to limit erosion,and the construction of infrastructure to facilitateaccess and/or increase visitor safety. These kinds ofchanges have been made at a number of sites includ-ing Tintoreras (Figure 10), Cerro Dragón, PuntaEspinoza, and Los Gemelos.ItinerariesOne of the most important uses of SIMAVIS is theoptimization of visitor flows at visitor sites throughthe organization and coordination of itineraries.Currently, many tourist boats visit certain visitor sitesat the same time, while other sites remain underuti-lized. The congestion of groups of tourists beyondthe Acceptable Visitor Load at some sites reducesthe quality of the visitor experience. An example ofsuch overcrowding is found at Punta Suarez (Figure11), one of the most emblematic visitor sites inGalapagos. All boats offering multi-day tours (691)99development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -20101 As of 31 December 2009, 69 tourist boats offering multi-day tours were in operation.
  • visit this site, and as many as 10 groups can be pres-ent at the same time.Various alternative proposals for adjusting the itin-erary system to current realities of Galapagos tourismare being developed. These proposals integrate all ofthe available management tools. Some of the newmeasures will be implemented starting in 2010.Conclusions and recommendationsThe GNP is currently in the final phase of implement-ing SIMAVIS. The participation of experts in tourismmanagement, naturalist guides, and tourism opera-tors is important at this stage. Tourism demand iswhat is creating pressure on visitor sites, and tourismoperators are in a unique position to help modifydemand and to adjust it to what the GNP offers. TheGNP and tourism operators are both interested inensuring the quality of the visitor experience andpreserving the park’s natural resources. Workingtogether, they need to redefine tourism opportuni-ties within the Network of Public Use Sites, and con-sider an array of adjustments such as changes in itin-eraries and visiting hours at tourist sites. Other alter-natives include:• Review and create micro-zones for ancillarytourism activities (snorkeling, panga rides, kayak-ing). Ancillary activities can help disperse groupsat visitor sites. However, some activities (snorkel-ing and panga rides, for example) are incompati-ble if carried out in the same area and must bedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010100Table 3. Summary of indicators for tourism management in the visitor sites.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010101segregated (e.g., Bartolomé; Figure 12). Micro-zoning will allow guides to engage their visitors inancillary activities based on the visitor saturationof the site at any given time, and time their visit onland to achieve the greatest level of exclusivity.• Identify alternatives to the most congested sitesto distribute tourist groups among sites that offerthe same or similar attractions.• Shift to 14-day itineraries, with the goal ofreducing pressure on the most critical sites by50%. In order to implement 14-day itineraries, itwill be necessary to first identify additional alter-native visitor sites.• Open new trails within current visitor sites toreduce congestion and bottlenecks; open newvisitor sites in cases where there is no potentialfor new trails.Figure 10. Map of the Tintoreras visitor site, showing the new trail. Source: Google Earth, 2008.Figure 11. Visitor congestion at the Punta Suarez visitor site. Photo: Roberto Plaza, 2008.
  • • Through the application of GAOT, establish amore effective system of rotating and timing vis-its, especially in the towns.• Require boats carrying the largest number ofvisitors to function according to the continentaltime zone (visiting sites one hour earlier than oth-ers). Some boats already function in this manner.• Optimize the distribution of arrivals and depar-tures of tourists, utilizing both major airports andadjacent visitor sites for the first and last days ofcruises.All of these elements should be considered and dis-cussed among the relevant stakeholders in order toreach consensus and achieve the management objec-tive of SIMAVIS, which is to organize tourism activitywithin the protected areas of the archipelago.This process is supported by the Management Plan ofthe GNP where it mentions that “management of theprotected areas of Galapagos should be governed byadaptive and precautionary principals, to achieve theobjectives of protection and conservation, as well asensure quality and safety.”development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010102Figure 12. Micro-zoning of the accessory activities in Bartolomé.. Source: Google EarthBartoloméAccessory activitiesSnorkelPanga Ride
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010103Water quality monitoring systemin Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, andIsabelaGalapagos National ParkIntroductionEconomic development and population growth in Galapagos havegenerated a significant increase in the demand for goods and serv-ices. The consumption of these goods generates human waste,which is often dumped directly into the subsoil or the sea. Thisresults in the contamination of surface seawater and the watertable, affecting human health and the fragile ecosystems of thearchipelago. Degradation of water can occur due to high concen-trations of nutrients (eutrofization) and contamination by fecal col-iform and heavy metals.Water quality is an important factor for the wellbeing of theGalapagos human population and the native flora and fauna.Regular monitoring of water quality, both on land and in the sea, isimportant for detecting changes in quality and implementing meas-ures to mitigate any contamination. This article presents the resultsof a 2008 analysis of water quality in eight sites on the three islandswith the greatest human population. It concludes with recommen-dations for the local population and the institutions responsible forwater management in the province.Monthly water quality monitoring began in Santa Cruz in 2005,led by the Galapagos National Park (GNP) with the support of theJapan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Water quality moni-toring was extended to San Cristóbal and Isabela in 2007. Currentlythe GNP runs this program on all three islands.A key objective of the program is to monitor the quality of thewater used for human consumption and domestic use. A total of seventerrestrial sites were selected in areas where the local municipalityPhoto: M. Verónica Toral Granda
  • Table 1. Water quality monitoring sites.Determination of the analyzed parametersNorms established under TULAS were used to selectthe parameters to be included in this study. Due tofinancial limitations, it was not possible to monitor allof the recommended parameters. Therefore, a prelim-inary analysis was conducted to determine theparameters considered the most important for deci-sion-making on water management for human anddomestic use and for the conservation of flora andfauna (Table 2).Table 2. Parameters analyzed in the water quality monitoring program in SantaCruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela.104extracts water for distribution to the population. Aneighth site, the Ninfas Lagoon in Santa Cruz, wasselected because it is an important recreational sitefor the residents of Puerto Ayora (Table 1). The foursites in Santa Cruz have been monitored since theproject began in 2005.Criteria for selecting sampling sitesVarious criteria were taken into account to select bothterrestrial and marine monitoring sites, includingaccessibility, representativeness, existing informationand data from previous studies, needs of users, andlevel of contamination. Both terrestrial and marinesites were selected in Santa Cruz, while in SanCristóbal and Isabela two terrestrial sites with waterfor human consumption and domestic use were cho-sen (Table1).Sampling characteristicsSites: Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and IsabelaSampling frequency: MonthlyAnalysis: Conducted in the Water QualityLab of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) andEnvironmental Chemistry Lab of the CentralUniversity of EcuadorMaximum Permissible Limits (MPL): Normsestablished under the national environmentallegislation TULAS (Texto Unificado de laLegislación Ambiental Secundaria, 31 March2003)development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 1. Measuring dissolved oxygen and pH of the water in the Ninfas Lagoon, Santa Cruz.ResultsThe results of the study show that with the notableexception of fecal coliform, the parameters monitoredfall within the maximum allowable limits for water usedfor human consumption and domestic use (Table 3).The monitoring stations in the highlands andthose close to the sea measured lower levels of salinity,pH, and dissolved oxygen than water on the continent.Table 3. Average annual values registered during 2008 for each parameter measured in the different sampling sites in SantaCruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela.* Fresh water.105development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • In the case of El Manzanillo in Isabela, the level of fecalcoliform during 2008 averaged 756 colonies per 100ml (Table 3). This indicates that although the level ofcontamination is approximately 40% less than at theColegio San Francisco Crevice, the water is unsuitablefor human consumption.Another site showing high contamination byfecal coliform was the house selected at random inPuerto Villamil, where the results showed levels of1011 colonies per 100 ml.Houses monitored in Puerto Baquerizo Morenoregistered an average of 433 colonies per 100 ml, andthe Ninfas Lagoon in Santa Cruz had an average of481.1 colonies per 100 ml (Table 3).Only the Municipal Plant in San Cristóbal showedno presence of fecal coliform in 2007-2008, while theDeep Well and the INGALA Crevice, both in SantaCruz, had annual averages in 2008 of nine coloniesper 100 ml and 18 colonies per 100 ml, respectively.The levels at these two sites in Santa Cruz were muchlower than the other sites monitored (Table 3).The INGALA Crevice is the source of 70% of thewater extracted by the municipality of Puerto Ayorafor distribution to the local population. Only 27% ofthe water is taken from the Colegio San FranciscoCrevice.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Fecal coliformIn 2008 the average concentration of fecal coliformin the Colegio San Francisco Crevice in Santa Cruzwas 1236 colonies per 100 ml of water, compared tothe norm established by TULAS of 600 colonies per100 ml (Table 3). The World Health Organization(WHO) recommends even more conservative levelsof zero colonies per 100 ml for drinking water. Bothstandards confirm that the water from the Crevice isnot suitable for human consumption.106Figure 2. Fecal coliform density in January, April, August, and December of 2008 in Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela.Table 4. Average annual values of fecal coliform recorded during the years 2005, 2007, and 2008, in the sampling sites onSanta Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela.* No analysis was done.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010107The levels of fecal coliform contamination exceed thelimits set by TULAS in some sites (Table 4). However,following the completion of this study, considerablylower levels of fecal coliform were measured in NinfasLagoon and in the Colegio San Francisco Crevice(Santa Cruz). This reduction is probably the result ofmitigation measures implemented after the study waspresented to local authorities and the general publicthrough meetings, workshops, and conferences.Although results varied slightly from one site tothe next, parameters other than fecal coliform fellwithin the limits for human consumption (Table 3). Itappears that fecal coliform is the parameter of greatestconcern and which requires most urgent attention.Conclusions and recommendationsBased on the results of this study, the following con-clusions and recommendations are presented:• Direct comparison of water quality among thethree islands is not possible, given that SanCristóbal uses fresh water from the highlands(precipitation) for human consumption anddomestic use, while Isabela and Santa Cruz relyon brackish water, which is extracted from sub-terranean fissures.• Due to the high levels of fecal coliform contami-nation detected in the Colegio San FranciscoCrevice in Santa Cruz and in El Manzanillo inIsabela, these sites should be closed and no longerused for human consumption and domestic use.• The high concentration of fecal coliform in theNinfas Lagoon in Santa Cruz suggests that thereis inadequate management of water run-off inthe surrounding area. Mitigation measuresshould be coordinated by the appropriate institu-tions. Recreational use of the area for swimmingand snorkeling should be avoided.• It is critical for all institutions in Galapagos tobecome involved and work in a coordinated man-ner to conserve water resources, which are criticalfor a high quality of life for the local population.• It is important to include biological parame-ters, such as phytoplankton, zooplankton,chlorophyll, and organic carbon in future analy-ses. This information would help to determinepossible sources of contamination and neces-sary mitigation measures.Photo: Mary Witoshynsky
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010108Rapid, recent and irreversiblehabitat loss: Scalesia forest onthe Galapagos IslandsCharles Darwin FoundationIntroductionThe Galapagos biota has suffered few extinctions, due mainly to thelate colonization by humans and the high level of protection on mostof the archipelago as an uninhabited national park. Thus, the sameradiations of finches, mockingbirds, and giant tortoises that inspiredDarwin in formulating his theory of evolution can still be observedtoday. However, land use change on the four inhabited islands (SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Isabela) has affected much of thenatural vegetative cover in the highlands. It is estimated that onthese islands 29,600 ha of the highlands (33% and 49% respectivelyof the humid and very humid vegetation zones) have been altereddue to the combined presence of invasive plants and agriculture(Watson et al., 2009).In this paper we present all available spatial information on theScalesia forest community to evaluate the impacts of human-induced changes on its distribution. In particular we reconstructthe historical range of the forest dominated by S. pedunculata andS. cordata (Lawesson et al., 1987; Adsersen, 1990; Itow, 1995). Usingavailable evidence we then document the current extent of theseforests to estimate the proportion that remains and analyze rea-sons for the dramatic and rapid loss of this unique habitat type.The genus ScalesiaScalesia is one of the seven endemic plant genera of the GalapagosIslands. The genus includes 15 species, with 21 taxa distributed on allexcept four of the main islands (Eliasson, 1974). Some species aredevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Photo: Jacintha Vanbeveren
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010109development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010widely distributed whereas others are single islandendemics. Most are shrubs found dispersed withinthe arid and transition zones, but three species, S.pedunculata, S. cordata, and S. microcephala, are treesthat occur in dense forests as the dominant plantspecies. These forests are mainly found in the humidhighlands and are structurally unique. Tree Scalesiashave a very short life cycle. Seeds germinate in forestclearings, reaching 4-4.5 m in height in one year, and10-15 m at maturity.They start to produce flowers andfruits at 1-2 years of age, and live for about 25 years(Itow, 1995). Cohort recruitment has been noted to belinked to El Niño events that affect the archipelagoperiodically. The increased rain appears to result in amassive dieback of adult plants and mass recruitmentfrom the seedbank (Lawesson, 1988; Itow andMueller-Dombois, 1988).Scalesia forestScalesia pedunculata forests occur in the transitionaland humid zones of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal,Floreana, and Santiago, while S. cordata forests arerestricted to Cerro Azul and Sierra Negra volcanoes onIsabela (Wiggins and Porter, 1971; Hamann, 1981).Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Floreana, and Sierra Negravolcano (Isabela) are the only inhabited regions of thearchipelago (with the exception of military bases andan airport on Baltra), and the highlands of each havebeen severely affected by human presence due toagricultural activities and invasive species. WhileCerro Azul volcano (Isabela) and Santiago Island areunpopulated, they have also been severely degradedby introduced herbivores and invasive plant species.Scalesia forest distributionHistorical distribution (1915)Information on the historical distribution of theScalesia forest comes from observations of Stewart(1915) who described the vegetation as he walkedalong transects from the coast to the peaks of differ-ent islands. These surveys suggest that the upperslopes of San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Santiago,Floreana, and Isabela were all dominated by Scalesiaforests. For example, on Santa Cruz, he reported thatdense forests between 150 and 580 m were largelymade up of S. pedunculata. This corresponds to anarea of 9600 ha. Stewart also noted that above 80 min elevation on Sierra Negra volcano (Isabela), the for-est consisted mostly of S. cordata and Sapindussaponaria. He recorded that a considerable amount ofS. cordata forest had already been cleared away onSierra Negra, and estimated an original range of over17,300 ha. On Santiago, Stewart (1915) estimated thatthe Scalesia forest covered at least 1000 ha of theisland.Distribution changes from 1960-1990Ground surveys carried out between 1960 and 1980indicate without exception the considerable decreasein area covered by Scalesia forest (Elliason, 1984;Hamann, 1984). Forest stands on the southern slopesof Santa Cruz have not existed since 1964, with thelast trees cleared in the 1970s (Itow, 1995). In addition,studies in the 1980s (Adsersen, 1989) mention onlyone small area of humid Scalesia forest on the north-ern slope of the same island. By 1975 on Santiago,only a few trees remained due to intense grazing byintroduced goats (van der Werff, 1978, 1979; Hamann,1975). On San Cristóbal, the original S. pedunculataforest had been completely destroyed by 1986 withonly a few trees on a steep and inaccessible cliffalong a watercourse on the south side of the islandremaining (Itow, 1995). The same study mentionsthat on Floreana there was still a good but smallstand of S. pedunculata in 1991 (Itow, 1995). The firstvegetation maps for the archipelago were compiledin 1987, using aerial photographs and field notestaken between 1980 and 1985 (INGALA et al., 1989).For Santa Cruz, the area covered by S. pedunculataforest indicated on the maps can be estimated at1852 ha or 19% of the original extent.Current distribution (2009)Recent information from field surveys and herbari-um sample locations provide a current estimate of amaximum of 100 ha of Scalesia forest on Santa Cruz.This represents 1.1% of the original forest (Figure 1).In San Cristóbal, there is no Scalesia forest left (0% ofthe original distribution), while in Santiago theremaining area is restricted to within the five fencedareas that were constructed between 1974 and 1999and covers a total of 1.1 ha (less than 0.1% of theoriginal distribution). There may be a little moreremaining on Floreana, but data collection there isnot yet complete.Studies of the distribution of S. cordata on south-ern Isabela carried out by Delgado (1997) and Shimizu
  • 110development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010(1997) provide data on the location and size of currentremnants on Sierra Negra volcano, which in totalcover less than 10 ha, with only two of the forest rem-nants covering more than 2 ha. Moreover, Jaramilloet al. (2006) found that most of these remnants wereheavily invaded by the introduced Psidium guajava.We estimate that there has been a loss of 99.9% of S.cordata forest on Sierra Negra (Figure 2).DiscussionWhile extensive loss of forest in the highlands, due tohabitat destruction, herbivory, and invasive plantspecies, is commonly recorded, this is the first timethat the actual extent of habitat loss of S. pedunculataand S. cordata forest in Galapagos has been calculated.The results indicate an almost complete loss of anentire vegetation type on the inhabited islands of thearchipelago.The rapid reduction of Scalesia forest during theearly 20th century occurred as a result of directhuman destruction for wood and clearing of forestsfor agriculture on all the inhabited islands (Lundh,2006).Water is a critical resource in Galapagos and theScalesia forest zone occurs in the only zone of theislands with reliable water availability, due to garúamists during the cold season. In addition, on southernIsabela, major fires in 1985 and 1995 led to thereplacement of remaining fragments of S. cordata for-est by the invasive Psidium guajava (Nowak et al.,1990), due to the ability of the latter to resprout afterfire (Delgado, 1997; Shimizu, 1997).High densities of introduced goats were themain factor for the loss of the Scalesia forest zone onthe uninhabited island of Santiago (de Vries andCalvopiña, 1977). Now that herbivores have beeneradicated there (Cruz et al., 2005; Guo, 2006; Carriónet al., 2007), the vegetation is recovering, eventhough invasive plants are beginning to becomeincreasingly problematic (Atkinson et al., 2008).However, since the eradication of goats in 2006, noregeneration of S. pedunculata has been observedoutside the fenced areas despite the ability ofScalesia to reach maturity within one year of germi-nation. However, it is hoped that in the future thisspecies and the forests might regenerate.On the inhabited islands, Scalesia forest has notreturned to abandoned agricultural land due to thecompetitive ability of invasive plants. In Isabela manyof these areas are now covered in dense Psidium gua-java forests, while in Santa Cruz several farms are stilldominated by introduced pasture 50 years after theirabandonment. In addition, the small forest remnantsthat were never cleared are being invaded by intro-duced plant species, such as Cedrela odorata,Cinchona pubescens, and Rubus niveus (Rentería andBuddenhagen, 2006; Jaramillo et al., 2006). While thisreview does not consider the S. cordata forest onCerro Azul volcano as there is very little spatial infor-mation about this area, a recent field survey found asmall forest of 18 ha on the flank of the volcano at anelevation of 200-300 m, surrounded by an extensiveforest of Psidium guajava (Guezou, A. CDF, pers. obs.).Active management to help restore these areas iscomplicated by the difficulties of controlling fastgrowing and competitive invasive plant species. Thisproblem is compounded in the National Park areas ofCerro Azul and Sierra Negra, where ungulates contin-ue to eat the bark and young of S. cordata, and dis-perse the seeds of the introduced Psidium guajava.Although weed control is carried out in priority sites,to date it has had little impact on forest regenerationdue to the large and persistent seed banks of invasivespecies and their rapid growth rate (Gardener et al.,this volume). The invasion of these areas is madeworse by the effect of El Niño events, which increaseforest vulnerability to invasion by plants due to gapformation and heavy rainfall. It is likely that this threatwill become more severe as these events increase infrequency and intensity as predicted under climatechange models (Mitchell et al., 2003).RecommendationsA program of active and focused research as identi-fied in Gardener et al. (this volume) needs to be initi-ated to inform and optimize the restoration of theremaining fragments of Scalesia forest, and to providea sound methodology for the successful reestablish-ment of areas within the natural distribution.
