Galapagos Islands No Longer on UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger

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Galapagos Islands No Longer on UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger

From Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
August 2010

It is quite uncommon to be removed from that list in such a short period of time, and we commend Ecuador for understanding the urgency to preserve this World Heritage Site and acting on it.

From its permanent office in Galapagos, Sea Shepherd will continue to act on behalf of the endemic species that populate the islands, with the goal of keeping these enchanted islands off the List of World Heritage in Danger for good. Galapagos is our line in the sand; we need your continued support to stop the destruction of our natural world from passing this threshold.

At the annual meeting of the UNESCO committee for World Heritage Sites, which was held this year in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, it was decided that Ecuador has improved the situation in the Galapagos Islands to such an extent that they need no longer be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Galapagos Islands were added to the List of World Heritage in Danger during the 2007 meeting for three reasons:

For the past three years, the Ecuadorian government—working in conjunction with the Galapagos National Park Service and several other governmental and non-governmental environmental groups (including foreign NGOs such as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society), have been working hard to improve the situation in the archipelago.

The following are examples of these improvements:

Sea Shepherd will continue to work on these initiatives, as it is clear that despite improved measures, threats to the natural inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands remain. In a world were biodiversity is diminishing at an astounding rate, we must continue to focus our full attention on this unique and special place.

Sea Shepherd congratulates the Ecuadorian government for its improved protective measures that have led to the removal of the Galapagos Islands from the List of World Heritage in Danger. It is quite uncommon to be removed from that list in such a short period of time, and we commend Ecuador for understanding the urgency to preserve this World Heritage Site and acting on it.

Some caution is advisable though, as being removed from the list is not sufficient or permanent, and efforts to protect the Galapagos must not slow down. Tourism, population growth, introduced plant and animal species, as well as illegal fishing still present serious threats if not managed properly.

From its permanent office in Galapagos, Sea Shepherd will continue to act on behalf of the endemic species that populate the islands, with the goal of keeping these enchanted islands off the List of World Heritage in Danger for good. Galapagos is our line in the sand; we need your continued support to stop the destruction of our natural world from passing this threshold.