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PROJECT BRIEF
1. Identifiers:

Project Number ECU/00/G41

Name of Project: Ecuador: Control of Invasive Species in the Galapagos Archipelago

Duration: Six Years

Implementing Agency: UNDP

Executing Agencies: Ministry of the Environment

Requesting Country: Ecuador

Eligibility: Ecuador ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993

GEF Focal Area: Biodiversity

GEF Programming Framework: OP# 1: Arid and Semi-Arid Zone Ecosystems.

  1. Summary:

The Galapagos Islands are a globally outstanding repository of biodiversity and centre of endemism, and have since Darwin’s time, been recognised as a natural laboratory for speciation and thus for the study of evolutionary processes. The Islands have been designated a World Heritage Site on account of their global significance. The Government of Ecuador has demonstrated a strong commitment to their conservation, having ‘set aside’ 97% of the land area as a National Park, and creating a large Marine Reserve—exemplary actions that have shielded the archipelago from severe anthropogenic pressures. But threats remain, primarily from the past and potential future invasion of alien species, which are already responsible for habitat degradation, and prey on, and compete with native wildlife. The proposed project aims at fully empowering Ecuadorian institutions charged with conserving the Islands to proactively, and adaptively, manage these threats, and guard against future ‘bio-invasion’ by taking a precautionary approach to ecosystem management. In accordance with National Conservation Strategies, a ‘total control’ framework for invasive species is advanced. The project will build technical skills for and establish the relative cost-efficiency of different management models.

Interventions will seek to 1] prevent future species colonisation by improving quarantine systems; 2] demonstrate cost effective means of eradicating, controlling, and mitigating the impacts of invasive species through pilot projects that exemplify the spectrum of current management challenges; 3] build capacity to perform targeted research, to understand the nature of current and future threats, and plan mitigation efforts; 4] build an overlay of invasive species management into sectoral development;5] establish a financial mechanism to compensate for the recurrent costs of control measures, and build the capacities of management agencies to capture non-GEF investments for replicating eradication efforts; and 6] build awareness in the archipelago and mainland regarding the problem. As management is unlikely to succeed without the active co-operation of the Islands’ 16,000 residents, local communities will be actively engaged in planning and executing operations.





  1. Costs and Financing (US$ million):


GEF: US$ 18.30

PDF A and B US$ 0.38



Confirmed Co-Financing

GoE US$ 1.04

UNDP/UNFPA* US$ 0.30 * Not Including preparatory costs

UNF US$ 3.00

CDF* US$ 3.37

European Community US$ 0.34

IDB US$ 2.88

Private Sector US$ 1.90

AECI US$ 1.00

USAID US$ 0.01

WWF US$ 1.20

Total Confirmed Co-financing US$ 15.04

Co-Financing to be raised (Private sector) US$ 8.20

Total Co-financing US$ 23.24

Total GEF US$ 18.30

Total Project Cost US$ 41.54




  1. Associated Financing: Baseline financing costed at US$ 63.43 million over 6 years of which US$0.94 is GEF Medium Project “Monitoring Galapagos”

5. Operational Focal Point Endorsement:


Name: Yolanda Kakabadse Title: Minister of the Environment

Organisation: Ministry of the Environment Date: September 3rd, 1999


6. IA Contact: Lita Paparoni, Regional Co-ordinator, UNDP/ RBLAC GEF Unit,

Tel (212) 906 5468; Fax (212) 906 6688; e mail (lita.paparoni @undp.org)



List of Acronyms

AECI Spanish International Cooperation Agency

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity

CDF Charles Darwin Foundation

CDFRS Charles Darwin Foundation Research Station

CEDENMA Ecuadorian Committee for the Defence of Nature and the Environment

COP Conference of Parties for the CBD

EMG-IDB Environmental Management in Galapagos (IDB funded project to start up in year 2000)