  • 111development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Figure 1. Maps of vegetation types showing the Scalesia pedunculata forest (in red) onSanta Cruz, with historical distribution above and current distribution below.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010112Figure 2. Maps of vegetation types showing the Scalesia cordata forest (in red) on southernIsabela, with historical distribution above and current distribution below. The largest redpoints represent remnants of forest of more than 2 ha. .
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010113The commercial sector ofPuerto Ayora and its relationto the environment1Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, 2Charles Darwin Foundation,3University of NantesTourism is the principal economic activity of Galapagos, particularly inPuerto Ayora, the largest city in the archipelago. Increasing economicflows into Galapagos have generated new demands among the localpopulation. The local commercial sector has grown to respond tothose demands and has significantly increased the number of avail-able products. The principal streets of Puerto Ayora are lined withshops selling artisan goods, t-shirts, computers, household appliances,as well as internet cafes, restaurants, laundromats, and even supermar-kets where one can find a wide variety of national and internationalproducts. This proliferation of shops is transforming the urban land-scape of Galapagos into one similar to those found on the continent.One of the keys to long-term conservation of Galapagos is thecollaboration and commitment of the archipelago’s residents. It isimportant to understand how the local population views and val-ues their surroundings. Although various surveys and studies havemeasured public opinion of the local population regarding its rela-tion to Galapagos ecosystems, little attention has been focused onspecific social sectors. Among these, one of the largest and leaststudied is the commercial sector, which is comprised of merchantsand small shop owners.There is a clear division in the commercial sector of PuertoAyora between businesses serving tourists and those serving thelocal population. The highest concentration of businesses is foundon Charles Darwin Avenue, which runs along the shoreline, andBaltra Avenue (Figure 1), with businesses targeted to tourists pri-marily on Charles Darwin Avenue and some on the first few blocksof Baltra Avenue (Photo 1). Businesses located farther up BaltraPhoto: Emmanuel Cléder
  • Figure 1. Map of the businesses in Puerto Ayora, October 2009.114Avenue and dispersed throughout the secondarystreets of Puerto Ayora primarily serve the local pop-ulation. Many homes have small shops offering afew products primarily to their nearest neighbors.The commercial sector is quite dynamic. After themap for this study was completed, several business-es closed and others opened.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo 1. Souvenir shops along Charles Darwin Avenue, Puerto Ayora. Photo: Lenin Dávila.Characterization of the commercial sectorMore than half (52%) of the merchants and shop own-ers in Puerto Ayora’s commercial sector came from theEcuadorian Andes, with the greatest percentage(23%) originally from the province of Tungurahua,while 32% came from coastal Ecuador and 4% fromother countries. The remaining 14% was born inGalapagos. The majority of those surveyed arrived inthe islands between 1991 and 2000 (Figure 2). Nearlya fifth (18%) of those surveyed indicated that theyarrived in the islands after the enactment of theSpecial Law of Galapagos in 1998, despite immigra-tion restrictions included in the law.115development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Figure 2. Year of arrival in Galapagos.Source: Opinion Survey carried out in Puerto Ayora in October-November 2009 (N=100).This article is based on research carried out in Octoberand November 2009 as part of the GeographicFootprint Project of the Charles Darwin Foundation.One hundred businesses in Puerto Ayora were sur-veyed to gain an understanding of the economics ofthis sector, the views of local merchants, their busi-ness practices and travel within and outside the archi-pelago, and their relation to their environment. Theanalysis of these surveys attempts to identify the prin-cipal concerns of the commercial sector and how itsmembers value the natural and social environment inwhich they live.
  • Figure 3. Number of salaried employees in the business.Source: Opinion Survey carried out in Puerto Ayora in October-November 2009 (N=100).Still, 9% of those surveyed plan to contract anemployee soon; 6% said they would prefer anemployee from the continent because “local workerscharge more and don’t work well.” Bringing anemployee from the continent creates a situation ofdependence on the part of the employee. It is easierfor an employer to manage someone who comes to aplace where they don’t know anyone and when theironly objective is to work.A number of businesses, generally the largerones, chose not to share information regardingincome and salaries. Twenty percent of the ownersindicated they earned between US$100 to US$500per month, which is minimal considering the highcost of living in Galapagos. Twenty-two percentearned between US$501 to US$1000; this groupincluded many of the souvenir shops that serveEcuadorian tourists. Fourteen percent reportedincome between US$1001 and US$2000; these busi-nesses offer a wide assortment of supplies and liquor.Those reporting income between US$2001 andUS$5000 (11%) include businesses that cater to inter-national tourists. Nine employees were also askedabout their salaries; seven reported salaries betweenUS$200-400, while two earn between US$600-700.The survey revealed that income and salariesrange from relatively high to barely sufficient to keepa business in operation. The most successful business-es are souvenir shops located close to the shorewhere visitors pass on their way from the municipaldocks to the Charles Darwin Research Station.Under current conditions, 73% of business own-ers do not invest in their shops beyond maintainingmerchandise. Of the 27% planning to make addition-al investments, most intend to diversity their productline (10%) or enlarge the physical space of their shop(7%) (Figure 4).While many businesses do not serve tourists astheir principal clients, all of the merchants surveyed,even those that specifically target the local popula-tion, indicated that they depend on economic flowsgenerated by tourism. Business activity is closely tiedto the income of those who live in Puerto Ayora, andthose incomes are very closely related to tourism.MigrationTwenty-five percent of merchants surveyed had afavorable opinion of immigration, while 53% said thatit was harmful and 22% responded that it had both116Forty-seven percent of the businesses in the studywere established during the last decade, 29%between 1991 and 2000, and only 7% between 1970and 1990. The remaining 17% of the businesses wereacquired as functioning establishments. The vastmajority of the businesses surveyed (76%) beganoperations in the last 20 years, which corresponds tothe period of rapid growth of Galapagos tourism, thelocal population, and an increase in income of theinhabitants of Puerto Ayora.In terms of employment offered by these busi-nesses, nearly half (47%) are run by the owners orfamily members and do not contract any employees(Figure 3). According to those surveyed, these busi-nesses do not generate sufficient income to be ableto contract additional employees. Approximately athird of the businesses (32%) contract one employeeand 11% have two salaried employees.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 4. Areas in which the business owner plans to invest (73% of the respondents are not included as they had no plans for invest-ment in their businesses).Source: Opinion Survey carried out in Puerto Ayora in October-November 2009 (N=100).117development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010positive and negative aspects. Some of those whoconsidered immigration harmful indicated that thosearriving from the continent “take jobs from perma-nent residents” (30%; Figure 5). Those with a positiveview towards immigration highlighted the fact thatthe migrants “work better and charge less” (18%).Twenty-three percent indicated that immigrationbrings with it problems including overpopulation andenvironmental degradation. It was generally agreedthat newcomers to Galapagos do not understandconservation and consequently have a negativeimpact on the environment.Figure 5. Opinions of merchants regarding immigrants to Galapagos.Source: Opinion Survey carried out in Puerto Ayora in October-November 2009 (N=100).The results of this survey differed from one carriedout among the general population in 2006 (Barberand Ospina, 2008), in which 81% of the populationagreed with the phrase “the more people that live inthe islands, the greater the environmental damage,”and 86% agreed that “immigration increases crime.”Some of the variation in these perceptions could bedue to the fact that the principal concern of the com-mercial sector is the growth of competition, whichmeans that the principal threat that immigrationbrings is the possibility that their business will fail.Still, approximately 10% showed their support formore immigrants, given that new residents will fre-quent their shops.
  • Mobility and travelIn terms of travel within Galapagos, 13% of those sur-veyed had never left Santa Cruz and 13% indicatedthat they know most or all of the inhabited and unin-habited islands of the archipelago (Figure 6). Theremaining 74% know only Santa Cruz and one otherisland.118development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010The island most frequently visited by members of theSanta Cruz commercial sector is San Cristóbal, with40% of those surveyed reporting that they had beenthere: 75% traveled there for work and government-related business and 25% for personal reasons.Isabela had been visited by only 31% of the mer-chants surveyed, 58% for tourism (because of its tran-quility and landscapes) and 42% for personal or busi-ness reasons. Those who visited Isabela agreed that itis a beautiful place but that they would not choose tolive there because of its isolation, the lack of localactivity, the small population, and the introvertedbehavior of its inhabitants. Those who indicated theyhad visited “all” of the islands had worked previouslyin the tourism sector.In terms of transportation within Puerto Ayora,38% indicated that they use bicycles, 33% prefer towalk, and 29% alternate between walking and motor-ized vehicles. In spite of the fact that nearly 70% indi-cated concern about the noise and pollution associat-ed with the growth of the motorized fleet of SantaCruz, 35% of those surveyed own a motorcycle, taxi,or truck.Visits to the continent are common among themerchants of Puerto Ayora (77%): 35% make the triponce each year and 42% make trips two or more timesper year. The most frequent destinations areGuayaquil (35%), Quito (30%), and Ambato (17%). The23% that does not make planned annual trips tend togo to the continent when confronted with an emer-gency. When asked about their reasons for remainingin the islands, almost all agreed that they would liketo go to the continent more frequently but could notdue to the cost (about US$120 for a Galapagos-Guayaquil-Galapagos ticket at resident rate). Reasonsfor trips to the continent include family visits (32%),vacation (23%), and medical services (22%). Most ofthose surveyed agreed that they do not trust doctorsworking in Galapagos, and that“any illness more seri-ous than a cold should be treated on the mainland.”All agreed that health care in Galapagos is poor andmore should be done to attract doctors and special-ists to the islands.When asked if they would be willing to move tothe continent, 62% said no. They prefer to remain inthe islands because they are accustomed to thelifestyle and have family ties. Also, they have work inthe islands and are concerned about the level ofcrime that is common in big cities. Eighty-four percentof those surveyed indicated that tranquility—thesecurity and peace offered by life in the islands—isone of the most important and valued aspects ofGalapagos life.One quarter of those surveyed, however, wouldlike to return to their native city. Many miss familymembers left behind and the familiarity of their homeFigure 6. Islands visited by those surveyed;“all”was the response of those who had worked in tourism.Source: Opinion Survey carried out in Puerto Ayora in October-November 2009 (N=100).
  • Photo: Christophe Grenier119development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010town or city. Others are considering a return to thecontinent because“the situation in Galapagos is moreand more difficult,” “everything is more expensive,”and “Galapagos isn’t like it was when we arrived.”Twelve percent of respondents are currently evaluat-ing the possibility of returning to live on the continentpermanently.Leisure timeForty-nine percent of those surveyed reported thatthey have little free time and that work demandstheir presence a minimum of six days a week. Anyfree time is dedicated to rest and taking care of thehome. The other 51% divides their free time betweentaking walks, going out to eat, and visiting beachesor the highlands. The most well-known recreationalsite in Santa Cruz is Tortuga Bay (48%), followed bythe Charles Darwin Research Station (10%),Garrapatero (9%), Las Grietas (6%), and the Playa delos Alemanes (6%). However, the area most visited bymerchants is the highlands; more than 85% visitBellavista at least one each month. Reasons for thevisits include the opportunity to spend time withfamily, traditional food offered on Sundays, and thechance to play volleyball.The ocean plays an important role in the lives ofinhabitants of any island. Seventy-eight percent ofthe individuals surveyed in this study indicated thatthey like the ocean, while 22% responded that theyprefer to stay away from the water or that they like tolook at it but don’t like to swim. In terms of encounterswith marine life, 15% had never seen a marine iguana,sea lion, or sea turtle while swimming. Approximately60% responded that if they encountered one of theseanimals they would do nothing, while 15% would getout of the water or move away from the animal.Sharks and rays cause the greatest fear among thosesurveyed, although nearly 30% had never seen one.All of the respondents emphasized the importance ofnot disturbing native fauna. In this sense it appearsthat conservation principals—at least in a theoreticalsense—have been assimilated by those surveyed.Even so, many respondents have not had the oppor-tunity to experience nature close up and to develop adeeper understanding of their surroundings.DevelopmentOpinions of this sector are divided regarding develop-ment in Galapagos. Twenty-five percent believe thatdevelopment is good and that the construction ofmajor public works should continue because it resultsin better services, an improved quality of life, andgreater ease in obtaining certain products (Figure 7).However, 31% think that development is occurringtoo rapidly. Those who have lived the longest inGalapagos have positive memories of the days whenthere was no public lighting in Puerto Ayora, electric-ity was available only until 11 PM, and there was verylittle crime. Even so, it is difficult for them to imaginelife in Galapagos without current amenities and com-fort. There exists a clear tension between “conserva-tion”and the search for comfort. Increasingly the con-tinental lifestyle is the point of reference forGalapagos residents when imagining the most attrac-tive lifestyle for Galapagos.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010120Figure 7. Opinions regarding development.Source: Opinion Survey carried out in Puerto Ayora in October-November 2009 (N=100).ConclusionResponses from the survey questions posed by theauthors revealed a growing economic sector inGalapagos with little connection to the unique envi-ronment of the archipelago. The commercial sectoris a relatively new player in the Galapagos land-scape, with most businesses having been estab-lished in the last twenty years. There appears to beno integration of the industry, its employees, and itseconomic trajectory into a long-term vision that val-ues sustainable and island-appropriate develop-ment. While the tourism industry is flagged byrespondents as a critical economic driver of the com-mercial sector (including tourists themselves andthe growing local population that depends ontourism), the survey responses did not indicate thatthe businesses themselves take a proactive stance toprotect the natural assets of Galapagos, which sup-port and encourage tourism.With this as background, and reflecting theupward trajectory of new and growing businessesevidenced in the data, there is a compelling ration-ale for working with local businesses to increasetheir appreciation and direct engagement in conser-vation management and sustainable practices.Business owners surveyed indicate that they areuncomfortable with the speed with which the sectoris growing, but acknowledge that development pro-vides an increasing level of comfort similar to thatfound on the continent. The surveys also indicate adeep dependence on the part of the merchants ofPuerto Ayora on mainland services, in particular forpublic health and a workforce, dependencies thatcould be reduced if these resources were improvedand more available in Galapagos. The challengeposed by this and other responses will be to estab-lish a uniquely Galapagos lifestyle to which busi-nesses and individuals can align their interests andbehavior – a lifestyle that ensures the protection ofthe very assets on which their livelihoods depend.The path to a singular and adapted Galapagoslifestyle, including the commercial sector of PuertoAyora, can be attained through the reduction in thegeographic opening of the archipelago.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010121The geographic openingof Galapagos1Charles Darwin Foundation, 2Université de NantesIntroductionThe “geographic opening” of a region describes the deep ecologicaland/or social transformations of that region caused by its full inte-gration with the globalized world, through numerous transport andcommunications networks and subsequent flows. This concept wasfirst created to analyze weaknesses in Galapagos conservationefforts (Grenier, 2007) and has since been more broadly used. Forexample, it is found in the second article of the draft for the newSpecial Law for Galapagos and was the theme of the internationalworkshop on sustainability of islands hosted by the Charles DarwinFoundation in March 2010. The concept of geographic openingcould be useful in advancing both the conservation and socioeco-nomic sustainability of the Galapagos.This article begins with a discussion of the role of isolation inoceanic islands. It then describes the human history of Galapagos asa process of geographic opening that has been fostered, not limited,by conservation efforts. Next it analyzes how the geographic openingof Galapagos is manifested in the spatial organization of the archipel-ago, which has led to an ecological and socio-cultural process of“con-tinentalization”of the islands. Finally, it concludes with a proposal forestablishing a policy of sustainable conservation for Galapagos thatwill reduce the geographic opening of the archipelago withoutremoving sources of income for the insular population.Oceanic islands as natural and geographic regionsThe adaptation of organisms to the geographic diversity of theEarth has resulted in the formation of biodiversity. During most ofhuman history, societies have adapted to terrestrial diversityPhoto: Christophe Grenier
  • 122through cultural diversification and more preciselythrough geographic diversification processes. Eachhuman society has had a lifestyle in accordance withits ideas, values, technology, and the naturalresources of the area it inhabits. Consequently, eachsociety has left footprints on the surface of the earth(or “geo-graphs”) specific to their location and cul-ture. The processes of biological and cultural diversi-fication form natural regions (“eco-regions”) and geo-graphic regions. A region is an area of medium scale(from hundreds to thousands of km2) that is distin-guished by its natural features and/or geographyfrom other spatial entities of similar dimensions.Oceanic islands are natural regions characterizedby long-term ecological isolation (hundreds of thou-sands to millions of years). The oceanic barrier that iso-lates islands from continents is not impermeable, but itfunctions as a filter. Before the arrival of humans, onlyrepresentatives of a few species were able to colonizethese islands, resulting in low biodiversity and dishar-monic flora and fauna in relation to that of the nearbycontinent. Once these organisms established them-selves on the islands, they were separated from theirpopulations of origin by the ocean, allowing for diver-gent evolution and in some cases the eventual forma-tion of endemic species, specifically adapted to theseisolated, relatively small regions of low biodiversity.Due to their isolation, some oceanic islands con-stitute the last places on Earth to have been populat-ed by humans. Once humans arrived on an oceanicisland, its ecological isolation depended upon thegeographic isolation of the society that colonized it.In some cases when the first humans settled onislands, they formed geographic regions that were inlarge part isolated from the rest of the world duringhistorical times. One example of insular isolation isRapa Nui (Easter Island), which was inhabited byPolynesians for nearly a millennium with very fewcontacts with the rest of the world. In many oceanicislands, the geographic isolation was not complete.Certain island societies (in Melanesia for example)produced spatial networks that allowed them tomaintain contact with other insular societies withtravel strictly controlled by the leaders.From the biological or cultural point of view,oceanic islands illustrate the adaptation of certainorganisms or societies to ecological or geographicalisolation, a limited area, scarcity of resources, andmajor differences between the insular environmentand the environment from which they came. Oceanicislands give rise to biological and cultural speciationprocesses through which species or lifestyles adapt toinsular isolation and other environmental limits. It isfor this reason that many oceanic islands are consid-ered conservatories of unique natural or culturaloccurrences and are of great interest both to biologistsas well as anthropologists. Oceanic islands also pro-vide models for understanding the effects of ecologi-cal or geographic isolation in continental regions withsimilar characteristics (Whittaker and Fernandez-Palacios, 2007) and for analyzing current global eco-logical crises (Bahn and Flenley, 1992; Diamond, 2004).Since the visit of Darwin and the development ofhis theory of evolution by natural selection, theGalapagos Islands represent an archetype for thestudy of biological evolution in conditions of ecologi-cal isolation. Galapagos is also unique among ocean-ic islands as it was the last archipelago in the tropicalzone to have its ecological isolation disrupted. It wasnot until the beginning of the 19th century that thearchipelago became a geographic region used andlater populated by humans. This prolonged ecologicalisolation explains the interest that Galapagos gener-ates in the fields of biology, conservation, andtourism. This archipelago allows for study of evolu-tionary processes in ecosystems that are still close totheir natural, pre-human condition. There is no otherplace on earth where tourists can approach wild ani-mals so closely. However, the recent human coloniza-tion of Galapagos has impeded the development ofan island culture with a lifestyle adapted to the insu-lar realities of the region, as has occurred in otheroceanic archipelagos of the South Pacific.The human history of Galapagos is thehistory of its geographic openingThe human history of Galapagos reveals a gradualgeographic opening of this region to the rest of theworld and coincides with the formation of theModern World system. A world system connects vari-ous regions in different continents or oceans viatransportation networks that permit a regular flow ofmaterials (raw materials, products, etc.), people,money, organisms, and ideas. The Modern World sys-tem is closely related to the expansion of capitalismbeginning in the early 15th century inWestern Europeand spreading to the rest of the world. Globalization,an emerging property of the Modern World system,can be seen, in part, as a geographic opening ofstrategically important regions by powerful geo-graphic actors, including nations, international organ-izations, and transnational corporations.