Charles Darwin Research Station, Venue of the Second Galapagos-Israel International Symposium

II Symposium "Galapagos - Israel Sustainability in the Galapagos Islands: 21st Century and Beyond". Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

Over the course of the 7th and 8th of February 2022 and situated in the Inspiration Complex of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the Second International Symposium “Galapagos-Israel, Sustainability in the Galapagos Islands: 21st Century and Beyond” took place in the presence of renowned Israeli and local scientists, with the objective of strengthening collaboration and research between Ecuador and Israel.

During this conference, issues with relevance to Galapagos were discussed, such as evolution, the environment, genetics, climate change, food and water security, invasive species and sustainability among others.

The event was attended by the ambassador of Israel in Ecuador, Zeev Harel; Andrea Montalvo, subsecretary general of the Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Secretary, as well as local and provincial authorities.

Ambassador of Israel to Ecuador, Zeev Harel. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
Ambassador of Israel to Ecuador, Zeev Harel. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

Also present at the symposium were experts and scientists from various universities and institutes, such as: Tel Aviv University, Hebreuw UniversityUniversity of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University, Ben Gurion University of the Neguev, Geological Survey of Israel, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Also in attendance were the San Francisco de Quito University, Galapagos National Park Directorate, Biosecurity and Quarantine Regulation and Control Agency for Galapagos and the CDF.

The event took place at the Inspiration Complex, inaugurated in November 2021. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
The event took place at the Inspiration Complex, inaugurated in November 2021. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

The executive director of the CDF, Rakan Zahawi, highlighted the importance of strengthening the research carried out between both nations. “These have been two very productive days and from Galapagos we hope to continue strengthening ties between both nations in order to advance our mission of conducting science and research for the conservation of the Galapagos Islands” he expressed.

During these two days in which the conference took place, the delegation from Israel and the local scientists shared their knowledge on the research being done by each of them in their respective countries and thus interchanged ideologies with the objective of achieving important cooperation in the future which would benefit our archipelago.

Presenting on behalf of the CDF were Rakan Zahawi, Executive Director; María José Barragán, Science Director; Dr Inti Keith, Principal Investigator of the Marine Invasive Species Project alongside her research team William Bensted-Smith and Wilson Íñiguez; Jorge Ramírez, Principal Investigator of the Fisheries Project; Ainoa Nieto-Claudin, scientist from the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Program and Heinke Jäger, Principal Investigator of the Terrestrial Invasive Species Project.

Dr. Inti Keith, senior marine research scientist, presenting her paper. Photo by: Camilo Cruz, CDF.
Dr. Inti Keith, senior marine research scientist, presenting her paper. Photo by: Camilo Cruz, CDF.

Juan Carlos Holguín, Minister of External Relations and Human Mobility, emphasized the importance of working together for the conservation of the planet. “It is a commitment of this Government to bolster sustainability and progress towards the ecological transition for the protection of our ecosystems for future generations” he stated.

The scientist Ada Yonath, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, and Hellen Deller Klein, ambassador for Ecuador in Israel also took part in the event virtually. The first scientific symposium took place in Israel in 2019.

Participants of the II Symposium
Participants of the II Symposium "Galapagos - Israel Sustainability in the Galapagos Islands: 21st Century and Beyond". Photo by: Camilo Cruz, CDF.

This event was held thanks to the support of the Consulate of Israel in Guayaquil and El Rosado Corporation.

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

© 2022 Charles Darwin Foundation. All rights reserved.