We’ve been on Isabela for 1.5 Years!

Launching the reusable cloth bags event to promote the ‘Mangrove Finch Project’.

The Executive Directorate of the Charles Darwin Foundation identified in 2016 that it was a necessity to spread the mission of the Foundation on the different populated areas of the archipelago. For this reason, since January 2017, there is Liaison Coordinator on Isabela who has served as a primary contact between the CDF in Santa Cruz and the different local institutions, community and tourists of Isabela Island.

One of the initial steps was to officially present the Liaison Coordinator to the representatives of the main local institutions in Isabela, as well as to establish an agreement with the Hotel La Casa Marita. As part of the agreement, La Casa de Marita has offered a temporary work space for the Liaison Coordinator at the Hotel in addition to the creation of a space for a donation point in order to cover expenses and activities on the island.

The results of 2017 have been very satisfactory: 64 meetings have been held with local institutions and support has been given in 9 events of local institutions with the community (some specific short-term events such as the World Wetlands Day and other longer ones such as the summer vacation camp of the Galapagos National Park). Several research projects related to landbirds were coordinated and supported by us and we also received scientists and donors.

Mangrove reforestation in the “El Chapín” old gravel mines..
Mangrove reforestation in the “El Chapín” old gravel mines. Photo by: Helene Octobre.

Some of the important activities performed by the CDF on Isabela in 2017 included the launching event of reusable cloth bags of the ’Mangrove Finch Project’. This important project seeks to increase the population of the critically endangered Mangrove Finches on Isabela and so an event was created to disseminate results to the community through a series of talks and to distribute reusable cloth bags to 163 students from eighth, ninth and tenth grade of the “Stella Marys”, “Jacinto Gordillo” and “Odilo Aguilar” educational centers. Another important activity initiated in September 2017 was the implementation of monthly talks. This activity consists of once-a-month visits by CDF scientists to Isabela so they can discuss their projects and results with park rangers, guides, international students of the IOI Foundation and members of the community.

In 2018 the activities carried out in 2017 are being continued and reinforced, as well as seeking funding sources to start implementing research projects and/or community projects that have been identified as needs to improve the sustainability of the island. So far, there are two concrete proposals for projects related to environmental education and sustainable water management in the highlands of Isabela.

Community lecture ‘Applied science in environmental education for the conservation of sharks in the Galapagos Islands’.
Community lecture ‘Applied science in environmental education for the conservation of sharks in the Galapagos Islands’. Photo by: Ernesto Bustamante Velarde / CDF.

It is of vital importance to continue expanding the CDF's mission in the islands, so that the information generated by CDF’s scientific projects can lead to the development of conservation strategies. In addition, it’s important to have projects related to sustainability as part of the Foundation’s complementary actions in order to support the conservation of the Galapagos.

 Rally for the World Environment Day.
Rally for the World Environment Day. Photo by: Ernesto Bustamante Velarde / CDF.

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The ‘Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands’, in French ‘Fondacion Charles Darwin  pour les Iles Galapagos’, Association Internationale sans but lucrative (AISBL), has its registered office at Avenue Louise 54, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Trade Registry # 0409.359.103

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