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • In the first centuries of human history in Galapagos,there was a very small geographic opening of thearchipelago, although the islands were known to theworld due to their presence on maps as early as1570. The Spanish who discovered Galapagos in the16th century did not settle in the islands. At the endof the 17th century and beginning of the 18th centu-ry, the islands were used as a base of operation bybuccaneers who also did not leave permanent foot-prints, with the notable exception of the introduc-tion of rats. The real disruption of the ecological iso-lation of Galapagos began in the 19th century,through the connection of the archipelago withNantucket by whaling fleets of the United States,and then its integration into the national space ofEcuador through colonization and the subsequentintroduction of domestic animals. From this pointforward, the geographic opening of Galapagos wascharacterized by exploitation of resources for expor-tation (in the 19th century, primarily sperm whales,giant tortoises, fur seals, the orchilla lichen, etc.),which resulted in drastic reductions in the popula-tions of some species.The geographic opening of Galapagos grewthroughout the 19th century. After 1870, theEcuadorian colonization became permanent. Thehighlands of San Cristóbal and later Isabela wereopened to cattle and agriculture (sugarcane and cof-fee plantations) and their raw materials were export-ed to the mainland.Western scientific expeditions col-lected large numbers of specimens of all types, put-ting even greater pressure on the survival of certainspecies (Thornton, 1971). This geographic openingdid not translate into an improvement of conditionsfor the insular population. While Galapagos was opento private businesses of specific colonists (Valdizán,Cobos, and Gil, for example) and to foreign scientists,the archipelago became home to laborers from conti-nental Ecuador who were held prisoner in the islandsby powerful landowners (Silva, 1992).In the first half of the 20th century, there was arelative pause in the geographic opening ofGalapagos. The haciendas collapsed, giving rise toopen but infrequent colonization, in part becausethe Ecuadorian State continued to have difficulty inconnecting its insular territory to the continent. Evenso, the process of opening continued. Europeancolonists settled Floreana and Santa Cruz, tuna fish-ing fleets from California began to frequent thewaters of the archipelago, western scientists contin-ued their voyages around the islands, and a limitednumber of wealthy tourists identified Galapagos as adestination. It was during this short period of areduced geographic opening that an island culturebegan to appear. It arose in a population of diverseorigins, isolated from the rest of Ecuador and theworld, which survived in large part through self sub-sistence. The galapagueño culture that arose thusreflected a lifestyle adapted to the isolation and thescarce resources of the archipelago.After 1940, the geographic opening of Galapagosincreased even more with the establishment of a USmilitary base on Baltra during World War II. During thewar, several thousand US troops passed throughBaltra, a significant increase in human population ineconomic terms (the base also generated immigra-tion of labor from the continent) and its impact on theenvironment (although there has been no researchdemonstrating introductions with negative impactsduring this short period). The presence of the militarybase proved that the Galapagos Islands—even themore arid ones--could support a large population, ifadequately supplied from the continent. In otherwords, geographic opening with high energy con-sumption could colonize any environment. The USmilitary base provided a window to the actual currentsituation in Galapagos.In the 1950s, the goal of the Ecuadorian govern-ment was to fully integrate its insular territorythrough colonization, according to the geopoliticaldoctrine of “living frontiers.” At the beginning of thisdecade, the Ecuadorian Institute for Agrarian Reformand Colonization (IERAC) organized the colonizationof the highlands of Santa Cruz. The relative failure ofthis effort showed that Galapagos could not be colo-nized through agriculture as had been accomplishedin certain sectors of the Amazon.During this period, western scientists, support-ed by UNESCO and the IUCN, stepped up their pres-sure to establish a natural reserve in Galapagos. In1959, the Ecuadorian government designated 97%of the archipelago as the Galapagos National Park(GNP). The Charles Darwin Foundation, an interna-tional, scientific NGO, was established in the sameyear and through an official agreement with thegovernment was to advise Ecuador on the conserva-tion of Galapagos. However, the creation of a nation-al park would ultimately result in Galapagos becom-ing a center for world tourism.123development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 124The conservation of Galapagos hasaccelerated the geographic opening ofthe archipelagoParadoxically, the creation of the GNP accelerated thegeographic opening of Galapagos. The internationalmedia drew attention to the park and the work of sci-entists. This, in turn, attracted tourism and generatedeconomic development in the colonized areas of thearchipelago and provided incentive for voluntarymigration of Ecuadorians from the continent. Thisinflux of Ecuadorians finally allowed a real nationalsovereignty on Galapagos, which until this time hadbeen freely open to foreign actors (businessmen, sci-entists, tourists, etc.). The model of tourism designedin 1966-67, which used boats as hotels, began to func-tion towards the end of the 1960s. At that time, per-mits were reserved for one large national companyand Galapagos colonists. The Ecuadorian governmentgranted Galapagos provincial status in 1973, despitethe fact that the islands’ population was only 4000.This move permitted the free immigration ofEcuadorian citizens to the archipelago. In 1979, thenational government created the National Institute ofGalapagos (INGALA) to oversee the development ofthe insular region. Since that time, the size of the insu-lar population has followed the same ascending curveas the number of visitors to Galapagos: 6700 inhabi-tants and 17,000 tourists in 1982 and 10,000 residentswith 40,000 visitors in 1990. These increases wereaccompanied by a significant growth in the numberof boat permits and capital investments from outsideGalapagos. In 1986 an airport was inaugurated in SanCristóbal, opening a second entry port for airplanes tothe archipelago.In the 1990s, the geographic opening ofGalapagos grew even more, due in part to the boomin the sea cucumber fishery for export to Asia and acontinual increase in the number of tourists travelingto Galapagos from Europe and North America. Theseactivities brought more and more immigrants to thearchipelago, where the population grew to 18,000 by1998, with 60,000 tourists visiting Galapagos thatsame year. However, the socio-political disruptionsrelated to the sea cucumber fishery led first to partic-ipatory management of the Galapagos MarineReserve (GMR) and later in 1998 to the Special Law forGalapagos (LOREG). On the surface, these measuresappear to reflect a policy aimed at reducing the geo-graphic opening of the archipelago: the GMR wasextended and its resources reserved for fishermenfrom Galapagos and the LOREG established the statusof permanent resident and prevented new immi-grants from staying in the province beyond the timestipulated by their work contracts. However, itappears that the primary objective of the LOREG wasto resolve social conflict in the archipelago and organ-ize a new distribution of the economic benefits of thegeographic opening driven by tourism. For that rea-son, no thought was given to limiting tourism.LOREG stipulates that 40% of the park entrancefee is to go to the municipalities, the ProvincialCouncil, and INGALA. The GNP also receives 40%,while the remaining 20% is divided between theNavy, the Quarantine System, Management of theGMR, and the National System for Protected Areas.With such income streams, it is logical that these insti-tutions would not be in favor of limiting tourism--their primary source of revenue. LOREG officiallynamed the population centers of the archipelago andprotected areas as tourism “destinations” inGalapagos (Article 45). This resulted in the “locallybased” tourism sector undergoing a period of rapidgrowth during the next decade, surpassing the pas-senger capacity of the tour boat sector (Epler, 2007).Both sectors took advantage of the boom in tourismin Galapagos, which nearly tripled in ten years from60,000 visitors in 1998 to 173,000 in 2008.The insular population has continued to grow,reaching approximately 30,000 inhabitants in 2010.Galapagos now has an immigration system very simi-lar to the developed countries of the world. Its eco-nomic wealth relative to the continent combined withits immigration restrictions increased its appeal andfostered illegal immigration, which is supported bybusinesses and residents who take advantage ofcheaper and more manageable labor, for example inthe commercial sector (see Villareal, this publication)and the construction sector (see Jimbo, this publica-tion) of Puerto Ayora.However, the human movement is not only in thedirection of Galapagos. Eighty-two percent of 120 res-idents interviewed in 2008 in the ports and highlandsof Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela had traveledone or more times to the continent during the previ-ous year (Grenier, 2008). A similar proportion (77%) ofshopkeepers in Puerto Ayora makes such trips(Villareal, this publication). A substantial portion ofthe insular population flies regularly to the continentfor a variety of reasons, including health and educa-tion. These figures demonstrate a high level ofdependence on and vulnerability to the externaldevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 1. The spaces of The insular population continues to push thegeographic opening process in Galapagos, constantlydemanding greater ease in“leaving”the islands.The organization of space in Galapagosreflects the geographic opening of thearchipelagoThe geographic opening of Galapagos can be repre-sented at local, regional, national, and global levels(Figure 1). The regional level is comprised of localspaces (populated islands and protected areas), whichare integrated into both national and global space.Different parts of the world are connected toGalapagos via various pathways, but always throughcontinental Ecuador. The intensity of ecological andsocial transformations occurring in the archipelagodepends upon the volume, intensity, and types offlows that circulate within these networks. An efficientpolicy to support conservation and social sustainabil-ity must act on the connections between Galapagos,continental Ecuador, and the rest of the world, toreduce the flows that enter and leave the archipelago.It is important to note that the local spaces inGalapagos are less related to each other than thearchipelago is to the rest of the world. Because of this,Galapagos development patterns are oriented“to theoutside” in ways that affect the organization of theregional space (Figure 2).The “core” of the archipelago is formed by SantaCruz-Baltra and the adjacent islands, where twothirds of the population and insular tourism activi-ties occur (Figure 2). This situation arose in the 1970sbecause of the land/sea route between Baltra (theonly airport in Galapagos at the time) and PuertoAyora, the center of tourism operations and conser-vation in the archipelago. The road crossing SantaCruz generated urban expansion and tourism activi-ty in the highlands of the island. This core area ofGalapagos has a greater level of connectivity withcontinental Ecuador than it does with the otherislands of the archipelago. Baltra is by far the majorairport in the archipelago and is the only fuel supplyport, making it the most important hub of tourismoperations in Galapagos. Puerto Ayora receives thegreatest volume of material coming from the conti-nent via cargo ships and is the only port connectedby daily passenger boats with all of the other popu-lated islands of the archipelago. The visitor siteslocated in the “core” of the archipelago are the mostvisited of the protected areas for obvious logisticalreasons.125development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 2. The organization of the regional space of Galapagos.126The central area of Galapagos, beyond the SantaCruz-Baltra core, includes the three other populatedislands. Floreana, the western portion of SanCristóbal, and the southern end of Isabela formed thehistorical colonized region of the archipelago prior tothe development of tourism. The longer humanoccupation of these islands explains the extensiveecological degradation of their highlands. The factthat Puerto Baquerizo Moreno continues as theprovincial capital is an inheritance from the past. Thecentral area includes all of the population ofGalapagos and 90% of its tourism activity (all of themost visited GNP sites are found there).Consequently, it is also the zone with the greatestconservation problems. The level of connectivity ofthe three less populated islands with the mainlandand other islands in the archipelago is much lowerthan that of the “core area.” The airport in SanCristóbal has only a fourth of the activity as Baltra,and San Cristóbal has no regular connection with itsrural parish, Floreana. The airport on Isabela catersonly to regional traffic and the island does not have adirect maritime connection to San Cristóbal.Finally, the uninhabited islands and the uninhab-ited parts of the populated islands that are farthestfrom populated centers and the transportation hubdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo 1. In 2010, it is possible to view three commercial planes at the same time in Baltra, although up to six planes arrive per day.Fifteen years ago, six planes arrived each week. Photo: C. Grenier.The continentalization of the insularecosystems and lifestylesThe consequences of the geographic opening of thearchipelago can be described by the concept of “con-tinentalization.”This term highlights the contradictionbetween the geographic opening process and eco-logical isolation of oceanic islands such as Galapagos.It also describes something we can all see: socialhabits and human landscapes that are very similar tothose on the continent.The increase in the use of taxis(see Cléder, this publication) and the invasion of intro-duced plants in the highlands of the populatedislands (see Gardner et al., this publication) are visibleexamples of the continentalization of Galapagos. Thisgeographic and ecological process has obvious nega-tive consequences for ecosystems, society, and thetourism-based economy in Galapagos.The introduction of species and their subsequentproliferation in the archipelago have been identifiedfor well over a decade as the principal threat to theconservation of Galapagos (Charles DarwinFoundation and WWF, 2002) and are directly relatedto its geographic opening. In other words, the conser-vation of Galapagos becomes increasingly difficultdue to the growing geographic opening of theislands, as the flows entering the archipelago greatlysurpass the capacity of the quarantine systemsdesigned to control them.The continentalization of the archipelago alsoaffects the insular population, though many residentsgain benefits from the geographic opening.According to the majority of the inhabitants inter-viewed, the principal advantage to living inGalapagos is “tranquility.” This is also the opinion of84% of the shopkeepers in Puerto Ayora (Villarreal,this publication). But the same people complain thatGalapagos is losing this tranquility due to “immi-grants,” who are considered responsible for theincrease in crime. Also, xenophobia against certainethnic groups (such as the Salasacas) is slowly devel-oping in Galapagos. It is clear that some groups inGalapagos are reproducing socio-cultural communi-ties similar to those on the continent through immi-gration and personal networks.form an area of exclusive tourism and the highest lev-els of conservation. This area includes much of thenorth and west of the archipelago (although PuntaPitt on the northeast end of San Cristóbal is also in thisgroup). It is the area with the lowest geographicopening in Galapagos and is of the greatest scientificinterest (for example, Fernandina and Wolf Volcano). Itis also home to some of the most important recentconservation projects (Project Isabela and ProjectPinta). Few tourist cruises visit these special sites.127development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 128Continentalization also impedes the formation of anisland culture. The lifestyle of the insular populationdoes not differ much from its urban counterpart incontinental Ecuador. For example, galapagueñosare continually increasing their use of motorizedvehicles and construct their houses with the samematerials and with the same styles as their compatri-ots on the continent. Consequently, the urban land-scapes of Galapagos are similar to those on the con-tinent. Continentalization and the resulting relation-ship of the local population to their environmentcan also be seen in their leisure activities. For exam-ple, according to the local newspaper, El Colono, oneof the most popular sports in Santa Cruz is cycling,which is done on the asphalted roads. At the sametime, 40% of the 150 inhabitants interviewed inPuerto Ayora never or almost never go to the beachand 90% have never visited Media Luna in the high-lands (Brouyere, research in progress).Finally, the continentalization of Galapagos isalso resulting in a loss of the tourism resource, espe-cially in populated areas. Other national parks existwhere tourists can see wild animals, even close-up.But it is the co-existence of humans with native ani-mals in populated centers that make Galapagos aunique region of the world. The interaction of fisher-men with pelicans and sea lions in Pelican Bay andthe sea lion beaches in front of the sea-wall of SanCristóbal are the only tourism attractions in the twotowns. For 85% of the 1020 international touristsinterviewed, the presence of native flora and faunain the towns of Galapagos is important (Bram,research in progress). Obviously, more traffic, noise,cement, and lights will mean fewer animals in thetowns. For 71% of the 150 residents interviewed, thisdecrease in the number of native animals is notable(Brouyere, research in progress).ConclusionIn recent years, the GNP and the CDF have viewedconservation and sustainable development ofGalapagos within the concept of a social-ecologicalsystem (GNP, 2006; Watkins et al., 2007; Tapia et al.,2008) under which the ecological and the socialcomponents have the same importance and anequal level of dependence on one another.In reality, the insular ecosystem is every daymore affected by the geographical opening ofGalapagos. It will require an increasing level of inter-vention on the part of humans to maintain the archi-pelago in a close to natural state. However, socialactors in Galapagos depend less on the insularecosystem for their lifestyle than they do on importsof all types from continental Ecuador and the flow oftourists and tourism income coming from northerncountries. Tourism only makes use of the mostemblematic aspects of the insular nature. For exam-ple, tourists who visit the highlands of Santa Cruzfocus on the giant tortoises and not on the localecosystem, which has been totally transformed byinvasive plants. If natural ecosystems are to survive,greater human involvement is needed. The conceptof social-ecological systems does not take intoaccount the disequilibrium that exists between soci-ety and nature in Galapagos and many other regionsof the world.A potential path to conservation and sustain-ability would be to build a social-ecological systemin which the insular society truly depends on theecosystems of the archipelago for its energy andfood. But such an approach does not reflect currentreality. The concept of a social-ecological systemdoes not appear to be adequate to evaluate andresolve the current situation in Galapagos. Everyhuman being lives in a populated region of the Earthto which the inhabitants identify themselves togreater or lesser degrees. A regional approach seemsmore relevant in working toward conservation andsustainability.Using a regional approach provides a means ofdividing the surface of the earth by both space andecosystems. A region is at the same time an ecosys-tem and a geographic space. A geographic space is asocial product, a portion of the surface of the earthorganized by distinct social actors who live in anduse its resources. Geographic spaces have existedand still exist in Galapagos, each with its own dis-tinct footprints on the natural ecosystems andhuman landscapes of the archipelago. A conserva-tion policy is sustainable when the different stake-holders in a geographic region leave footprints thatdo not impact the natural processes of the eco-region. In oceanic islands such as Galapagos, eco-logical isolation is a fundamental component ofthose natural processes.Consequently, the concept of geographic open-ing must be at the center of an effective sustainableconservation policy for Galapagos. The concept of“geographic region”must be adapted as much as pos-sible, focusing on the types of footprints that humansleave in Galapagos through their activity and atti-tudes. The rapid growth of the insular economy hasdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Christophe Grenierincreased the geographic opening of the archipela-go, but has not resulted in real progress for the insu-lar population, which continues to experience basicproblems related to health, education, potablewater, sewage, etc. In other words, insular economicdevelopment has not only had a strong negativeimpact on the ecology of the archipelago, it has alsofailed to improve the lives of the insular population.The model of economic development through geo-graphic opening must be changed to a model of sus-tainable ecology with social progress.All geographic and natural regions are systemsthat are open to the rest of the world. This is evenmore so in regions with high levels of tourism suchas Galapagos. Given these circumstances, how is itpossible to reduce the geographic opening of thearchipelago in a manner that is sustainable for thehuman population? The challenge is maintaining thenecessary level of economic activity for the insularpopulation while reducing the geographic openingof the archipelago. To achieve this, the focus must beon quality not quantity, which means doing morewith less. It is also fundamental to start with a com-plete evaluation and reorganization of tourism, theprimary driver in the current and rapidly growinggeographic opening of Galapagos.129development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • The national tourist in Galapagos:Practices and perceptions of theenvironment1Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador-Quito,2Charles Darwin Foundation, 3 University of NantesIntroductionFor many years Galapagos was an expensive destination forEcuadorian tourists and few were able to visit. Consequently, manyEcuadorian tourists opted to visit other destinations such asColumbia or Peru. However, over the last ten years, more Ecuadoriantourists traveled to Galapagos because of low-cost travel packages.Between 1998 and 2009, the number of Ecuadorian visitorsincreased from 14,440 (22% of all visitors) to 56,766 (35%).According to the official data of the Galapagos National Park (GNP),national tourism has increased by an average of 17% per year.Although the data on national tourists can be misleading, sincemany Ecuadorians travel to Galapagos for reasons other thantourism, the increase in visits by Ecuadorians is indisputable.The objectives of this study were to determine:1) How the Galapagos product is sold to national tourists;2) The profile of the Ecuadorian tourist in Galapagos, and3) The behavior of national tourists and their perceptionsof the Galapagos environment.130development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Photo: Christophe Grenier
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010131MethodsThis study was based on different types of informa-tion collected during 2009:1) Surveys of the tourist agencies in Quito onAmazonas, Naciones Unidas, 6 de Diciembre andColón Avenues (N=34);2) Surveys of national tourists in the BaltraAirport as they prepared to leave Galapagos, inApril-May 2009 (N=314);3) Surveys of tourists staying at five hotels inPuerto Ayora that serve large numbers of nation-al tourists, in December 2009 (N=146);4) Field observations at tourist visitor sites in andaround Santa Cruz;5) Surveys and interviews with naturalist guides(N=54);6) Semi-structured interviews with individualsinvolved in tourism and local tourist operations,September-November 2009, and7) Official data of the GNP for 2009.This information was used to evaluate the dynamicsof national tourism in Galapagos, including percep-tions, behavior, and practices of the tourists.ResultsCommercialization networkThe main concentration of national tourist agencies isfound in Ecuador’s three major cities: Quito (36%),Guayaquil (20%), and Cuenca (6%). The remaining38% are distributed throughout the country. All of theagencies offer Galapagos as the principal destinationwithin Ecuador. For the last 15 years, Galapagos hasbeen the primary tourism destination that Ecuadorsells to the world (Gylbert, 1995).Currently five travel agencies/tour operators mar-ket Galapagos tours directly to Ecuadorian tourists aswell as through intermediary travel agencies (Figure 1).Of the 34 tourist travel agencies surveyed inQuito, four reported selling their own tourism pack-ages primarily to foreign tourists, while nationaltourists average about 26% of their clientele. Theremaining 30 travel agencies reported that nationalclients average 19% of their business, and that theyfocus on selling tourism packages from five majorGalapagos operators: Islas de Fuego, Ninfa, Puerta alSol, Promoviajes, and Sevitur.Figure 1. Marketing network for Galapagos tourism products at the national level, based on interviews (number indicated by“N”).