EU European Union

FOG Friends of Galapagos

GISP Global Invasive Species Programme

GMR Galapagos Marine Reserve

GNP Galapagos National Park

GNPS Galapagos National Park Service

GoE Government of Ecuador

SESA Ecuadorian Service for Agriculture and Livestock Sanitation

SLG Special Law for Galapagos

IDB Interamerican Development Bank

INGALA National Institute for Galapagos

IS Invasive Species

MA Ministry of the Environment

MAG Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Production

NBSAP National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

NGO Non-Governmental Organisation

SBSTTA Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

SICGAL Galapagos Quarantine and Inspection System

SLG Special Regime Law for the Conservation and Development of Galapagos Province

UNF United Nations Foundation



USAID US Agency for International Development

Project Context
1 Environmental Context: The Galapagos Islands are world renowned as a storehouse of unique terrestrial and marine biological diversity, as a natural laboratory for biological evolution and speciation, and for their role in stimulating development of Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. This volcanic, oceanic archipelago was formed some four million years ago, 1,000 km from any other landmass. It has 5 islands larger than 500 km2, 14 smaller ones, and over 50 islets and rocks. Initially devoid of life, the islands were gradually colonised by a variety of life forms, many of which, continually isolated from the mainland, evolved into new species. The archipelago now supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna including 541 species of vascular plants, 106 species of vertebrates and over 1,995 species of invertebrates. An exceptionally high percentage of these are endemic, including 42% of the vascular plants, 67% of the land vertebrates, amongst which are the famous Darwin finches, and 20% of the 2,584 species of coastal fish, marine algae and marine invertebrates. Inter-island variation is also very high with the various islands harbouring genetically distinct populations, races and species, reflecting different stages of genetic diversification/ radiation.
2 While evolutionary processes culminating in high endemism are characteristic of oceanic archipelagos in general, most such archipelagos were colonised by humans several hundreds if not thousands of years ago. In colonising the islands, humans intentionally and unintentionally introduced new species to these isolated environments. As a rule, competition between introduced and endemic species led to high rates of extinction among the endemics. Losses of up to 50% of the original species endowment have been recorded in such archipelagos (Annex E). The Galapagos has been an exception to this rule. Over 95% of its original species composition remains extant. This is attributed both to the late arrival of humans to the area and to the archipelago’s inhospitable conditions, which discouraged rapid population expansion. Many of the islands are still uninhabited.
3 In effect, the Galapagos Islands are one of the most ecologically intact large, complex, and diverse oceanic archipelago’s remaining today. Its global significance is unquestionable. However, accelerated demographic growth in the Islands over the past 20 years has exerted new pressures on native ecosystems. The increased movement of goods from the continent and between islands poses the steady threat that alien species will be introduced into the archipelago from the mainland, or dispersed within it, thereby altering the composition of the biota. The risk to endemic species from invasive species is often considerable. Invasive species directly affect habitat integrity and also interrupt the natural evolutionary processes that produced the archipelago’s unique biological endowment. The well-recognised global conservation values1and this growing pressure, make the Galapagos Islands one of the highest priorities for regional and global conservation intervention.[1] 2
4 Socio-Economic Context: The province of Galapagos has 16,109 residents, restricted to only 3% of the total landmass of the archipelago. Eighty-six percent of the population live in the urban areas of three main districts: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in San Cristobal Island; Puerto Ayora in the island of Santa Cruz, and Puerto Villamil, in Isabela Island. The remaining 14% of the populace live in rural areas surrounding these settlements and on the island of Floreana. A small, mainly military, community lives on Baltra Island, servicing the airport there and tour boats. The population has grown at some 8% per year over the last two decades owing to immigration (5.9%) from the continent, sparked by a spatial imbalance between living conditions and economic opportunities available in the archipelago, relative to those prevailing on the mainland3.
5 The total GDP of Galapagos is approximately US$ 96 million (in 1999 dollars). Tourism provides the principal source of livelihood with the industry accounting for 77% of income, and 61.3% of jobs. Fishing falls into second place, followed by the agricultural and livestock industries. A total of 24,533 hectares (limited to the islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana) is dedicated to agriculture and livestock production. This represents 3.8% of the landmass of the archipelago. Of this total area, scientists estimate some 21% to be affected by invasive plant species. 57.8% is dedicated to grazing (natural and cultivated pasture); 8.9% comprises native forest; 1.2% planted forest and 11% cultivated land. Coffee constitutes the main cash crop, followed by maize, fruit trees, casaba, vegetables and tomatoes. Livestock production is dominated by cattle, but includes chickens and goats. Production is limited in the main to San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.

