In Galapagos, the Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund project presented its results

Founders of the "Ensilado de Pescado" enterprise presenting to World Bank authorities. Photo: Juan Manuel García, CDF.

Press release.- The Charles Darwin Foundation's Inspiration Complex, hosted approximately forty people, during the closing ceremony for the Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund Ecuador project. The attendees of this event included the Mayor of the Autonomous Decentralized Municipal Government of Santa Cruz, Ángel Yánez; World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, Marianne Fay; the Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), Rakan Zahawi; and other local and provincial authorities.

A World Bank delegation from Latin America and the Caribbean was present at the event. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
A World Bank delegation from Latin America and the Caribbean was present at the event. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

The achievements and results of the project were presented. This effort was financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented in Galapagos by the World Bank Group with the technical support of a consortium made up of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Conservation International, Presencing Institute, and Commonland.

Rakan Zahawi, CDF’s Executive Director, highlighted the importance of this project. "Along with these initiatives we aim to expand our research framework in the marine research and embrace key projects that will strengthen the conservation and sustainability of marine resources in Galapagos together with the community," he stated.

Rakan Zahawi, CDF Executive Director. Photo: Juan Manuel García, CDF.
Rakan Zahawi, CDF Executive Director. Photo: Juan Manuel García, CDF.

The implementation of this project began on the islands in February 2021. One of the objectives achieved during this process, which lasted a year and a half, was the co-creation of a new vision and 10 new prototypes for the Galapagos Seafood system. Eighteen entrepreneurs graduated from the EDES Business School Bootcamp. In addition, the consortium provided technical assistance to 9 socially and environmentally responsible ventures and co-developed 6 portfolios for investors.

"The Coastal Fisheries Initiative chose Galapagos as one of only four places in the world to implement the Challenge Fund, along with Peru, Cape Verde and Indonesia. These countries share some characteristics: the fisheries sector is of great importance for their communities and economies that depend heavily on natural resources and are highly vulnerable to climate change," said Marianne Fay, World Bank country director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

Marianne Fay, directora del Banco Mundial para Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador y Perú. Foto: Juan Manuel García, FCD.Marianne Fay, World Bank Country Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. Photo: Juan Manuel García, CDF.
Other results included a comprehensive assessment of all artisanal fisheries in Galapagos and an analysis of the credit market for the Galapagos fishing sector; the development of a social marketing strategy for the vision and a framework for public-private partnerships. More than 60 people from all sectors of the Galapagos Seafood System participated in this process.
Manuel Yépez, presentando su emprendimiento
Manuel Yépez, presenting his venture, "Galapagos Artesanal Sea Food." Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF

Manuel Yépez, artisanal fisherman and beneficiary of the initiative, commented on his experience and thanked the support received by the consortium, of which CDF was an important pillar for project implementation. "We have received great support to improve our enterprise. We want to show the world that Galapagos can be a place where you can buy quality products that are friendly, sustainable, and self-sustaining.”

Strengthening the capacity of government institutions, the private sector, and the local community to generate a line of responsible investments that seek profitability in the Galapagos’ artisanal fisheries was the main objective of the Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund Ecuador.

The Coastal Fisheries Initiatives-Challenge Fund Ecuador project lasted one and a half years. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
The Coastal Fisheries Initiatives-Challenge Fund Ecuador project lasted one and a half years. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

Towards the end of the event, a fair took place in order to showcase the entrepreneurships, in which attendees learned first-hand and in detail how the project was implemented in order to achieve a sustainable, prosperous and resilient seafood system.

Nero (signature cuisine) presenting its products at the entrepreneurship fair. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
Nero (signature cuisine) presenting its products at the entrepreneurship fair. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

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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