  • Figure 2. Arrival of national tourists in Galapagos during 2009: adults (over18 years old) and children between the ages of 10-12 years.Source: Official statistics of the Galapagos National Park, 2009.132These five tour operators capture 80% of the nationalmarket. They work directly with five hotels inGalapagos (Fiesta, Ninfa, Tortuga Bay, Lobo de Mar,and Palmeras), which are owned by the same family.Owners of tourism permits tend to maintain theirbusiness as an association within their own family sothat the tourism activities, even on the continent,remain in the hands of galapagueños who now resideoutside the archipelago or under the administrationof some other relative. Based on the informationobtained from these five hotels, two of the ownerslive in Galapagos and three in continental Ecuador.Two of them currently represent Galapagos in thenational Congress.National demand for Galapagos tourism pack-ages is more focused on comfort and cost, rather thanon itineraries. Some travel agencies prefer to sellpackages offered by Islas de Fuego and Ninfa, due tothe better services offered by these operators.Profile and seasonality ofthe national touristThe study identified two important segments withinthe national market: those who travel to Galapagoson family vacations and groups of school children,generally between the ages of 10-12 years old. Thepeak season for national tourists in Galapagos isAugust (almost 4000 visitors), while the lowest num-bers arrive in November (2000 visitors; Figure 2).Throughout the rest of the year, the number ofnational visitors remains above 2000 per month. Thelargest number of school children visit between Apriland July, when schools of the Andes region organizeend-of-year trips.Surveys were used to develop a profile of adultnational tourists who visit Galapagos and to comparethat profile with foreign tourists (Table 1). The typicalEcuadorian tourist in Galapagos is young (21-29 yearsdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010of age) compared to foreign tourists, 25% of whom areover 60 years old. The monthly income of nationaltourists is much less than that of their foreign counter-parts, which may explain the difference in time spentin the islands. Most national tourists stay on land(89%), while most foreign tourists travel aboard tourboats (72%). Of the national tourists who stay on land,78% stay primarily in Santa Cruz. Only 66% of the for-eign tourists who indicated they spent at least onenight on land stay in Santa Cruz. Twenty-five percentof foreign visitors who spend nights on the inhabitedislands have been to Isabela compared to only 15% ofnational tourists. San Cristóbal, although visited lessoften in general, attracts more foreign than national
  • Table 1. General aspects of the profile of national and foreign tourists according to the most representative categories.Source: Geographic Footprint Project, interviews with tourists who were leaving the islands in the Baltra airport in April-May 2009 (national tourists, N=314; foreign tourists, N=598).tourists. Also, foreign tourists in Galapagos participatein more international tourism, with 80% reportingthat they had visited three or more foreign countriesin the last three years, compared to 18% ofEcuadorian visitors.Tour packagesThe tour packages offered to Ecuadorian tourists bythe five main operators are from three to four nights,133development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010include visits to the same sites on Santa Cruz (Figure3), and range from US$460 to US$750. Longer pack-ages (more than five days) and packages that includeother destinations (Isabela, Santa Fe, or Floreana, forexample) are available, but they are generally tooexpensive for the majority of national tourists.The common visitor sites for national touristsinclude several designated for “recreational use” (LasGrietas,Tortuga Bay, Garrapatero, etc.), private sites (ElChato and Primicias), and GNP visitor sites that areaccessible by bus (Los Gemelos and the CharlesDarwin Research Station). These sites are also fre-quented by international tourists and by the localpopulation. In general national tourists do not visitthe more pristine sites of Galapagos.Locally-based tourism operations in Santa Cruz1make use of hotels, day tours, bay tours, restaurants,and discotheques, offering a product specifically tar-geted to Ecuadorian families and groups of schoolchildren.1The hotels of Santa Cruz have been much more successful than those on other islands. Over time, Santa Cruz has become the eco-nomic and tourism center of the archipelago. Prior to organized tourism, Puerto Ayora had only two or three hotels of which HotelGalapagos was the largest. In 1991, of the 26 hotels and 880 beds in the islands, 16 hotels and 492 beds (56% of the total capacity) werelocated in Santa Cruz. By 2006, the number of beds in Puerto Ayora had doubled to 990 (Epler, 2007).
  • Figure 2. Visitor sites, itineraries, and length of tour in tour packages offered to national visitors in Santa Cruz.The average income of national tourists visitingGalapagos is relatively high by Ecuadorian standardsand tour operators have created a product that is suit-ed to their economic profile. However, the relativelylow cost of these packages limits the kind of activitiesand itineraries offered. Shorter itineraries make it dif-ficult to observe the more natural and remote parts ofGalapagos. This limited travel reduces their expecta-tions and experiences in the islands and in partexplains the consequences of this kind of tourism inthe insular environment.A responsible tourist?The reasons tourists visit Galapagos determine theirbehavior in the islands and directly influence the waythey interact with the environment. Asked about theirprincipal reason for visiting Galapagos, 28% of nationaltourists responded “to experience the natural world ofthe archipelago,” 25% indicated for “tourism and rest,”and 17% “to know my country.” This indicates thatalthough 28% visit Galapagos to experience nature,most do not; national tourism in Galapagos tends tooccur in a social environment among family andfriends, predisposing the visitor to give less priority tolearning about the natural history and conservation ofthe islands. Why, then, is Galapagos important tonational tourists?General behavior and reactions of nationaltourists were documented through direct observa-tion at various visitor sites. Many demonstrated disin-terest, lack of information about what they wereexperiencing, and made rapid visits to the site.During hikes, many paid more attention to takingphotos with family members than photos of land-scapes or animals, demonstrating greater interestrecording social interactions than wildlife. However,their interactions with the environment do seem tohave an impact. Some travelers commented, “Thanksto the guides I learned about recycling and am goingto begin to adopt better conservation practices.” It ispossible that the visitors had not thought muchabout these practices prior to the visit, but inGalapagos they were required to follow them.When national tourists were asked,“What are themost important criteria for tourism in Galapagos?”the134development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo 1. Group of national tourists walking to Las Grietas, Santa Cruz. Photo: C. Grenier.most frequent responses were “low-impact tourism”and “a conservation conscience.” They also indicatedthat comfort and international food were not impor-tant considerations. But these statements were con-tradicted by the observations of guides and otherresponses from the tourists, with 80% indicating thatthey preferred lodging with air conditioning and tele-vision. On a related note, Grenier (2008) indicated thatthe energy consumption of hotels increased 54%between 2006 and 2008.When asked their opinions about various aspectsof the towns of Galapagos, their perceptions of PuertoAyora (where nearly 80% of Ecuadorians stay when inthe islands) were generally positive. Safety within thecity was the most appreciated factor, as it is for resi-dents of Puerto Ayora, which reflects the importance,real or perceived, of violence and delinquency in day-to-day life on the mainland.National tourists also have a positive opinion ofthe urban landscapes of Galapagos. However, nationaltourists, much like foreign tourists, don’t really knowPuerto Ayora beyond Charles Darwin Avenue (whichruns along the coast) and adjacent streets, althoughthey arrive in town via Baltra Avenue.The positive opin-ion that national tourists expressed for the urban land-scape of Puerto Ayora could be interpreted as likingsomething that is familiar to them--their own urbanlandscapes on the continent.Similarly, national tourists generally did notexpress negative opinions regarding human impactsat the visitor sites, such as pollution, noise, construc-tion, or harassment of wildlife. The manner in whichthey visit Galapagos tends to keep them in an urbanmindset, even when they are at a visitor site, with alarge number of people (perhaps the only complaintof national tourists), cell phones with music playingduring their walks, etc.The image of the touristTourism professionals in Galapagos were also sur-veyed to determine how they perceive nationaltourists. Fifty-four naturalist guides of the GNP partic-ipated in the survey (96% of respondents wereEcuadorian). Some of the questions focused on hownational tourists perceive Galapagos. Nearly 40%responded “as a recreation site – sun and beach”(Table 2). According to these guides, the Ecuadoriantourist does not demonstrate much respect for natureor a conservationist culture, and few are interested inthe scientific aspects of Galapagos.135development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 2. Opinion of naturalist guides on how the national tourists perceiveGalapagos.ConclusionRecent growth in national tourism in Galapagos canbe attributed to increased availability of all-inclusivetour packages designed specifically for the nationalmarket. While these products respond to thedemands of this market, they provide limited oppor-tunities to get to know the unique wildlife and land-scapes of Galapagos.The image national visitors develop aboutGalapagos during four nights and five days in SantaCruz is skewed and incomplete. National tourists feelthat tour operators meet their expectations, but this isbecause they do not have sufficient informationabout Galapagos prior to their trip.The national tourist who comes to Galapagosdoes not demand much information from guides anddoes not appear to be particularly committed to theenvironment. They are motivated more by a desire tovisit a special part of Ecuador, than to get to know thenatural world of Galapagos.The islands should be used as an instrument forenvironmental education for Ecuadorian nationals--especially considering that groups of Ecuadorianschool children form one of the most important seg-ments of the national market. Land-based tour pack-ages should be designed in ways that foster learningand changes in the mindset among national visitors.It is critical to better adapt this type of tourism tothe insular environment. National tourists shouldknow much more about Galapagos prior to their visit.This information should be taught in primary and sec-ondary schools and shared through publications andadvertisements that better reflect the archipelago’suniqueness.A change in both vision and management isneeded to improve national tourism in Galapagos.The product offered to nationals is low quality anddoes not promote environmental responsibility.Currently the product is not adequately regulated.136When asked what activities most interest nation-al tourists, the guides replied taking photos, swim-ming, and buying souvenirs, in that order. They alsoindicated that national visitors pay less attention toobserving tortoises, birds, and marine species.According to the guides, one of the importantreasons for national tourists to visit Galapagos (“toknow my country”) helps to explain their behavior inthe islands. One guide stated that “the sense of own-ership results in specific behaviors in many nationaltourists. Since Galapagos is part of Ecuador, they feelthat the islands belong to them and they can do asthey please, including walking off designated pathsand littering.There is a lack of respect for nature in theculture. They think that being Ecuadorian gives themthe right to behave as they do in their city of origin.”According to guides interviewed, about 35% ofnational visitors are aware of the uniqueness ofGalapagos as a destination but this awareness doesnot seem to influence their behavior. When asked ifinterests and reactions differed between nationaltourists and foreign tourists, 66% of the guides indi-cated that foreign visitors respect the National Parkrules and are interested in conservation and scientificresearch; their level of knowledge about Galapagos isgreater than national tourists and thus they have agreat deal of interest in the nature of Galapagos.According to one local operator, “Ecuadorian touristsgenerally look for ‘the good, the beautiful and theinexpensive.’ They are demanding and complicated.They demand a lot and give little.” Generally, opera-tors fulfill the expectations of tourists with low costproducts that have made Galapagos a popular desti-nation for Ecuadorians rather than an exclusive one.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010137development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Photo: Jacintha Castora PhotographyThe construction sectorof Puerto Ayora1Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, 2Charles Darwin Foundation,3University of NantesThis is the first study to examine the construction sector of PuertoAyora. It provides basic information about a cross-cutting activitythat impacts the economy, immigration, and urban landscapes ofGalapagos. The construction sector is one of the most economicallydynamic sectors. It utilizes workers, who in many cases are illegalresidents, and is rapidly transforming the urban landscape of PuertoAyora, the largest city of Galapagos.This article is based on research carried out between Septemberand December 2009, as part of the Geographic Footprint Project ofthe Charles Darwin Foundation. The methodology included the cre-ation of a map of the construction status of every lot or property inPuerto Ayora (based on the municipal property register), and 125surveys with individuals involved in the construction sector (50owners of houses under construction, 50 construction workers, and25 owners of construction companies or individuals/companiescontracted to supervise construction).The map developed for the study shows a total of 2761 lots(Figure 1). The status of each lot was designated as: a) completedconstruction; b) construction in progress, or c) empty lot.Completed constructions include those with finished exterior andinterior walls (plastered or painted), as well as those that still haveunfinished walls but are inhabited and where no construction work-ers are present. Lots designated as“construction in progress”includethose where construction workers and/or materials were observedon the lot.“Empty lots”include all those with no construction as wellas some with evidence of abandoned construction.This analysis focuses on:1) The feasibility of promoting“ecological houses,”and2) The business aspects of the construction sector.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010138Ecological housingInterviews asked residents what type of housingwould have the least environmental impact inGalapagos and about the feasibility of promotingsuch construction. According to those surveyed, an“ecological” house is one that uses locally availablematerials and resources, renewable energy, and waterrecycling systems. In addition, ecological housesshould have green areas with native flora.Respondents generally believe that constructionof this type of house would be more expensive thana traditional house in Galapagos. A person currentlydirecting an ecological building project in the villageof Bellavista responded that constructing a housewith water recycling and solar power systems andmaterial other than cinder blocks and cement costsat least 40% more than building a conventionalhome. Such costs would be beyond the means ofmany residents, especially those who build theirFigure 1. The construction situation in Puerto Ayora in October 2009, with 1871 properties with completed construction (yellow), 491with construction underway (red), and 399 empty properties (green).
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010139Table 1. How a customer selects their house plan.houses in stages determined by their own incomeflow. Another problem is that many landowners arebuilding not only for themselves but also often fortheir relatives, or to have additional spaces to rent orestablish a small business, all of which increases theirbasic costs.For the most part, construction materials used inGalapagos are the same as those used on the conti-nent: cinder blocks, iron rebar, cement, sand, andgravel. One variation in Galapagos is the use of vol-canic rock extracted from the substrate at construc-tion sites. This is often used to level the ground or tobuild small walls around the borders of a property. Insome sites the use of illegally-harvested native woodwas observed. In general, Galapagos constructiondoes not reflect any particular consideration of envi-ronmental factors or the natural environment.The study showed that most architecturaldesigns used in Galapagos are not developed specifi-cally for the insular environment. Building designsgenerally come from: a) generic plans offered by themunicipality; b) styles associated with the owner’snative city or town, or c) based on the family’s incomeand cash flow (Table 1).Housing designs based on models from the continentrequire the use of similar building materials. In nocase were Galapagos environmental considerationsevident in the building plans. Plans offered by themunicipality do not provide any options in terms ofconstruction material, water storage, energy use, etc.A visit to “La Cascada” neighborhood of Puerto Ayorademonstrates the result of the broad use of plansoffered by the municipality in early 2000, costing only$60 each (Photo 1).The financial situation of a landowner’s familyplays an important role in influencing the construc-tion process. Many of the newer neighborhoods inGalapagos appear similar to neighborhoods sur-rounding Quito or other cities on the continent,where houses are half built, walls have not been plas-tered, windows have not been fitted with glass orother materials, and construction projects have beenabandoned. In these neighborhoods, landownersconstruct their houses in stages as they accumulateSource: Survey of property owners with current construction, September 2009.Photo 1. La Cascada neighborhood in Puerto Ayora. Photo: W. Jimbo.