6 Policy Context: The GoE has provided protection to the Galapagos through establishment of the Galapagos National Park (GNP). The Park, created in 1959, covers 97% of the archipelago’s landmass and is girdled by the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), which has recently been expanded to cover an area of 130,000 km2. Ecuador’s National Environmental Plan (1995) tagged this province as one of five priority ecosystems in a country of outstanding biodiversity. In April 1998, an unprecedented policy framework was established for the Galapagos with the creation of the “Special Regime Law for the Conservation and Development of Galapagos Province” (SLG). This law gives provincial institutions the mandate to control population growth and ensure the compatibility of economic enterprises with conservation. It decrees that development in the archipelago be guided by ecosystem carrying capacity and adopts principles to conserve ecosystem integrity, particularly the protection of native and endemic biodiversity. This includes a ban on distant water fishing in archipelagic waters to protect the well-recognised global marine biodiversity of the Marine Reserve, a measure with attached opportunity costs. It also establishes mechanisms to earmark revenues from Park entrance fees for conservation initiatives in the archipelago – a sign of the Government of Ecuador’s’ strong commitment to protecting this rich global heritage, despite its fiscal insecurity4.


7 The SLG lists the introduction of alien species to the islands as constituting the main threat to biodiversity and advances a “total control” approach to address this concern. This approach consists of a four-pronged strategy that aims to:- 1] prevent the introduction of new invasive species into the archipelago; 2] control the dispersal and population growth of existing invasive species; 3] eradicate the most aggressive species and populations that are threatening ecosystem integrity; and 4] mitigate the ecological impacts of invasive species through the restoration of habitats following successful control and eradication campaigns. It clearly defines institutional responsibilities for this task and formally recognises the need for involving non-governmental organisations and local communities and strengthening the longstanding partnership of the GoE with the World scientific community.
8 Institutional Context: The Ministry of the Environment (MA) was created in 1996 and is charged with defining environmental policies and co-ordinating their implementation. It establishes the basic guidelines for conservation and sustainable development in the islands. The Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) is the executive branch of the MA in the islands, and is responsible for the management of protected areas including the control of natural resource exploitation and invasive species control within their boundaries[2]. In view of their size, and the magnitude of the task, the GNPS has established a long-standing partnership with the NGO the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) to provide them with technical and scientific advice for conservation and invasive species control through its Charles Darwin Research Station (CDFRS) on Santa Cruz. The CDF’s technical responsibilities, established in a legally binding agreement dating back from 1958 and renewed for 25 years in 1991, were further enforced and reiterated in the SLG5. The SLG, and Ecuador’s Constitution, creates a specific legal regime for the province presided by a local institution, the National Institute for Galapagos –INGALA. This institute is charged with the responsibility for regional planning, and for providing technical advice to, and co-ordinating, local institutions. Other public institutions are also responsible for supporting ecosystem conservation, for example, the three municipalities, and the provincial divisions of the Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock, Health and Education. (Annex I details these mandates).
Baseline Course of Action
9 Threats to Biodiversity: The creation of the extensive protected area network has served to shield the Galapagos archipelago from severe anthropogenic pressures. In recent years, efforts have focused on strengthening protected area operations and controls. Despite these inputs, the unique global values of the archipelago remain under threat. The most critical threats, and their accompanying root causes are detailed in the Threats Annex (F), and are briefly summarised below:
  1. Introduced Species: The natural background rate of successful species colonisation in the Galapagos is extremely low. Although figures are not available for fauna, the rate for vascular plants has been estimated at 1 species every 10,000 years. Since first human contact in the Galapagos, nearly 500 new plant species have been introduced, a disproportionate amount of which arriving in the past thirty years, resulting in a current introduction rate of about 8 species per year6[3]. This vast increase is due to the high number of alien species introduced to the Galapagos deliberately or accidentally as agricultural, horticultural or ornamental plants, or in shipments of imported foodstuffs and goods. There are currently over 785 documented introduced species in the Galapagos of which 500 are plants, 25 are vertebrates and the remainder invertebrates. Not all of these species threaten native and endemic flora and fauna as they are only able to survive as part of a managed agricultural or horticultural system. However, others have become aggressive invasives and require immediate control to avoid irreversible damage. These species thrive under local conditions, propagate naturally, and invade native ecosystems, threatening evolutionary processes and biodiversity through competition with, and displacement, predation, and parasitisation of native and endemic species.[4][5]7




