New 25-Year Deal to Boost Scientific Research and Environmental Conservation in the Galapagos Islands

A new 25-year deal is signed.

A 25-year cooperation deal was signed in Quito on Friday, July 29, 2016 and a symbolic ceremony took place in Galapagos on the 11th of August of the same year, between the Ecuadorian Government and the Charles Darwin Foundation that will strengthen crucial scientific research and conservation efforts in the Galapagos Archipelago.

The agreement, signed in Santa Cruz Island located in the Galapagos archipelago, will secure the work undertaken by the Foundation through the globally renowned Charles Darwin Research Station.

Under the deal the Charles Darwin Foundation, founded in 1959, and its Reasearch Station inaugurated in 1964, will deepen its work that specializes into better understanding and preserving the unique flora and fauna found in the archipelago and the surrounding seas.

The scientific research will focus on areas such as global warming, the impact of human activity on the islands, the innovation of sustainable systems, and biodiversity.

The deal to extend the work undertaken by the Charles Darwin Foundation is part of the emphasis given to academic research by the Ecuadorian government as it seeks to move away from primary export economy to a more high tech, high skill knowledge based economy.

The signing of the agreement was attended by the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Guillaume Long; the Secretary of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Rene Ramirez; and the Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Arturo Izurieta as well as the UNESCO representative in Ecuador, Jorge Ellis.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister, Guillaume Long said, "I am delighted that we are able to strengthen this strategic alliance between the Ecuadorian government, and the Charles Darwin Foundation with this 25 year deal. Agreeing a major new chapter in the Charles Darwin Foundation's work in Ecuador, underlines the commitment of our country to conservation. In recent years, we have more than doubled the amount of territory under environmental conservation. We have also doubled the marine area under conservation or benefitting from environmental management.  It also highlights our commitment to using science and knowledge to create a greener modern economy that tackles social injustices and puts less pressure on the planet. Science is essential for ensuring conservation. But conservation also plays an important role in facilitating new areas of scientific research”.

The scientific research activities that will be done at the Station will be carried out in collaboration with Ecuadorian higher education and research institutions, as well as with a range of internationally recognized universities and research institutions.

The Secretary of Higher Education and Science Rene Ramirez congratulated the scientific activities of the Foundation and paid tribute to its contributions as a research institute. He described the deal as “an example of how we are using sciences as part of a new development strategy for the country based on bio-knowledge, to break with the economy of finite resources.”

One of the terms of the Agreement establishes that the State will have access to all the knowledge and information generated from research developed in the Station.

The Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Arturo Izurieta, said, "It is an honor to be part of the historic moment of this Agreement. Science is like music, universal and we are focusing on the generation of excellent science for the conservation of the natural resources of this World Heritage Site and also promoting the Plan of Good Living for the population of the Galapagos archipelago”.

Jorge Ellis, the representative of UNESCO in Ecuador was a guest witness at the signing and said the deal represented “25 years more of scientific cooperation - a science without borders -but also of environmental education focusing on the Galapagos but benefiting the wider world”.

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