  • Source: Survey of construction workers, September 2009.Table 2. Year of arrival in Galapagos of construction workers.Source: Survey of construction workers, September 2009.Table 3. Province of origin of construction workers.Source: Survey of construction workers, September 2009.Table 4. Age of construction workers.The fact that the majority (28) of those surveyed areyounger than 25 years old contributes further to theidea that construction contributes to immigration(Table 4). Prior to arriving in Galapagos, eleven of theconstruction workers surveyed were students (Table 5).Some suspended their studies to travel to Galapagos towork in construction. Others managed to stay andobtain their permanent residence in Galapagos and arecontinuing their studies in Santa Cruz.140development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010the money needed to continue. This makes it difficultto build “ecologically”, which in addition to beingmore expensive requires pre-construction planningand investments.The economic dynamics of theconstruction sectorThe second part of the analysis focused on the busi-ness side of the construction sector, involving work-ers, contractors, and distributors of constructionmaterials. The actual number of construction workersis not known, but of those surveyed 13 arrived inGalapagos during 2009, five of whom were under ageOf the 50 workers surveyed, only two are origi-nally from Galapagos. The others are immigrants,mostly from the highlands of Ecuador (Table 3). Itappears that construction is dominated by immi-grants from continental Ecuador who arrive to filljobs not taken by Galapagos residents.
  • Source: Survey of construction workers, September 2009.Table 5. Previous occupation of the construction workers..Source: Survey of construction workers, September 2009.Table 6. Requirements requested of construction workers by contractors.141development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010To be legally contracted for work in Galapagos, a per-son must have permanent residence in the islands.However, any visitor may remain in Galapagos for upto three months and many individuals take advan-tage of this time to work illegally. This is fairly easybecause employers generally care little about theiremployees’ residency status (Table 6) and there is lit-tle risk for those who arrive as visitors and then workfor three-months. Of the 13 recently-arrived construc-tion workers, at least four plan to leave before thethree month period is up; the others plan to stay aslong as their irregular status is not discovered or aslong as they have work.A second group within the construction sector is com-prised of contractors, architects, civil engineers, andconstruction supervisors who hire construction work-ers according to the number of projects they have.Only six of the 21 contractors surveyed indicated thatthey require workers to present proof of residency.The 21 contractors surveyed accounted for aneconomic flow in Galapagos of US$2,663,200 in 2009(three of the contractors accounted for 79% of thisamount) and employed a total of 162 constructionworkers, in addition to plumbers, carpenters, andelectricians. They reported that their profits variedbetween 10-15% of a given contract.There are three large cement distributorsinvolved in the construction sector. While it was verydifficult to obtain data, two of the businesses areknown to belong to the same owner. The distributorsreported selling approximately 2000 quintals (eachquintal contains 100 kg) per month. There are otherbusinesses involved in construction, including onethat sells paving stones produced in the island’s quar-ry, located off the road to Baltra, where sand and grav-el are extracted. These businesses are privatelyowned.ConclusionSanta Cruz is comprised of two clearly-delineatedareas: the national park and the urban and ruralinhabited zones. Adequate construction alternativeshave not been developed to lessen the impact ofincreased levels of construction on the island’s naturalenvironment and landscapes (Photo 2).
  • Photo 2. Destruction of the natural landscape in the last preserved neighborhood of Puerto Ayora,“Barrio Estrada”: construction of a house and a hotel. Photo: C. Grenier.142development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010This study shows that the construction sector involvesvarious actors with personal interests and needs, andcomplex social interactions among landowners, con-tractors, migrant workers, and related businesses.Improving the current situation requires strict legisla-tion and mechanisms that will require landowners toconstruct more environmentally-friendly houses,using more appropriate materials and improved sys-tems for water management and energy.Little can be done in terms of the existing con-struction in Puerto Ayora. However, environmentallyfriendly alternatives should be used for future urban-ization projects such as“El Mirador.”This new residen-tial area, which is comprised of 1000 lots (total area of630,000 m2) would benefit greatly from a more eco-logical approach towards housing.RecommendationsConstruction regulations are urgently needed inGalapagos and should be developed jointly by theGNP, local municipalities, and residents. Once regula-tions are in place, the government could require theuse of alternative materials, such as lava rock or lum-ber from introduced tree species.The construction of potable water and sewer sys-tems are also urgently needed. The sewer systemshould not release waste water into the ocean, as thiscauses additional environmental problems.Education campaigns are needed to create aware-ness among residents about the need for new archi-tectural designs that could be considered“authentical-ly galapagueño.” Construction of housing that usesalternative energy should be promoted. In addition anevaluation of the possibility of creating a better systemfor collecting rainwater and for the reuse of wastewater should be completed.Construction workers should be required to forma local guild in order to better control the labor supply.The Chamber of Construction must work to regulatethe sector and require designs and construction mate-rials that have a lower impact on the environment.Regulations and incentives should be extendedbeyond housing construction to avoid the construc-tion of ecologically unfriendly buildings, such as thenew bank and the five-story hotel on Baltra Avenue,both of which are completely inconsistent with thelocal environment.
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010143A geographic index to measure thecarrying capacity for tourism in thepopulated centers of GalapagosCharles Darwin FoundationTourism is the driver of the Galapagos economy (Epler, 2007) andconsequently of the constant increase in all kinds of flows betweenthe archipelago and the rest of the world. This“geographic opening”of Galapagos (see Grenier, this publication) has negative conse-quences for the conservation and sustainable development of thearchipelago. This article presents the principal results of theGeographic Footprint Index1 (GFI), a technical tool designed tomeasure impacts of tourism in the populated areas of Galapagos(Grenier, 2008). Spatial, environmental, and “medial”impacts are dis-cussed. Medial impacts describe the relationship between a societyand its surroundings (space and nature).MethodsAn index provides a single number that characterizes a given situa-tion, with the first calculation providing a baseline (reference time orplace) that can be compared with future indices to evaluate trendsover time. In this case, the GFI is constructed from 121 indicators ofimpact caused by various social actors connected to tourism at agiven time (early 2008) and in a given place (rural and urban popu-lated centers of Galapagos).The data used to construct 114 of the 121 indicators were col-lected through surveys completed in December 2007 and January2008 in all of the populated centers of Galapagos (except Floreana), inproportion to the population and the number of tourism businessesPhoto: Christophe Grenier1 Geo-graphic is, literally, the science of the study of the footprints or tracks (« graphic ») that human activity leaves on the surface ofthe Earth (« Geo »).
  • Table 1. Number of surveys completed by group and location.The seven additional indicators, designated VA to VG,were constructed from available official statistics2. Aswith the numbered indicators, the lettered indicatorsare found under the appropriate category: VA under(i) level and type of tourism; VB to VE under (iii) ener-gy and transportation, and VF and VG under (iv) envi-ronmental impact.To construct the GFI, each indicator expresseshuman impacts using a numerical value (percentage,average, etc.). For example, the variable V1 is the aver-age number of days a tourist spends in Galapagos,which is currently 6.6 days. Therefore the value of V1 is6.6 (Table 1). The value of variable V2, which indicatesthat 60% of tourists surveyed spent nights only onboats, is thus 60, etc. In some cases, the average valueis calculated with numbers between 1 and 5, whenthose surveyed were asked to classify their ownresponses from 1 (very important or positive) to 5 (notat all important or very negative). For example, whenguides were asked their opinion regarding the interestof tourists in learning about nature (V11) using a num-ber between 1 (high interest) and 5 (no interest), theirresponses averaged 2.6, which is then the value forV11.Once the value is determined, each variable isgiven a grade that demonstrates the intensity of theimpact, with 1 corresponding to the least impact and5 the greatest.This grade is designated by the manag-er of the GFI and must be justified (for greater detailon the justification of the grades, see Grenier, 2008).For example, if it is desirable to increase the timespent in Galapagos, a grade of “4” is given to V1because the average length of stay of 6.6 days is con-sidered insufficient. In some cases, a grade between 1and 5 is given directly by those surveyed, as it is thenumerical value of the variable (as for V11).To limit subjectivity in the construction of the GFI,each variable was given equal importance. The scaledescribes the depth of the geographic footprint foreach variable, from 1 (least impact) to 5 (greatestimpact). The sum of the 121 grades with valuesbetween 1 and 5 is the Geographical Footprint Indexfor tourism in the populated areas of Galapagos inJanuary 2008 (Table 2). This value expresses thedepth of the geographic footprint: the greater thevalue, the deeper the footprint and the greater theimpact.2 GNPS, PETROCOMERCIAL, Empresa Eléctrica Galápagos, Unidad de Gestión Ambiental del Municipio de Santa Cruz, Galapagos Report2006-2007.144in each area (Table 1). These 114 indicators or vari-ables, numbered V1 to V114 are presented within fivecategories: (i) level and type of tourism; (ii) tourismarea; (iii) energy and transportation; (iv) environmen-tal impact; and (v) medial impact (Table 2).development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 3 Visitor sites mentioned here are those located close to the towns, designated for tourism-recreational use.Table 2. Geographic Footprint Index for tourism in the populated centers of Galapagos.145development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 146development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 147development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 4 The grades given to these variables (V11 to V20) are based on interviews with guides. For example, when a guide states that the inter-est of tourists in learning about nature has diminished, the variable is given a low grade (more than 3) because it signifies that the medi-al impact (the relationship with the environment) is negative. The average grade for this group is 2.9.148Level and type of tourismThe results from this group of indicators confirm thattourism is undergoing sustained growth (VA, V24, andV29). Although the majority of tourists surveyedstayed only on boats (V2), there is ample evidencethat land-based tourism is continuing to grow. Sixtypercent of hotels plan to increase their capacity,which is surprising given that the average number ofbeds per hotel is high (V21) and the level of occupan-cy is less than 50% (V22).The current tourism model in Galapagos isbased on a rapid turnover of clients. The stays areshort (V3, V4, and V5), which does not provide a firmfoundation for the terrestrial tourism sector. For thatreason, terrestrial tourism operators prefer touriststo stay longer, even though there may be fewertourists (V28, V32, and V33). More than half of localresidents (V8) and tourists (V6) surveyed would pre-fer longer stays. This shared desire could favor theimplementation of ecotourism in Galapagos,although this term is little understood (V26 andV30). The lack of understanding of ecotourism,according to the guides, may result from today’stourists having less interest than previous tourists inlearning about nature (V12) and greater concern forcomfort (V18) and safety issues (V20)4 .Tourism areasSixty-nine percent of all tourist nights spent on landare concentrated in Puerto Ayora, the largest city ofthe archipelago with around 50% of the population.This high level limits opportunity for other towns andresults in significant impacts in Puerto Ayora.However, the opinions of both tourists (V35-39) andresidents (V40-43) concerning the visitor/recreationalsites close to towns are generally positive, althoughthere is a growing perception that these areas aregoing beyond their carrying capacity (V42).Energy and mobilityIn Galapagos, both tourism and the local lifestyledepend on a growing use of fuel (VB and VE; electric-ity is produced primarily by diesel generators). This isa result of the continual growth in tourism, but alsodue to the increased mobility of tourists and resi-dents, as well as the speed of travel.Increased mobility has an obvious environmen-tal impact, but also consequences for the generalmilieu of Galapagos, as it modifies the relationshipbetween tourists and residents with their surround-ings. For example, the increase in the number ofmotorized vehicles (VC) and their increased use inthe population (V50-V53) indicate a lifestyle that ismore and more like that on the continent. Althoughtourists consider the traffic level acceptable (V46),probably because it is less congested than wherethey live, they also believe that it should be reduced(V48). Residents believe that the traffic situation isbad (V62) and that the growth in tourism is partiallyresponsible for it.The increase in traffic reflects the extension of thearea used by residents on a daily basis, most notably inSanta Cruz where a growing portion of the populationlives in the highlands but works in Puerto Ayora. Thisexpansion of the populated area explains the growingexpenditures of residents on transportation (V55).The high mobility associated with tourism inGalapagos affects the entire insular society and con-tributes to greater “continentalization” and the desireof residents to leave the islands from time to time. Alarge majority of residents travels to the continent atleast once each year (V54) and considers the numberof available flights as“average”(V56).This mobility, based on rapid transportation, canalso be seen in ever-increasing horsepower of launch-es (Photo 1), the major method of inter-island trans-portation (V76), as well as the high monthly fuel con-sumption of tourism operators (V77) and the hugeincrease in energy use in recent years (V78). All ofthese factors result in negative environmental andmedial impacts that degrade the tourism experience.Indicators for energy use in the hotels (V66-V72)and by the population (V57-V61) are poor. For exam-ple, the use of renewable energy is 0% in the popula-tion and only 12% in hotels. It is also of concern thathotel owners have no plans to invest in renewableenergy (V72), even when it is important to touriststhat renewable energy be used in Galapagos (V47). Atthe same time, energy use by hotels has increaseddevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Environmental impactAn increase of 93% in garbage (VF) and 39% in thenumber of introduced plants between 2000 and 2006(VG) are of great concern for the sustainability of lifein the islands as well as the conservation of the archi-pelago. An indicator of the relationship betweentourism and introduced species is that 96% of hotelsand restaurants in Galapagos import their organicfood from the continent (V91).The garbage problem is primarily due to theincrease in the production of waste (VF) rather than alack of effort by residents and businesses to recyclesolid waste (V83 and V90). The general view of waterpollution is very negative, both on the part of resi-dents (V81 and V84) as well as hotel owners (V89), butthere is little appreciation of the need to conserve thewater resource (V85 and V88).Medial impactThe dominant geographic milieu in Galapagos, that isthe relationship between a society and its surround-ings, is“continental”in nature, with a mix of habits andbehaviors that originate in other parts of Ecuador andthe world. An indicator of the loss of a Galapagos geo-graphic milieu is the decrease in the number of nativePhoto 1. Ephemeral but harmful geographic footprint. Photo: C. Grenier.Photo 2. The Miguel Cifuentes Center in Puerto Ayora, an example of architecture with lava rock. Photo: C. Grenier.dramatically in recent years (V70). The use of air con-ditioners in hotels (V67) is a good indicator of energyuse. Even hotels considered “lower class” have invest-ed in air conditioners as a symbol of achieving “inter-national standards.”149development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • animals in the towns, especially lava lizards, marineiguanas, and finches.The continentalization of the insular milieu signi-fies less space and greater disturbances for the nativewildlife, even though its presence in the towns is agreat tourist attraction, according to tourists (V97) aswell as residents (V106).Tourists believe that it is important to limit urbangrowth, improve urban zoning, encourage the pres-ence of native species in the towns, and use lava rockin construction to achieve a greater integrationbetween landscaping and the environment (V95-98).Hotel owners, however, show no interest for the lattertwo measures (V110-111). The case of lava rock illus-trates the lack of general awareness of the impor-tance of the integration of landscaping for eco-tourism, even though there are buildings in theislands that demonstrate that local materials can besuccessfully used with both modern and functionalarchitecture. Key examples include the MiguelCifuentes Center in Puerto Ayora (Photo 2), the touristdock in Puerto Villamil, and the Interpretation Centerin Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.The majority of residents believe that the lifestylein Galapagos is increasingly similar to that of the con-tinent (V104). Of even more concern is that for manyof these individuals, this is a good thing (V105). Thiscontinentalization undermines the conservation ofthe archipelago as well as the sustainability of anisland society and its principal activity – tourism.ConclusionAccording to the GF indicators, the current geograph-ical footprint of tourism in the populated areas ofGalapagos is too deep, given that the index is 8.7%above the average. Even more worrying is that manyof the indicators show that the trend in tourism in thepopulated areas is undergoing continual growth.All tourism has impacts, but even more so in anecosystem that was originally isolated from the rest ofthe world, as was Galapagos. This is especially truewhen you continue to increase the geographic open-ing of such an area through immigration, investment,biological invasion, and importation. The challenge ishuge: it involves finding a tourism model that willleave the lightest footprint possible. This ecotourismmodel must be sold on the worldwide market and itmust be the uniqueness of Galapagos that defineswhat is offered. This will result in a demand based ona light geographic footprint in the populated areas.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010150Photo 3. Visitors at the Tintoreras visitor site, Isabela. Photo: Christophe Grenier
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010151Economic dynamics andthe workforce of GalapagosFacultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) - EcuadorThe conservation challenges in Galapagos are directly tied to humanactivity and the Galapagos economy. This article analyses thedynamics of the Galapagos workforce as an important component ofthe insular economy.The various employment sectors can have both positive andnegative impacts on the Galapagos environment. Tourism, withpotential to be environmentally friendly, creates problems due tolack of regulation and its impact on immigration. Both fisheries andagriculture have, in the past, been considered two of the main sec-tors with a direct relationship to conservation in Galapagos. Whilefisheries has been generally considered to have a negative impact(due primarily to overfishing and illegal fishing), agriculture was seenas having a more positive impact (agriculture production decreasesthe need for imports from the continent and well-maintained farmsreduce the expansion of invasive introduced species).While it is generally understood that tourism is the primary driv-er in the Galapagos economy, this article will show that the publicsector plays an important role as an employer and must be consid-ered in long-term planning for Galapagos. A review of the last census(2006) indicates that employment in agriculture, fisheries, and con-struction has been underestimated (INEC, 2006).This article is based on census reports, which due to differencesamong the census methodologies pose challenges when trying todetermine trends over time. Not all of the censuses are available indigital form and the physical documents are difficult to access. The2006 census was carried out only in Galapagos, making it impossibleto make comparisons with national trends. Also, in the most recent1Diana Hinojosa also collaborated in this work.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • Figure 1. Change in the number of workers in each field in Galapagos from 2001 to 2006. Source: INEC, 2001 and 2006.152census, various changes in methodology were intro-duced, making it difficult to compare across censuses.Even so, the analysis of this data does reveal varioustrends in the Galapagos workforce.Work in GalapagosThe 2006 census highlights the importance of theservice sector, which represents 67% of total employ-ment (Figure 1). In primary production, there are twomain subsectors: agriculture, which is quite small, andfisheries, which employs a significant percentage ofthe population (6.7% of Galapagos residents versus1.4% of Ecuadorians on the national level; Figure 2).Analyzing the distribution of employment inGalapagos over time, we found that the service sectorhas grown considerably. In 1962, this sector repre-sented less than 25% of employment (less than half ofits current relative weight). The commercial sector hasalso undergone a major expansion from 2% of allemployment in 1962 to 9% in 2006. During this sameperiod, employment in the primary production sectorappears to have declined. In 1962, fisheries and agri-culture were combined in a single category, employ-ing 58% of the population (Junta Nacional dePlanificación, 1962). However, in the 2006 census,they represent less than 12%. In fact, the 2006 censusshows 268 fewer fishermen than in 2001.The invisible workforceWhen comparing 2001 and 2006 data it is important toremember that the 2006 Census excluded individualswithout resident status. This fact likely explains the0.03% annual growth in workers between 2001 and2006 (only 14 workers were apparently added to theworkforce), compared to the 6% annual increase seenin the previous decade. It is likely that many workerswith“irregular”residency status—a group that plays animportant role in the archipelago’s economy—partici-pated in key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, andconstruction, all of which showed declines in the 2006Census. This suggests that the apparent decline in fish-ermen and other areas may in fact be untrue.Tourism, transportation, internationalorganizations, and the public sectorThe tourism sector, an important part of the localeconomy, employed 4.9% of the workforce in 2001and 6.8% in 2006—more than double the nationalaverage. Work in this sector has grown rapidly: 6% peryear in the last five years and nearly 10% per year inthe previous decade. These figures confirm that thetourism sector plays an important role in the humandynamics of Galapagos and suggests that its impactson conservation require mitigation.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 2. Distribution of the Economically Active Population (PEA) by sector in Galapagos and Ecuador, 2001. Source: INEC, 2001.While the tourism-related sector of restaurants andhotels shows growth, it is not where the majority ofchange is taking place. There are other sectors thatmerit attention. Transportation is the largest employ-er (16% of the workforce in 2006 and 15% in 2001,compared to only 5% of the national workforce).Transportation has grown to represent an importantpart of the economy, and has significant implicationsfor the conservation of Galapagos ecosystems(Watkins and Marin, 2008).The sector showing the greatest employmentgrowth is the public sector (Watkins and Marin, 2008).Between 2001 and 2006, the public sector increasedto 14% of the workforce (10.3% in 2001), with an aver-age annual increase of 4.5%. The level of public sectoremployment in Galapagos is more than three timesthe national average.It is clear that the economic dynamics of theislands are strongly linked to the size and nature ofthe public sector, which in terms of employment ismore dynamic than either tourism or transportation.Attention must be paid to the environmental impactand ecological footprint of the public sector, just as itis to the tourism and fisheries sectors.International organizations are another impor-tant sub sector, which employs nearly 6% of theGalapagos workforce. This sub sector did not appearin censuses prior to 1990 and in that year it includedonly three people. However, it increased to 732 work-ers in 2001. Combined, state agencies and municipal-ities employ 23% of the workforce2. If we then addthe international organizations, this percentageincreases to 29%. This group represents the mostimportant sector in terms of employment. Given itssize and growth, it clearly plays a central factor inboth the economy and the social fabric of theprovince.Thus far this review has focused on relativeemployment offered by different sectors. However itis important to consider other factors, such as therelationship between different kinds of employmentand the professional profile required for that activity.Positions that offer higher, more stable salaries areconcentrated in administrative positions in the publicand services sectors, such as banking.Governmental service, such as education andcommunity services, employs 75% of individualsholding professional or managerial positions. Nearlyhalf (45%) of all mid-salaried administrative and officepositions are in the public sector. Public sector jobs inadministration and services also tend to be the high-est paid.153development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -20102This figure is difficult to determine with certainty, given that the data from INEC describes public sector as a category of employmentin some instances and a specific industry in others. It is difficult to cross-reference the data in ways that allow for an accurate combina-tion of the figures over time.