  1. Contamination of Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems: Groundwater contaminated by untreated wastewater, seeps into the coastal waters immediately adjacent to human settlements. Although such pollution has a measurable effect on water quality and on the flora and fauna in very specific areas, the overall impact on biodiversity is minor given the minute proportion of inhabited coastline. Contamination from solid waste is a minor threat to biodiversity, though poorly managed landfills do provide footholds for the establishment and propagation of introduced species. Occasional shipwrecks cause localised contamination of shorelines and can threaten species at risk of extirpation because of their low numbers (fur seals, flightless cormorants, and Galapagos penguins).




  1. Exploitation of Natural Resources: Extractive activities, primarily fishing, and to a lesser extent, logging and subsistence hunting have had some effect on the Galapagos’ biodiversity over the centuries. Conservation efforts by the GNPS and CDF have reduced poaching of tortoises and iguanas and stopped commercial killing, particularly of fur seals. Agricultural activities have also affected biodiversity. When the GNP was created, most of the land excluded from it was already under cultivation. These areas generally had the most favourable growing conditions on the Islands and constituted some of the islands’ most biodiversity rich ecosystems8. However, for several reasons, including lack of access to capital for farming operations, sub-optimal growing conditions, weak marketing frameworks and a generally unprepared farming community, a significant proportion of this land is poorly utilised or lies idle. These abandoned plots are centres for the establishment and propagation of invasive plants and invertebrates. Several species, including Elephant grass, blackberry, tropical cedar and quinine have spread from agricultural areas to adjacent wildlands.




  1. Population Pressures: Invasive species are the main proximate threat to biodiversity, but a root cause of this, and other proximate threats, is the increase in the human population. This has risen from 1,400 in the fifties to the present 16,000. This growth has been accompanied by an acceleration in the rate of introduction and dispersal of invasive species as the movement of goods to-and-from the continent, between islands, and within islands increased. It has also led to an increase in waste production, which has led to the contamination problems described above. Despite the concentration of human settlements, poor planning has led to the inefficient use of space and the encroachment of fragile habitats such as marsh land and mangroves, with negative impacts on some endemic birds. Population increase has in part been spurred by the advent of tourism in the sixties, as immigrants sought work. Some 60,000 visitors visit the archipelago each year. The direct effect of this industry on biodiversity is surprisingly low because the government has limited visitor access to only 0.02% of the park area. Nevertheless, the indirect impact of the industry is of concern, as it contributes to the invasive species threat through the movement of food and cargo to and within the archipelago.

10 Baseline: Until recently, Ecuador based its conservation strategy for the Galapagos Islands on the creation and management of marine and terrestrial protected areas. However, the increased threat of invasive species to biodiversity has impelled the GoE to expand the focus of its strategy and develop a system to control the risk of bio-invasion. The programmatic baseline for conservation activities is described below, focused on the types of interventions required to implement a ‘total control’ programme against invasive species, as specified in the SLG. The incremental cost annex (Annex A) provides information on planned baseline expenditures, estimated over a six-year horizon.