  • 3Calculated as the number of people in excess of those that would correspond to the same proportion between workers who arrivedin the last eight years and the distribution of all workers in Galapagos.Figure 2. The birthplace of workers and the relative weight in the administrative sector in Galapagos in 2006. Source: INEC, 2006.154Governmental agencies and international organ-izations recruit 52% of the workforce with a universityeducation. The average educational level is only high-er in the financial sector.The most stable employment in Galapagos isconcentrated in the public sector, which, along withinternational organizations, represents 37% of thesalaried positions.The origin of the workforce in GalapagosAccording to the 2006 census, 22% of the Galapagosworkforce was born in the archipelago (Figure 3).Compared to immigrants, the native population hasgreater representation in public administration, trans-portation, and cultural-related employment, and lessrepresentation in construction, domestic service,commerce, and tourism.Among those born outside Galapagos, a certainlevel of specialization can be observed based on ori-gin. Immigrants from Tungurahua tend to work inconstruction, transportation, and domestic service.Those from Manabí are concentrated in fisheries,hotel services, and domestic service. Immigrants fromthe richer provinces of Ecuador, Pinchincha andGuayas, tend to work in services and financial andadministrative activities. In fact, 32% of the workersborn in Pinchincha work in public administration,compared to 29% of Galapagos natives.An analysis of the origin of workers in Galapagosin 2006 reveals that 2033 workers, 23% of the work-force, arrived in recent years. This means that on aver-age, 254 additional workers arrive from outside theislands each year.The public sector recruited the mostimmigrants over the last eight years3, followed bydomestic service and construction. The latter two sec-tors provide low pay and little social recognition.Sectors with fewer recent immigrants includefisheries, commerce, and maritime transportation.While these data suggest that the fisheries sector hasended its period of expansion, the fact that the 2006Census did not include people with irregular residen-cy status calls this conclusion into question.ConclusionThe censuses of Galapagos clearly demonstrate thatthe public sector plays a major role in the archipel-ago’s economy. It is the sector that has grown themost in terms of employees and it tends to generateimmigration since many positions require higher lev-els of education and experience. Many of these jobsdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • also pay higher salaries, increasing demand fordomestic service and construction, which thenrequires additional immigration. The participation ofnative Galapagos residents in the public sectorremains low while they are more active in transporta-tion and commerce.The flow of funds to the public sector results inpart from political decisions, which affect where andhow the money is spent and thus impacts bothhuman behavior and social dynamics in Galapagos.Immigration based on jobs also creates greater socialstratification. While some immigrants arrive to takeadvantage of well-paid employment, others end up inthe lower rungs of the social ladder. This dynamicgenerates inequality, which will probably increaseover time.The current development model in Galapagosgenerates immigration and population growth. Themost significant conclusion of this analysis is that theenvironmental footprint of the public sector shouldbe analyzed with a special emphasis on how furthergrowth of this sector could result in more acceleratedimmigration. This will require studying policies forcontracting non-resident professionals, alternativeforms of contracting short-term services, and howemployment in this sector affects society in general.Another topic for additional study is the impact of thedistribution of governmental income.155development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration subsection title page: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010159Native gardens for Galapagos – cancommunity action help to preventfuture plant invasions?1Charles Darwin Foundation, 2University of Western AustraliaIntroductionIntroduced species present the greatest threat to the unique terres-trial biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. Analysis of data from asurvey of 97% of all properties in the four inhabited islands(Floreana, Isabela, Santa Cruz, and San Cristóbal), carried outbetween 2002 and 2007, combined with information from theCharles Darwin Foundation (CDF) herbarium (2009), show thatthere are now 870 recorded alien plant species in the archipelago.Of these species at least 26% (229 species) have now naturalized(established and reproducing without help from humans) and 131species are already invading natural areas in the archipelago(Guézou and Trueman, 2009).The total number of alien plant species on each island is directlyrelated to human population size, with Santa Cruz and San Cristóbalhaving the greatest number of species (Figure 1). However, most ofthese species occur in very few properties (92 species occur in onlyone property, 229 in less than 20), indicating recent introduction tothe archipelago, probably within the last 30 years. It has been notedin the literature that most plant species take more than 50 years tobecome abundant and up to 150 years to naturalize (Sullivan et al.,2004; Caley et al., 2008). This means that it is probable that many ofthese species will naturalize and become invasive in the near future,as the propagation of introduced species increases alongside humanpopulation growth.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  • Figure 1. The total number of residents and alien plant species on each of the four inhabited islands.Galapagos already has a quarantine system that pro-hibits all non-permitted plants from being broughtto the archipelago. However, as explained above,new plant invasions will occur from those alienspecies already present. Therefore, active manage-ment within the archipelago is needed to reduce thespread of these potential invaders. In order torespond to this need, two solutions have been test-ed in Galapagos. The first was to eradicate specieswith limited distributions that posed significantthreats to Galapagos in the future; the secondfocused on community awareness and actionthrough a native gardening program. This paperprovides a brief summary of the eradication effortsand then reports on progress of the native gardensprogram over the last three years, providing baselinedata for monitoring the impact of this strategy.Eradication effortsThe theoretically simple solution of completely eradi-cating species from individual islands (Harris andTimmins, 2002) proved to be far more difficult thanexpected due to the social complexities associatedwith introduced species removal on private land. In apilot study of 30 plant eradication projects covering23 species, carried out between 2001 and 2007 byCDF, only five were successful. Of the 25 unsuccessfulprojects, reasons for failure varied. One failed due totechnical difficulty, three because of the biology ofthe target plants, six because the projects were tooambitious (the species had unexpectedly large distri-butions when detailed maps were made), tenbecause of lack of long-term funding after the trial fin-ished, and six due to individual land owners notallowing the work to be completed on their land(Gardener et al., 2010). The reasons for denying per-mission for species removal were varied, and includedthe active or perceived use of some species for medi-cine, as an ornamental, for timber, or due to sentimen-tal attachment. In addition, several land ownersdenied access to their land because of worry over theintegrity of the field team.However, a targeted project in 2007-8 thatfocused on removal and replacement of the invasiveLeucaena leucocephala from private gardens in PuertoAyora proved more successful. Each of the 27 landowners with L. leucocephala on their land was provid-ed with information about the species, already knownto be aggressively invasive in the coastal village in SanCristóbal. If they agreed to allow removal of thespecies, they were offered the choice of several differ-ent natives as replacement. Although repeated visitswere necessary for some of the land owners, every-one finally agreed to participate in this project and atotal of 292 plants were killed (using herbicide orremoved manually). All of the land owners continueto remove new seedlings from their properties. Theseexperiences indicate that eradications may be a possi-ble solution for plants that are currently rare, if carriedout in tight partnership with the community.As the majority of the alien plant species inGalapagos are ornamentals (Guézou and Trueman,2009; Figure 2), minimizing the risk from this group ofspecies is an important step in preventing future prob-lems. To address this, a program to encourage the use160development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 2. The different uses associated with alien plant species in Galapagos.of native and endemic plants in gardens and publicspaces in Galapagos began in 2007. This approach hasproven more successful than the trial eradication pro-grams discussed above (Atkinson, 2008).The native garden initiativeThe native garden initiative is not a new one forGalapagos. Nurseries have been producing nativeplants on several of the inhabited islands for over adecade, with the aim of increasing awareness of thenative flora. However, the realization that many of thealien ornamentals could become problems in thenear future was made only recently and provided anew energy to the initiative.The CDF has two nurseries in Santa Cruz, one inthe highlands and one in the lowlands. While thenurseries have been producing plants for the commu-nity for the last decade, the native garden projectbegan in earnest in 2007. In 2008, CDF also reinitiatedthe project in the coastal village of Puerto BaquerizoMoreno in San Cristóbal.The project has also begun inFloreana, with the establishment of a small nursery inthe highlands that was scheduled to open in early2010. The Galapagos National Park Service in Isabelahas a long history of gardening with natives in the vil-lage of Puerto Villamil, and still maintains a smallactive nursery on the island.Data in this report come from the nurseries man-aged by CDF in San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz.Santa CruzData from 2007 to 2009 show a steady increase in thenumber of clients becoming involved in the project.In 2009, 173 different clients were provided with 7712plants of 47 species (Table 1). Over the last two years,the gardening team has provided plants for about 200projects, most of which have been for private gar-dens, although businesses, educational establish-ments, and public and private institutions have alsobecome involved in the initiative (Figure 3). In addi-tion, the gardening team has carried out landscapingprojects for over 30 different clients. This includes anambitious project for a housing development carriedout in the highlands of Santa Cruz, where all of thegrounds were landscaped with native species; hencethe very high plant production in 2008.San CristóbalOver the last two years the project in San Cristóbal hasgrown considerably since its beginning in 2008. In2009, the nursery produced 2618 plants of 48 speciesfor 44 different clients, compared to 797 plants of 32species in 2008 (Table 1). In addition, the team created28 gardens, which represents an increase of 160%compared to 2008. Most of these were private gardensfor houses in the village, but several restaurants andhotels also became involved in the project (Figure 3).161development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Table 1. Number of clients, type of activity (native garden or reforestation), number of species, and num-ber of plants produced in CDF’s native plant program on San Cristóbal (2008-9) and Santa Cruz (2007-9).Figure 3. The types of projects for which plants were provided in Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal.162In addition, in 2009, the project started to work withplants for reforestation projects in the highlands – atheme that has received many requests from farmersthere.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Conclusions and recommendationsWhile still in its infancy, the native gardens projectrepresents an important initiative in the sustainabledevelopment of Galapagos.The data presented in thisstudy provide a useful baseline to measure futuregrowth of the gardening project. However, they donot directly show the impact of this project on limit-ing the use or spread of introduced alien species. Inorder to do this it is necessary to return to a subset ofproperties and carry out a new inventory of intro-duced plant species, in addition to interviewing theland owners for their reasons for changing their gar-dens. In this way the direct impact of the project canbe assessed.Galapagos hotels and institutions are recorded ashaving the highest diversity of alien species in theirgardens (Trueman et al., submitted) and represent animportant focus for future work.This will be helped bya bold initiative from the Ministry of Tourism toincrease environmental responsibility by hotels andrestaurants in Galapagos through compliance to aseries of standards, including the use of native speciesfor landscaping.An essential component to solving invasivespecies problems worldwide is through the supportof the community. The increased awareness andknowledge of the native flora of Galapagos generatedthrough the gardening project and its associated edu-cation project (e.g., Atkinson et al., 2009) are impor-tant and positive steps to help people realize that sim-ple actions by each and every resident can help in theconservation of the archipelago.163development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Photo: Anne Guezou
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Optimizing restoration of thedegraded highlands of Galapagos:a conceptual framework1Charles Darwin Foundation, 2Galapagos National Park Service,3University of Western AustraliaIntroductionThe highlands of the inhabited islands contain the most degradedecosystems in Galapagos, with between 23 (Isabela) and 96% (SanCristóbal) altered by invasive species and agriculture (Table 1). Onsome islands this has resulted in the almost complete loss of uniquecommunities; the highland Scalesia forests now cover less than 1%of their original range on Santa Cruz and 0.1% on Sierra NegraVolcano (Isabela) (see Mauchamp and Atkinson, this volume).164Table 1. Percentage of vegetation zones degraded by land clearing or invasivespecies in each of the four inhabited islands (adapted from Watson et al., 2010); VeryHumid and Humid categories have been grouped together under Humid.To date the goal of conservation action in these degraded areas hasbeen to restore systems to a near pristine condition (Bensted Smithet al., 2002). Despite numerous attempts and much investment, thisapproach has consistently failed to deliver widespread and long-term results. This failure is due to a lack of understanding of theholistic nature of degradation as well as a lack of shared visionamong highland users. Unfortunately there is no magic wand forPhoto: Celso Montalvo
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010165restoration; changes in abiotic and biotic factors thatoccur as systems degrade may be difficult or impossi-ble to reverse sufficiently so that systems can return totheir pristine state (Hobbs et al., 2009). It is increasing-ly understood among scientists that the maintenanceor restoration of ecosystem function, which includesthe plethora of interactions between biological andphysical elements including the human element(often termed ecosystem services), should be the ulti-mate goal of conservation management (Hobbs andNorton, 1996). We suggest that this should also be thefocus in Galapagos. However, systems can lose rarercomponents of their biodiversity and thereforeresilience before function begins to be affected(Schwartz et al., 2000), so the goal is considerablylower than maintaining all original biodiversity.A goal based on functionality allows us to consid-er that some introduced species may play a neutral oreven valued role in natural communities. This impor-tant paradigm shift (that introduced species are notalways bad) opens the door to potential managementsolutions that maintain resilient systems composed ofmixtures of native and exotic elements that wouldnever have occurred naturally, rather than trying toreturn systems to their unaltered state. These novel orhybrid ecosystems (Hobbs et al., 2006) may be morestable and resilient to new invasions than pristine sys-tems, require lower inputs of resources enablingimproved cost effectiveness of current managementpractices (Seastadt et al., 2008), and thus a muchneeded extension of areas under active management.The objective of this paper is to review currentmanagement for restoration in the highlands andpropose ways in which the paradigm shift could helprefine and optimize this action. However, there is verylittle understanding of the ecological processes in thehighlands so that much of the basic information nec-essary to embrace the concept of novel ecosystemsand help improve management is missing. We outlinea conceptual framework for the degradation processin the inhabited highlands and use this to identifyknowledge gaps and key studies that need to be car-ried out. Furthermore, it is hoped that this conceptualframework can be used as a first step to develop ashared and realistic vision among highland users.Current management action to restorethe Galapagos highlandsHighland restoration in Galapagos to date hasfocused on the eradication of single species alreadyhaving a significant ecological impact (e.g., verte-brates - Cruz et al., 2005; Carrion et al., 2007) or pre-dicted to have future impact (e.g., plants -Buddenhagen, 2006). It has also addressed the con-trol of widespread invasives in key areas (e.g.,Buddenhagen et al., 2004) and small-scale manage-ment of iconic endemic species, especially on privatefarmland (e.g., Scalesia pedunculata) (Table 2). Whilesome of these projects have led to the successful nat-ural regeneration of communities, especially on unin-habited and relatively pristine islands, results on themore degraded islands have been varied, withreplacement of one invasive by another (e.g.,Atkinson et al., 2008), or simply with no positive long-term impact. This is often due to the small-scale andsporadic nature of the work, resulting from the highlevel of resources needed to carry out invasive speciescontrol. For example, projects such as the 200 haJatun Satcha on San Cristóbal, the use of Scalesiapedunculata as a cover crop for coffee in Santa Cruz,or weed control in critical areas of the National Parkare only possible on a small scale because of the needfor a continuous input of expensive labor to controlkey invasive weed species that transform the high-lands into states that did not previously exist (includ-ing Cedrela odorata, Cinchona pubescens, Lantanacamara, Psidium guayaba, Rubus niveus, Syzygium jam-bos, and several African grass species), These specieshave life history characteristics that readily out-com-pete indigenous Galapagos vegetation. Costs toremove invasive species from farmland rangebetween US$500 and US$2500 per ha, with mainte-nance costs of about US$500 to US$1000 per ha peryear depending on the land use (Scott Henderson andJamie Recourse, pers. comms).There are few agricultural activities that bring ahigh enough return to justify such an expense; poten-tial examples include agro-tourism combined withhigh-value products such as coffee and bananas, orgreenhouse-produced vegetable crops. This problemhas led to the abandonment of about 60% of the agri-cultural land in Santa Cruz, land which now acts as aseed source of invasive species for the surroundingmanaged farms and the Galapagos National Park. Asimilar story is occurring in the National Park wherealmost all of the annual budget for weed control (esti-mated at US$630,000 for 2007) was spent on the con-trol of the most invasive species in an area of less than200 ha (Figure 1). To put this in context, it is estimatedthat the introduced invasive Psidium guayaba coversat least 90,000 ha of National Park land. Very little of
  • Table 2. Examples of current management practices and how our proposed paradigm shift may result in a moreoptimized restoration.166the weed control budget is spent on active restora-tion or early detection and eradication to solveemerging problems. However, whilst plant eradica-tion seems an attractive goal, in theory a one-offinjection of funds and the problem is solved, evidenceshows that it is extremely difficult (Gardener et al.,2010).A more mechanistic-based approachA principle barrier in successful restoration both inGalapagos and the world at large has been the lack ofa mechanistic-based approach to understanding thedegradation process. A better understanding of thisprocess is the first step in the development of moreefficient management practices. We can begin todefine the fundamental elements of the degradationprocess by its representation as a state and transitionmodel. A state is a definable type of community (e.g.,pure Scalesia forest, mixed introduced and native for-est, or introduced pasture), and a transition is theprocess by which the system moves from one state toanother (e.g., land clearing or invasion of transformerspecies). Representation of the highlands in this waydevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 1. Numbers of non-native plant species recorded in Galapagos over the period 1800-2008. Inset: Categorization of the 919 non-native species in 2008 based on the Galapagos Weed Risk Assessment database. National Park allocation of resources for non-nativeplant species was US$630,000 in 2007, with all of the expenditures targeting species defined as transformers (Galapagos National Parkwork plan 2007).allows for the identification of desired goals inrestoration, which, as discussed above, may includehybrid or novel systems (Hobbs et al., 2006). It is studyand understanding of the processes that drive transi-tions rather than of the states themselves that willallow for successful restoration management to bedeveloped (Hulme, 2006).We present a state and transition model that wasdeveloped using local and international knowledge ata workshop held in Santa Cruz in November 2008(Figure 2). It builds upon that of Wilkinson et al. (2005),which specifically considered Scalesia forest andintroduced pasture, to encompass the whole of thehumid highlands. The workshop revealed significantinformation gaps that need to be filled in order toallow for a better understanding of the degradationprocess in the highlands. The information gaps weredivided into three key themes.The first addresses spa-tial distribution, function, and value of different vege-tation states (i.e., characterizing the states), the sec-ond determines the ecological and social processesdriving degradation (i.e., characterizing the transi-tions), and the third theme helps to develop a noveltool box to aid restoration to functioning states. Atotal of thirteen research projects were proposedwithin the themes, each the size of a PhD study, to fillthe necessary knowledge and research gaps.The three key themes identified in the workshopare detailed below.a) Spatial distribution, function and value of differentvegetation statesThere has been no fine-scale mapping to determinewhat vegetation states are present in the highlands ofGalapagos. At present it is assumed that states com-posed of introduced species have no inherent value. Acrucial first step is to study their ecological function inorder to determine the social, economic, and conser-vation value of each state. This is necessary in order tobe able to identify which states can be considered asuseful end points for restoration. This information canthen be combined with mapping to develop a spatial-ly explicit network of priority sites for conservationmanagement and human livelihoods.b) Ecological and social drivers of degradationWhile we know the key invasive species inGalapagos, there has been little quantitative studyon the impact they have on systems and how thatimpact drives degradation. An elegant exception isthe work of Jäger et al. (2007; 2009) on the impact ofthe tree Cinchona pubescens on the treeless pampasin the highlands of Santa Cruz. Surprisingly they167development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 2. A suggested state-transition model for the highlands of inhabited islands in Galapagos. Boxes represent main states andarrows represent transition or drivers between states. Red bars indicate possible biological or physical barriers preventing transitionsto less degraded states.T1: Clearing; T2: Intensive cultivation; T3: Abandonment; T4: invasion; T5:Removal of invasives + planting natives;T6: Removal of invasives; T7: Cultivation of crops, etc168showed that although an increase in tree densityreduced abundance of native and endemic species,no extinctions occurred. Impacts of invasive speciescan include changes in abiotic or physical conditions(e.g., light, water, or nutrients) and changes in bioticcomponents (e.g., vegetation structure, species com-position, changes in pollination, and seed dispersalwebs). In addition, changes in human land use thatmay be influenced by external economic pressurescan also impact heavily on degradation processes.This information helps to identify barriers or thresh-olds to restoration and thus has important implica-tions for successful management (Hobbs et al., 2009).c) A novel tool box to help in restorationCurrently tools used in restoration have focused onthe eradication or long-term control of individual keyspecies. The only example of an attempt to combinethis with restoration has been the planting of youngScalesia pedunculata in areas freshly cleared of weeds.To date there is no evidence that this helps in devel-oping resilience of the natural community to furtherinvasion due to a lack of understanding of seedbankdynamics and the physical properties of vegetationrequired to control reinvasion of key weed species.Research is also required to develop new techniquesto control some of the worst and most widespreadweeds using an integrated approach. Techniquesinclude biological control, changes in land use, anduse of herbivores, but it is also important to increasethe effectiveness of current management techniques.In addition, it is essential to develop an understand-ing of the economic, policy, and social pressures thatlead to current land use trends and identify strategiesthat allow for the incorporation of restoration intothese processes.The highland areas are inhabited; they are thefocus of agriculture and are also used for leisure andtourism activities. Thus, social and economic aspira-tions of the community who live in and use the high-lands are integral components in shaping the restora-tion vision, and must also be considered in all stagesas important components in the state transitionmodel.Optimizing future restoration activitiesThe biodiversity vision for “Galapagos 2050” clearlypoints to the need for restoration of the highlands ofthe four inhabited islands (Bensted Smith et al., 2002).However, the need for a paradigm shift is obvious if wewish to optimize the use of limited resources for bothresearch and management to maintain bigger naturalareas that retain ecological function into the future.Hence, we propose a shift in highland restoration thatdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Jacintha Castora Photographyaims at managing much larger areas and requiresfewer resources, with the endpoint being a functionaland resilient system. However, at present there aresignificant knowledge gaps that prevent us proceed-ing effectively with this task. The projects discussed inthis document form part of a new strategic plan forthe restoration of the highlands and collaboration isactively sought in order to help us understand thedegradation process.If this scientifically led process is to produce bettermanagement options based on ecosystem function,which incorporate community aspirations and maxi-mize biodiversity with low-cost solutions over largerareas, we need to use an adaptive managementapproach. This will require much tighter linkingbetween scientists, managers, and the community inorder to be able to respond quickly and effectively toresults from the field, continually refining managementaction as a team in order to develop optimal solutionsin a constantly changing world.AcknowledgementsThis conceptual framework is based on a workshopheld in November 2008 entitled “Highland restora-tion in the Galapagos: a strategic research plan tohelp define effective conservation management”and attended by international experts and local gov-ernment and non government institutions. Theresearch plan created from that workshop is avail-able from CDF. This work was funded by GalapagosConservancy.169development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Jacintha Castora Photographydevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Galapagos in the face ofclimate change: considerationsfor biodiversity and associatedhuman well-being1Conservation International – Ecuador, 2Conservation InternationalIntroductionThe Galapagos Archipelago provides a globally-unique‘field laborato-ry’ for assessing the effects of climate change on biodiversity and asmall local community. The species and ecosystems of Galapagosundergo cyclical climate shifts in accordance with the strength of ElNiño seasons, which occur every two to eight years. Extremes in cli-mate and oceanic conditions include rising sea levels and soaring seasurface temperatures. Some loss of biodiversity has apparentlyalready occurred and future losses may be accelerated by the increas-ing impact of climate change upon the already stressed ecosystems(due to over-fishing, tourism, and invasive species). These losses willdirectly impact the local human communities as their livelihoods areprimarily dependent on these threatened natural resources (Figure 1).Although local mitigation actions and increased local awareness pro-grams about climate change should be encouraged as a general poli-cy, such actions will not have an impact at a global scale. Attentionmust be directed to increasing the adaptation capacity of the localcommunities and, at the same time, reducing the vulnerability andincreasing the resilience of the ecosystems. Responding to climatechange should be used as an opportunity to bring together both bio-diversity conservation and the health of the community through aunified adaptive management approach.This article summarizes the results of the Galapagos ClimateChange Vulnerability Assessment Workshop, held in Puerto Ayora,170
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010171Galapagos, April 20-23, 2009. Over 70 participantsattended the workshop, representing local, national,and international experts and scientists, local andnational stakeholders, and representatives from thebusiness sectors. The objectives of the workshopwere: (i) assess existing local scientific, technical, andsocioeconomic information on climate change; (ii)assess potential impacts of climate change on localecosystems, biodiversity, and human well-being; and(iii) formulate response strategies, focusing primarilyon adaptive management.Galapagos and climate changeThe Galapagos Archipelago is located within theEastern Tropical Pacific. Key elements that character-ize the Galapagos climate are: (i) the South-Easttradewinds; (ii) the interaction of four warm and cooloceanic currents, including a strong subsurface cur-rent and areas of upwelling; and (iii) the climatic vari-ability related to the El Niño Southern Oscillation(ENSO) phenomena.Potential physical and chemical changes in thetropical Pacific Ocean resulting from global climatechange will play a vital role in controlling future shiftsin biology and ecosystem dynamics withinGalapagos. The workshop reached a consensus thatthe most critical parameters will be an increase in thestrength of ENSO events and a reduction in thestrength of upwelling currents. Scientific studies pre-dict that changes in water properties and circulationcould impact nutrient supply, larval dispersal, and thedistribution of habitat zones. Changes in wind andrainfall patterns will affect seasonality, growth pat-terns of vegetation, and breeding patterns and distri-bution of native and introduced wildlife.The Galapagos Archipelago and the GalapagosMarine Reserve straddle two distinct El Niño (EN)Regions (Figure 2). EN Region 3, to the west of thearchipelago, is influenced by the upwelling of theEquatorial Counter Current and the Cromwell Current,while EN Region 1+2 is influenced by the HumboldtCurrent. Predicting climate change impacts on theGalapagos at local and regional scales is difficultbecause of this complex setting and also due to thelack of long-term data. The currently available sce-nario modeling of the Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Change (IPCC) focuses primarily on the ENregion 3.4, which extends west of Region 3, from120oW to 170oW.Figure 1. Theoretical diagram of potential impacts of climate change on Galapagos systems and interactions between the differentcomponents.
  • Figure 2. (A) Galapagos Archipelago in relation to the different El Niño Regions based on NOAA definitions (from CDF, 2009); (B) theoceanic currents that bathe the archipelago ( EN = El Niño.AB172Analysis of trends, modeling,and predictionsLong-term data sets are fundamental for determiningtrends in physical climate indicators, such as sea sur-face temperature (SST), sea level (SL), and precipita-tion. These data sets can then be used to carry outpredictive modeling under given scenarios, such asthose presented by the IPCC. Long-term climate datasets for Galapagos, with up to 55 years of data forsome parameters, have recently been compiled andanalyzed (Martinez, 2009; CDF, 2009). The dataincludes in situ observations and measurements, datacollected during oceanographic cruises, and dataobtained from satellite observation and from the sci-entific literature. Results of the analysis showed nodefinite trend in SST, SL, or precipitation in Galapagosover the last 40 years.However, four interesting observations emergedfrom the analyzed data:1. The extremes of SSTs (cool season and hot sea-son) show a diverging trend.2. Internal variability, including ENSO and PacificDecadal Oscillation (PDO), dominates the analysisand masks any impact of external forces relatedto climate change (Figures 3 and 4).3. Specific regions within Galapagos should beevaluated separately in terms of climate changeimpacts: western, central, and eastern.4. The range in spatial and temporal variability inGalapagos due to ENSO and PDO, including SSTand SL rise, is as great as the predicted changesunder global climate change scenarios overlonger time scales, suggesting that the localecosystems have an inbuilt resilience to a certaindegree of change.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Figure 3. Time series of Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). El Niño events are colored red while La Niña’s are blue. Green bars representneutral years of SOI. Notice the decreased number of La Niña events during the positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)(from Martinez, 2009).Figure 4. Diagrammatic representation of additive and subtractive combinations of different signals affecting the Galapagos climate.Global climate change models tend to show adecrease in tropical atmospheric and oceanic circula-tion (Vecchi and Soden, 2007), resulting in an increasein precipitation and a decrease in upwelling. A predic-tive model has been run for Galapagos using the IPCCAR4 SRES A1B Emission Scenario. However, the inter-pretation and validity of the results are limited, as onlyone scenario has been used to date (Xie et al., 2009).Internal variability within the Galapagos system(resulting from ENSO or PDO cyclic events or annualseasonal changes at a smaller scale) occurs alongsideexternal influences, such as the positive trend inradiative forcing related to global warming and cli-mate change (Figure 4). At certain times, the magni-tude from the different signals may combine in waysthat mask a rising trend while at other times the com-bination of signals may exacerbate peak intensitiesgiving rise to potentially disastrous climatic extremes.It should be noted that the relative magnitude ofENSO is probably much greater than that of the PDOin the Eastern Tropical Pacific.Experts participating in the VulnerabilityAssessment workshop reached consensus on severalkey points regarding physical oceanography changesin Galapagos, which include both climatic and non-climatic changes (Table 1).173development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Climate impacts on marine ecosystemsThe marine ecosystems of Galapagos are character-ized by having a natural resilience to abrupt changesin temperature and sea level at certain temporalscales. However, as these changes intensify (becom-ing more frequent, abrupt, and sustained), theirimpact on the ecosystems, already stressed by over-use, overfishing, contamination, invasive species, andfragmentation, could be disastrous.Reduced localized upwelling will result indecreased nutrient input into surface waters withmajor consequences at all trophic levels, especiallytop predators (sharks, penguins, pelagic fish, whales,and sea lions). This could also lead to significant long-term decreases in fisheries, already observed duringstrong El Niño events.Sea level rise will affect species that nest onbeaches, such as sea turtles and marine iguanas,through coastal erosion and flooding. Coastal nest-ing species will also suffer greater losses if the cur-rent stress by introduced predators, such as rats andcats, is not reduced. Although current trends for sealevel rise in Galapagos are not yet significant, swellsurges, locally know as aguajes, will likely cause thegreatest impact. Housing infrastructure along thecoast, such as along Academy Bay in Puerto Ayora,will be at risk.Increasing sea temperatures across the archipel-ago may result in warm-water-tolerant corals dis-placing cold-water species and the migration ofmore tropical Pacific fish species into the northernwaters of Galapagos. In addition, extreme or sus-tained El Niño events may cause local coral extinc-tions through bleaching and put even greater pres-sure on the larger pelagic fish.Overall, climate change will impact many ofGalapagos marine species. Among marine mega-fauna, fur seals appear to be the most vulnerable toincreased variability related to climate change, whilescavengers (e.g., lava gulls) seem to benefit from peri-ods of warming. Organisms that reproduce all year,such as sea cucumbers (Isostichopus fuscus), are lessvulnerable than species whose reproductive season islimited to a specific time of year, such as lobsters.However this only holds true for those species notdependent on cold-water spawning conditions orareas. In general, cold-water corals and upwelling sys-tems will likely be the communities most vulnerableto climate change, including in particular the north-ern region surrounding Wolf and Darwin Islands andthe western archipelago (Isabela and Fernandina).Climate impacts on terrestrial ecosystemsIn an attempt to understand the impact of climatechange on the complex terrestrial ecosystems of theGalapagos Islands, these were divided primarily intothe arid zone and the humid zone. Precipitation, moreso than temperature, is predicted to be the main factorimpacting these ecosystems. Although the humid zoneon the inhabited islands has been largely modified byland-use changes related to agriculture, this zone isconsidered more resistant to change than the aridzone because it is dependent on cold season humidi-ty and garúa and less dependent on hot season rain-fall. However, if El Niño events intensify and sea tem-peratures are persistently higher, it is likely that garúaTable 1. Summary of likely physical oceanography changes in Galapagos agreed to in the VulnerabilityAssessment workshop.174development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • precipitation will disappear and heavy rainfall willincrease. On the other hand, the arid zone is more vul-nerable because changes in hot season precipitationcan have drastic consequences on the flora and faunaassemblages. This zone, which until now has beeninhospitable to most invasive species, could becomehospitable under different climatic conditions.Two examples of native terrestrial ecosystemsespecially susceptible to increased precipitation, asobserved during extreme El Niño events, are theScalesia forest in the humid zone and the Opuntia for-est in the arid zone. In both cases, the die-back in thesedominant species negatively impacted the manyspecies dependent on them.An increase in both the number and distribution ofinvasive species and diseases is a major concern inmany of the different climate change scenarios, espe-cially if El Niño events become more frequent orintense. Many of the invasive species are better adapt-ed to respond to the associated changes of wetter,warmer conditions and may have an even greaterimpact on native and endemic species and habitats.For example, Wasmania fire ants and Polistes waspsincreased their ranges considerably during past ElNiños. Growth and spread of guayaba (Psidium guaja-va), an invasive fruiting tree, as well as blackberry(Rubus niveus) and lantana (Lantana camara), areenhanced by increased rainfall during El Niño events.Climate impacts on human well-beingAs marine and terrestrial ecosystems become affectedby climate change, direct repercussions will be feltwithin the human society, from both economic andquality of life perspectives. The three primary eco-nomic sectors of Galapagos (tourism, fisheries, andagriculture) depend upon the natural resources andcurrent climatic conditions. Global climate changewill likely result in negative impacts on the uniqueflora and fauna of Galapagos potentially resulting inat least local extinctions, on the commercial marineresources, and on the soil, water, and climatic condi-tions of the windward slopes of the inhabited islands.An increase in the distribution and abundance ofinvasive species, including diseases, will not onlyaffect the unique flora and fauna of Galapagos, butalso agriculture and human health. All of this will havenegative economic repercussions within Galapagossociety and potentially for Ecuador. It is important tostrategically strengthen each economic sector so thatit is more resilient, including potential shifts in thetypes of tourism offered, fishing methodologies used,and types of crops grown.Quality of life, including health, infrastructure,and vital resources (water, energy, waste manage-ment), among others, will be negatively impacted asglobal climate change intensifies, unless necessaryprecautions are taken. Higher temperatures andincreased precipitation (almost certain to continue)will result in increased dispersal of mosquitoes, vec-tors for serious diseases, and the risk of epidemicssuch as dengue (already present in Galapagos) andeventually yellow fever and malaria (not yet presentin the islands). The current conditions in the commu-nities of Galapagos, including poor healthcare, sani-tation, water quality, and little to no urban planning,will exacerbate these risks. Urban planning strate-gies to ensure improved construction methods,especially along the coastal corridor, must be initiat-ed. These must include planning for flash floods inboth inland and coastal towns and higher sea levels.Watershed management and water quality controlsmust be implemented in the near future to avoidpotential disaster.A last consideration regarding the impacts of cli-mate change on human well-being in Galapagos isthat migration pressure from the mainland couldincrease to unprecedented levels if the climatechange impacts on the mainland (for example flood-ing of lowlands in coastal areas and desertification inthe páramo) generate a large number of“environmen-tal refugees.” Historically, waves of human migrationto Galapagos have resulted from local disasters incontinental Ecuador. Currently this can be seen in thecurrent migration from the Tungurahua province dueto on-going volcanic eruptions.Recommendations andadaptive managementThe aim of the workshop was to generate recommen-dations and lines of action that will lead to adaptivemanagement decisions to help prepare Galapagosecosystems and Galapagos society to confront cli-mate change (Table 2). These recommendations fallunder two general goals:• Build inter-institutional support and engage allstakeholders• Increase ecosystem resilience to meet changingclimatic conditions.175development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010176Table 2. Summary of key recommendations proposed by the Vulnerability Assessment Workshop and related lines of actionsor adaptive management.ConclusionsThe oceanic setting of Galapagos at the confluence ofwarm and cold water currents has given rise to theunique ecosystems and biodiversity that we knowtoday.This same setting means that the impacts of cli-mate change will be different here than anywhereelse in the world. It is critical that the people ofGalapagos prepare for these potential changes. Asour ecosystems are stressed locally and our planetglobally, both native and invasive species may notrespond as they have in the past, due to even greaterclimatic extremes, increased variability, and long-term impacts. Our livelihoods will be heavily impact-ed not only by the physical implications of climatechange but also the repercussions on the naturalresources we depend on. In addition, the local com-munity, Ecuador, and the world have a responsibilityto ensure the future survival of the Galapagos WorldHeritage Site.As a concluding result of the workshop, a SantaCruz Declaration was unanimously supported by localand national authorities (Ministry of Environment,Galapagos National Park, National OceanographicInstitute, AGROCALIDAD-SICGAL, and the Municipalityof Santa Cruz) as a commitment to ongoing involve-ment in the process of understanding the conse-quences of climate change and the roles of the localcommunities and managers to take global warminginto account in decision-making processes.This declaration and other useful resources relat-ing to this article can be found at:
  • 177Galapagos as a laboratory forsustainability: Lessons from theInternational Workshop onSustainability of Islands in aGlobalized World, Santa Cruz Island,Galapagos, 22-26 March 2010Charles Darwin University, Australia“As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a newbeginning...”(The Earth Charter, 2000)When the Charles Darwin Foundation asked me to facilitate a work-shop on sustainability, I believed that the workshop would producenew knowledge and contributions to help understand the situationin Galapagos and to help initiate a different process towards sustain-ability. The presentations by international experts on the sustainabil-ity of other islands in the world demonstrated new concepts andexamples to better understand what is happening in Galapagos.Presentations by local professionals on various economic, social, bio-physical, institutional, and environmental themes related toGalapagos brought us up to date on the current situation in thearchipelago. Workgroups, which involved all of the workshop partic-ipants, generated new and different ways to understand where thebalance between nature and humans is headed in such a fragile andunique place in the world. This article synthesizes the presentationsand results of the workgroups, which were focused on systematical-ly understanding the social, cultural, natural, and economic compo-nents of Galapagos. It ends with recommendations and suggestednext steps to begin a new chapter on how to achieve sustainabilityin the Galapagos Islands.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Photo: Celso Montalvo
  • 178The vulnerability of islands and insular geo-diversityInternational fora, such as the United Nations EarthSummit in Rio in 1992, the 1994 Barbados Program ofAction for the Sustainable Development of SmallIsland Developing States, and the United NationsConference on Small Islands in Mauritius in 2005, haveslowly advanced the implementation of actions toavoid social, cultural, and ecological catastrophes inislands around the world. Unfortunately, in the morethan 15 years since Barbados 1994, efforts to researchand discover the best options for achieving an equi-librium for insular systems worldwide have beenweak and have not received sufficient resources(López, 2010).The lives of human populations that live anddepend on resources available on islands or in theirsurrounding waters are often negatively affected bydemands for the same resources by large, externalconsumers. The geographic opening of the islands(see Grenier, The geographic opening of Galapagos,this volume) to aggressive external markets hasresulted in ongoing changes in the dynamics of theinsular system (McKee and Tisdell, 1990).Uncontrolled development, made possible by newforms of communication and transportation, hascaused irreversible damage to the unique biological,cultural, social, and geographic diversity of manyislands around the world, such as Hawaii and theAzores.Biological, cultural, social, and geologic charac-teristics combine with geographical characteristics toform what has recently been called“geodiversity.”Theoriginal physical characteristics of a place, deter-mined by its geology and geography, along with itsbiological, anthropological, sociological, and culturalcharacteristics unite to generate a special identity in aspecific geographic space. Geodiversity can bedefined as the measure of the geographic variationsor the“footprint”made by humans on Earth’s habitats(“Geo”) at the local and regional levels (Grenier, 2010).Insular geodiversity describes the evolution of islandsfrom their physical formation to their colonizationand use by humans, and identifies which factorsaffect their sustainability. According to Jost (2010),geodiversity requires that natural resource manage-ment is carried out within a complex geographicalsystem with subsystems of landscape (natural space),territory (space used by stakeholders), and social fac-tors (perceptions).The Galapagos Archipelago provides an excellentopportunity to study the dynamics of geodiversity.Such studies will contribute to sustainability inGalapagos and other islands. The unique and fragilenatural characteristics of Galapagos, combined withits recent colonization and its consumer-oriented eco-nomic model, have generated considerable scientificinterest to better understand the dynamics of sustain-ability in this context.Evolution of cultural identities and geo-graphic isolationThe cultures on the islands of New Guinea, Vanuatu,Cook, Marquesas, Hawaii, and other islands of thePacific are the product of hundreds or thousands ofyears of interactions of communities (as opposed toindividuals) with near and distant cultures via migra-tion processes. Various factors, such as environmentaland climatic conditions, or being located in areasprone to earthquakes, cyclones, etc., have forcedgroups of humans to search for other geographiclocations to live and share. The migration of commu-nities is structured with a long-term vision, where theinterests in resources and territory are shared amongall. In contrast, individual migration is focused on per-sonal interests, is less organized, and generallyreflects a short-term vision and little communityorganization (Waddell, 2010). These fundamental dif-ferences help explain where the term “immigrant”ends and the term“indigenous”begins.Waddell (2010) also illustrates that all islands orinsular systems confront immigration influencesknown as “transportation of landscapes,” “roots andresources,” and impacts due to “geographic isolation.”“Transportation of landscapes” refers to the behaviorthat immigrants bring with them from their place oforigin. In Galapagos it is easy to observe behavior andcultures brought from mainland Ecuador and otherplaces. “Roots and resources” refers to inherited prac-tices and cultural roots and how they are applied tothe available resources in the insular context. InGalapagos, a variety of roots and inherited practicesare brought from foreign landscapes to the fragileinsular environment.Human communities in the Pacific have survivedin part due to their contact with other islands, wheresurvival knowledge was shared and learned amongcultures, rather than due to complete geographic iso-lation. In the case of Galapagos, geographic isolationhas been applied more to the natural environment,particularly in terms of the evolution of species. Wedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • Photo: Marco Rodrígueznow know that geographic isolation has importantsocial and economic implications that are intimatelyrelated to the natural aspects of the islands.Geographic isolation is the opposite of geographicopening, a situation that also impacts the geodiversi-ty of the islands in a globalized world.Geographic opening and globalizationTelecommunications and efficient and rapid trans-portation are having an unprecedented affect on thesustainability of islands (Jacob et al., 2004). Theseforces bring with them new ways of thinking aboutaccumulation of material wealth that are geared moretowards individual stability than collective stability.They transform the geodiversity of islands with estab-lished indigenous cultures in ways that drive thesecultures to unsustainability and their eventualdemise. This phenomenon, in which insular attributesare subjugated by those of nearby continents, isknown as “continentalization of islands” (Grenier,2010). As in the case of geographic isolation, conti-nentalization can have negative impacts for cultures,making it necessary to find an intermediate pointbetween the extremes of insular isolation (geograph-ic isolation), on the one hand, and excessive openingto other regions (geographic opening), on the other(Waddell, 2010).To achieve this balance and the sustainability ofislands in a globalized world, various elements mustbe considered. Lessons learned from other islands(Seychelles, Azores, Canary Islands, New Caledonia,Fiji, Chausey, Porquerolles, Glenan, New Zealand, andSan Andrés, among others) were shared during theworkshop and can be applied to the case ofGalapagos. Today the islands of the world share simi-lar problems, which could be resolved or reducedwith similar methods and actions, adapted to eachisland’s realities (Cruz, 2010).Kerr (2010) believes that controlled migratoryflows accompanied by knowledge transfer and shar-ing are important to help respond to deficits in laborand knowledge and thus strengthen insulareconomies. Such mechanisms are being used suc-cessfully in San Andrés, Colombia (Bent, 2010), toimport needed“brain power”and knowledge.Another concept connected to sustainability iseconomic wealth related to shared resources, or thecase of the“tragedy of the commons,”where multipleindividuals, acting independently and solely andrationally consulting their own self-interest, will ulti-mately deplete a shared limited resource even when itis clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest forthis to happen. When an economy is based on thenatural characteristics of common property, as in thecase of Galapagos, it is imperative that the“tragedy ofthe commons” be avoided. In Galapagos the sharedresource is the national park. While everyone knowsthat controlled visits are key to ensuring that theresource endures, many people take visitors into thepark without authorization, knowing that others willdo the same. The same applies to the GalapagosMarine Reserve (GMR) where unauthorized fishermenextract resources until their combined actions resultin negative repercussions on the resource.From 1999 to 2005, economic growth inGalapagos exceeded 9% per year (Ospina, 2010).There is concern about how long this growth will con-tinue and what its consequences might be. Kerr(2010) argues that the economic system should179development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • 180involve rewards and incentives for private and localgovernment investments in natural and social capital,as well as penalties for those who act outside estab-lished norms. This type of system is supported byLorenz and Simkins (2010) who also recommend cre-ating taxes that will provide disincentives for newinvestments and promote incentives for Galapagosresidents to invest in continental Ecuador. This couldhelp to de-accelerate the economic growth men-tioned by Ospina. In addition, alternative energyapplications should be viewed as potentially prof-itable investment opportunities that are environmen-tally friendly and compatible with the insular reality(Sawyer, 2010). Sawyer proposes the generation ofelectricity from organic waste generated by the pop-ulation as a source of income and clean and inexpen-sive electricity.Kerr shared examples of areas that could beimproved in Galapagos, such as: local control and reg-ulations; communication and active participation;institutional capacity building; social, economic, andnatural dynamics; economic monitoring and research;and conflict resolution capacity. Given that trans-portation is one of the key factors determining theisolation and/or geographic opening of the islands,Brigand (2010) considers it critical to clearly establishhow the geographic space of the islands will be usedby various stakeholders from a social point of view.This will help to establish a new geography of thearchipelago based on human movements and use ofboth marine and terrestrial areas (Marrou, 2010).Expansion of visits to protected areas in places suchas Galapagos requires an integrated monitoring sys-tem that is technically and scientifically sound andinvolves local participation. Brigand (2010) considersit important to balance economic development andthe preservation of natural areas through the use ofmanagement tools that measure and monitor theflow of tourists and the impacts on both marine andterrestrial areas.Elements that influence sustainability must beviewed as interdependent components of a system.David (2010) recommends a model based on a trian-gle comprised of economic, political, and social envi-ronments, where the terrestrial and marine areasdepend on the dynamics of these environments. Inother words, one cannot tackle any element withinthe system without considering the others. To under-stand the dynamics of sustainability and be able tomake the best decisions at the local and regional lev-els, it is necessary to generate scientifically-basedinformation (natural, social, economic) with the par-ticipation of local communities (Huchery and Izurieta,2010). The use of and access to this information mustbe transparent and contribute to understanding thedifferent parts of the system, and should be accompa-nied by capacity building and both formal and infor-mal education.This information can be used to gener-ate a series of possible scenarios that will allow thevisualization of possible future outcomes prior tomaking final decisions. However, none of these tools,including the integrated observation and monitoringsystem (Brigand, 2010), will be established without aserious commitment of authorities and the local com-munity to develop a long-term shared vision forGalapagos.What can we say and learn about thesustainability of islands that can beapplied to Galapagos?• Galapagos does not possess its own culturalidentity. As a result of the nature of the popula-tion (many recently arrived residents from differ-ent parts of Ecuador), behavior often reflectsstrong elements of the continental landscape.The evolution of Galapagos culture is recent andhas not yet resulted in homogeneous behavior. Inmany ways, access to new means of communica-tion (Internet, satellite television, mobile phones,etc.) makes it difficult to form a unique sense ofinsular culture. Even so, these tools can be usedcreatively by the local population, non-govern-mental organizations, and local and national gov-ernments to foster a cultural identity based onrespect for natural capital as the foundation forthe development of social capital.• While striving for a Galapagos culture, flexibilityshould be used to allow for the arrival of newknowledge and skills through a system that willallow the migration of individuals with the poten-tial to enrich and strengthen the local knowledgebase and improve competition and initiative.Equally important is a stronger emphasis onimproving both formal and informal educationand avoiding loss of local social capital.• Galapagos and other insular systems areimpacted by economic globalization, as externalmarket pressures tend to dominate local eco-nomic activity. This situation is not difficult todevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • change. It requires clear lines of action based onstrategic local participation to establish whicheconomic opportunities to offer and where todrive the market. It is important to define strate-gies to regulate markets that utilize naturalresources (national park and marine reserve),services (transportation, hotels, restaurants, com-munications, health care, naturalist guides, etc.),and products (food, souvenirs, constructionmaterial, etc.).• Galapagos has more than two decades of expe-rience with participatory processes, through theParticipatory Management Board of theGalapagos Marine Reserve and regional planningactivities. This experience makes it possible tobegin to generate and organize information relat-ed to the social, economic, and natural compo-nents of the Galapagos system. The process ofgenerating and organizing information must beparticipatory from the start in order to foster asense of ownership of knowledge. Knowledge ispower and this power must be based in the localcommunity to achieve decision-making that isconsistent with a shared vision for the future ofGalapagos.Next steps toward sustainabilityThe workgroups and plenary sessions recommendedthe development of a participatory process with localbuy-in to construct a model to understand Galapagosas a“system.”This system should give equal weight tosocio-cultural, economic, and natural components.While the process could take a number of years tocomplete, it will lead to the identification of andagreement on common objectives for Galapagos andwill generate a long-term national policy regardingwhat Ecuador wants from and for Galapagos that isnot dependent upon the party in power.The workshop identified three projects that willcatalyze a move toward sustainability.Island Identity Project (education): Education hasbeen identified as the principal means to promote aninsular identity that will use the protection of the nat-ural capital as a starting point for developing humancapital. Achieving a change in the mindset, attitudes,and sense of responsibility for Galapagos sustainabil-ity among the local population requires understand-ing the ”landscape diversity” brought from the conti-nent to Galapagos by its current inhabitants. An initialworkshop will be held to promote a clear and struc-tured process, with clear goals and objectives, to worktoward a unique insular identity for Galapagos.Project for improving and changing the insulareconomic system: Many variables have been identi-fied that impact economic flows to, from, and withinthe islands. It is necessary to analyze all of the infor-mation available on the current economic system ofGalapagos in order to determine if additional infor-mation is needed prior to holding a series of participa-tory workshops with local stakeholders to formulateviable economic scenarios, which include the conceptof economic incentives and disincentives.Knowledge management project to systematizeand provide access to information to support deci-sion-making: The systematization of all aspects ofknowledge related to the social, economic, and natu-ral components of“sustainable systems”is increasing-ly important, as is access to this knowledge by thelocal community, organizations, and institutions. Thisis a cross-cutting initiative that will impact other proj-ects in areas such as education, economics, etc. Theproject must be carried out in a way that promotesparticipation and a sense of ownership of the infor-mation generated through a series of workshops onvarious aspects of sustainability. This project shouldwork to connect the social, economic, and naturalcomponents of the Galapagos system, foster anunderstanding and sense of ownership of these con-cepts, and ensure better decision-making based onsolid information.ConclusionsThe islands of the world confront common challengesof accelerated globalization. Their survival dependson how their inhabitants act when confronted withthese pressures and the extent to which they do notcompromise the natural integrity of the islands inwhich they live. But the responsibility for sustainabili-ty falls not only on those who live in the islands, butalso on the rest of the world. Local and internationaldeclarations, agreements, laws, and regulations arenot sufficient if we do not assume individual and col-lective responsibility for how we behave toward whatremains of our planet. The Earth Charter (2000) invitesus to reflect and change our thinking and behavior inways that will allow us to live in harmony with all thatsurrounds us. International pro-island organizations,181development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  • development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010such as the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), theIslands Initiative of the International Union forConservation of Nature (IUCN), and fora such as theInternational Workshop on the Sustainability ofIslands, hosted by the Charles Darwin Foundation,should be viewed as instruments that will generatetangible changes in behavior in insular regions suchas Galapagos. The generation of knowledge throughscientific research and citizen participation, theorganization of and access to this information, andthe consolidation of a unique insular identity, willresult in a more promising future for Galapagos.AcknowledgementsThe Charles Darwin Foundation, Felipe Cruz, and Dr.Christophe Grenier; School of EnvironmentalResearch of the Charles Darwin University; CindyHuchery and all of the workshop participants.Presentations at the InternationalWorkshop on Sustainability of Islands in aGlobalized World, Santa Cruz, Galapagos,Ecuador, 22-26 March 2010 – cited in thisarticleBent L. 2010. Las Islas San Andrés.Brigand L. 2010. Los observatorios de la frecuentación: her-ramienta de Bountiles como base de observación de losusos náuticos y terrestres en islas y litorales.Cruz F. 2010. Charla introductoria al Taller de Sostenibilidaden Islas en un Mundo Globalizado.David G. 2010. Modelos en transición hacia la sostenibili-dad.Grenier C. 2010. Geodiversity and geographic opening:Twoconcepts to think about island sustainability and vulnera-bility in a globalized world. Introduction to Workshop onIsland Sustainability in a Globalized World.Huchery C & A Izurieta. 2010. Scenario modelling as a toolto assist decision making.Jost C. 2010. Some reflexions and paths of geographicalapproaches for environmental management and develop-ment.Kerr S. 2010. Aprovechando el capital natural con coop-eración: una perspectiva económica.López G. 2010. Charla introductoria al Taller deSostenibilidad en Islas en un Mundo Globalizado.Marrou L. 2010. Insularidad y transportes: el caso de lasAzores visto por un geógrafo francés.Ospina P. 2010. Crecimiento económico, escenarios futurosy sustentabilidad. Una lectura desde los actores enGalápagos.Sawyer G. 2010. Climate change response to greenhousegas through innovative partnerships.Lorenz S & M Simkin. 2010. Charla sobre incentivos y casti-gos al sistema económico de Galápagos.Waddell E. 2010. Reflecting on the immeasurable: someobservations on human adaptations in the Pacific islands.182
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