11 Quarantine and Inspection: A number of measures to prevent the arrival and establishment of new species to the Galapagos have been instituted in the past few years[6]. In 1994, the Galapagos Inspection and Quarantine System (SICGAL) was created as a legal framework for this with distinct, but co-ordinated, programmes implemented through different institutions both in Galapagos and on the continent9. The full details of inspection and quarantine services are still being developed along with the internal capacity to deliver them, however, a co-ordinator was hired in 1998, and the first complement of inspectors in 1999. A large portion of the recurrent cost of SICGAL is guaranteed through the earmarking of 5% of park entrance fees. Cost recovery mechanisms are expected to augment these resources. However, these have yet to be fully designed and adopted. Despite these efforts, effective prevention is impaired by several factors. The scale of the problem in terms of numbers of species, vehicles of introduction, and forms of propagation, far surpasses the current technical, operational and managerial capacity of local institutions. Although capacity building programmes are planned, these do not have well-developed manuals and materials nor will they cover all the institutions participating in SICGAL. Effective methods for detecting new invasions are lacking, and quarantine treatment and inspection centres require up-graded infrastructure and equipment and urgently need to be extended to prevent dispersal between islands and across park boundaries.
12 Adaptive Management Mechanisms for Bio-invasion Control:- Given technical, financial and other constraints, it is probably not feasible to eradicate all introduced species in the Galapagos at this time. In view of this, the GoE has recognised the need to adopt an adaptive management approach to bio-invasion control, by developing a comprehensive planning system that would permit a prioritisation of control and eradication efforts, to be executed in tandem with prevention and ensure the most efficient use of available financial and human resources. Such a system would require:- (i) continuously updated monitoring data on introduced and native species distributions and population densities; (ii) advanced scientific knowledge of the real and potential threats that particular introduced species represent under different circumstances, and the critical population thresholds after which control measures should be replaced by eradication; (iii) the availability of new control and eradication methodologies; (iv) the development of methodologies for those species that have no current control technique in other parts of the world or that are not considered to aggressive invasive elsewhere and (v) the improvements in invasion-prevention systems as capacity grows and new functions are executed.
13 Baseline action includes some biological monitoring, currently being reinforced through a GEF/World Bank medium size project, and a range of pure and applied investigation. In the past research activities have focused on attaining a more complete understanding of native and endemic species and the ecological processes in the Galapagos10. Limited research has been undertaken on invasive species, mainly on developing ex situ captive-breeding programmes for threatened species, as an insurance mechanism against their extinction and for repatriation programmes. Most of the captive breeding programmes occur within the Galapagos Islands, thus providing captive populations with environmental conditions that are nearly identical to those of their natural habitat. Current programmes are targeting Galapagos tortoises and land iguanas. Research on the biology of these species has greatly enhanced their success rate and permitted repatriation programmes that have brought several species back from the brink of extinction11. In addition, the CDRS, GNPS and the Botanical Gardens of the University of Copenhagen are collaborating in an ex situ conservation programme for endangered Galapagos plants. The Gardens store seeds in state-of-the-art seed banks and threatened species are also represented in the collection as living specimens.

14 Despite these advances, the rate of introductions of invasive species, and numbers of endemic effected, has surpassed the capacity of the present research programme to provide sound data on which to develop priorities and many critical gaps remain. In the business- as- usual scenario there will be a sub-optimal allocation of human and physical resources for both invasive control planning and research. Present research programmes will need to be expanded and planning expertise developed to provide the specific and sound scientific information and planning systems that a full bio-invasion control programme will require.


15 Control and Eradication Capability: The range of management options for addressing existing introduced species includes complete eradication, control of populations and mitigation of impacts. However, the complexity of ecological processes rarely permits the adoption of any single option in a given scenario but rather the simultaneous or sequential application of combinations of one or more of these. The selection of the most appropriate combination requires a solid body of information collected under field conditions and from the archipelago’s different habitats. It also requires strong technical, operational and planning capacities to execute the given range of options, once selected.
16 The GNPS and CDF have successfully controlled goats, rats, dogs, pigs, ants and other species from various smaller islands over the past 20 years. These have generally been small-scale interventions, where the selection of management options has been relatively straightforward and the methodologies used have been field-proven in other countries12. Both institutions have secured baseline funding to continue intervention at this level. However, this is not sufficient to address the growing threat of bio-invasion and protect global conservation values. Furthermore, they do not have the capacities to undertake larger-scale efforts or amass the body of information required to select the most appropriate management option in more complex scenarios.A number of management dilemmas exist, such as: What are the long-term costs of eradication versus mitigation for different species? How can mega-size populations be successfully eradicated? Is mitigation more successful via reducing the population of invasive species or increasing the reproductive success of indigenous species? Which control and eradication methods are most effective for key invasive species under which conditions? What interactive factors exist between specific indigenous flora and fauna that influence the selection of specific management strategies and control methods?. If these dilemmas are to be resolved, management options under different scenarios will need to be more intensively tested.

17 Financial Sustainability of a Bio-invasion Control Programme: Invasive species will always be a potential threat to the Galapagos’biodiversity and controls will need to be sustained over the long term. Steps have been taken to ensure the financial sustainability of some components of invasive species control. The SLG assigns 5% of GNP entrance fees to cover the recurrent costs of the present quarantine system. It also assigns 40% to the GNPS (covering a large percentage of the institutional running costs of protected areas, such as maintenance of park infrastructure, and patrolling and surveillance activities). However, it does not cover all the operational costs of control, eradication and mitigation campaigns for alien species. The CDRS is given a clear mandate in the SLG to provide scientific and technical assistance for the control of invasive species. But it does not receive resources from the park entrance fees to finance this service. In an effort to sustain its advisory role and other management services, it has established the Darwin Scientific Foundation (or DSF), an endowment that will contribute to institutional running costs. But the Foundation is undercapitalised and does not cater to the expanded services that invasive species control requires.


18 The CDF has plans to expand the DSF to improve its financial sustainability, yet recognises that the conservation of biodiversity in the Galapagos and particularly bio-invasion control, depends on the strength of its partnership with GNPS. Plans for engendering the long-term financial sustainability of control efforts must thus address the resource-needs of both organisations. The current size and objectives of the DSF does not provide for this. Nor does it have the pre-requisite operational and administrative framework to manage a large endowment –on the scale needed to sustain a holistic bio-invasion control program and to protect globally significant biological diversity.
19 Additional income for both the CDF and GNPS is raised through specific projects but this puts severe pressures on research staff to develop proposals and, owing to gaps between project cycles, causes fluctuations in critical research and control campaigns. Moreover, as projects normally require considerable lead periods before becoming operational, there is often a sizeable lag between problem identification and control. This slow delivery time is not suitable for emergency control operations that are needed to combat unexpected increases in invasive species, for example, following extreme climatic fluctuations. If the long-term viability of bio-invasion control is to be guaranteed, innovative revenue generating mechanisms will need to be developed, including a sufficiently capitalised and expanded trust fund, and fee-for-service framework for quarantine services, among other things. Annex H provides details on current funding mechanisms and deficits.
20 Community Participation Mechanisms: Given the relationship between anthropogenic activities and the introduction and dispersal of invasives, a bio-invasion programme must involve all Galapagos residents in order to be effective and sustainable. Proposed inspection and quarantine mechanisms will only be successful if communities understand the nature and significance of the problem and are willing to play an active role in its resolution. Also, residents, especially in the rural sector, may become crucial allies in executing an early detection system. Educational programmes have been carried out in the past by a variety of institutions, including the GNPS, and the CDRS, which, through its environmental education department, has produced a variety of educational materials in printed, radio and television formats. The armed forces have produced a coastal clean-up and anti-pollution video. These initiatives have been successful in reaching much of the population at large and children in particular and continued baseline investment has been secured to sustain them. However, although the CDRS has begun to deal with the issue of introduced species, most past efforts have focussed on general conservation themes. Further investment in outreach and awareness building is needed to catalyse local action and participation in the invasive species control program.
21 Regional and Sectoral Planning and Control of Invasive Species. Until recently, regional planning capacities have been weak in Galapagos. The SLG seeks to correct this situation by charging INGALA with the overall co-ordination of regional planning and providing new and additional resources for absorbing the recurrent costs of this broader mandate. It also mandates that invasive species management be integrated into development polices and programmes. INGALA is currently undergoing a restructuring process to fulfil this new ordinance. However, it has generally weak and untested planning capacities and no previous experience in invasive control, nor the technical staff or information to produce the guidelines and procedures needed to ensure that sectoral development complements bio-invasion control measures. The SLG also recognises a number of other institutions as having new legal responsibilities in the effort to control bio-invasion. These include municipalities, and sectoral institutions and associations, many of which have never been involved in such activities and also need to incorporate new responsibilities and procedures into their planning processes and activities, and restructure and train their human resource pool accordingly.
22 While guidelines and procedures are required for a range of sectors, interventions are most urgently needed in the agricultural sector. It is well recognised that poor management of the agricultural estate and the high dependence of the archipelago on imported foodstuffs are determinants of the invasive species threat. Efforts to develop more appropriate farming practices are underway. The CDRS has begun a programme of agricultural intensification and marketing support with the support of the Ecuadorian – Canadian Development Fund, to reduce the region’s dependency on imported food stuffs and improve the management of agricultural lands whilst respecting conservation goals. The MAG has several technicians and extension workers collaborating with the farming community in an effort to improve yields, though its field programme remains under-funded. These endeavors require reinforcement. In particular, the social, economic and ecological viability of different management models needs to be elicited and their potential contribution towards invasive species management goals assessed in order to guide future strategies.
23 Contamination of Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems: Solid and liquid wastes have generally been disposed without treatment on the islands in landfills and covered cavities excavated in the rocky and porous ground. Recognising that this is causing environmental contamination, the GoE has sought assistance from the IDB to establish a waste management programme funded through their Environmental Management of the Galapagos Programme (EMG-IDB). Slated to commence in early the year 2000, this programme will seek, inter alia, to improve waste treatment and disposal systems.
24 Natural Resource Management: Ecuador has invested heavily in the up-keep of protected areas in the Galapagos and has earmarked resources for management from park entrance revenues. Seventy park rangers control poaching and logging activities in and around the 7,760 km2 park territory and three vessels patrol the marine reserves to enforce fishing regulations. A GMR management plan has recently been approved, and priority activities from it will be implemented through the EMG-IDB. The plan excludes industrial fishing fleets within a 40 mile zone, leaving the area accessible only to artisanal fleets based in the Galapagos. SLG allocates 5% of park entrance fees to the Ecuadorian Navy to complement the GNPS’ patrol activities within this zone. Commitments have been made to raise the sustainable development baseline still further through an AECI funded project that will improve management of the artisanal fishery and on-going research at the CDRS, which is expected to improve local fish stock assessment. The AECI project will also focus on enhancing the sustainability of the tourism sector. Parallel investments in the sector will also be made through an IDB financed technical co-operation project that will promote local tourism.
25 Population Growth: With the passage of the new Special Law for Galapagos, a migratory control system in Galapagos has been established. In the first 6 months of 1999, approximately 65 unauthorised migrants to the archipelago were returned to the mainland. The control system is in its infancy and still requires a maturation period before it becomes completely effective, but these first steps are significant, and clearly needed to foreclose massive population influxes from the mainland.
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