Green Hope: Floreana and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Patricia Jaramillo Díaz
15 Mar 24 /

In our mission to align with the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), we reaffirm our commitment to the Ten Core Principles for Ecosystem Restoration . The Charles Darwin Foundation, through the Galapagos Verde 2050 Program, has evidenced significant advances on Floreana Island, especially in the ecological restoration process of the Granillo Negro Mine, where richness, abundance, and vegetation cover have been evaluated after the restoration work on plant communities that was carried out over the last 10 years .

On Floreana Island, we planted nearly 2,500 plants that correspond to 28 indigenous species, of which 500 were planted in the Mina de Granillo Negro area. Historically this site was used to extract stone material for the construction of houses and maintenance of roads. To ensure plant survival and study growth rates, water-saving technologies were implemented. These efforts have resulted in significant progress in restoring this heavily degraded site, showcasing our local dedication to preserving Floreana's unique biodiversity and contributing to global conservation efforts.

Paul Mayorga/CDF
GV2050 and PNG team, from bottom to top: Patricia Jaramillo Díaz, Danyer Zambrano, Henri Mora, Nicolás Velasco and Anna Calle-Loor. Photo: Paul Mayorga
Patricia Jaramillo/CDF
The results of a decade of efforts for the ecological restoration of a completely degraded mine to a completely green site, with native and endemic species of the island. Photos: Patricia Jaramillo Díaz.

We also contribute to the ecological restoration process of Floreana through the creation of a large biological corridor. This corridor consists of shrub and tree species needed to support the locally extinct species such as the Floreana Mockingbird (Mimus trifasciatus). These plants will provide as shelter and food for the mockingbirds upon their reintroduction to the island.

In anticipation of this initiative, we are currently cultivating these species in our forest nursery in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate.

Rubén Heleno and Luis Ortíz-Catedral
Floreana Mockingbird (Mimus trifasciatus) on Champion Islet. Photos by: Rubén Heleno and Luis Ortíz-Catedral
Patricia Jaramillo and Paul Mayorga/CDF
Growth of native and endemic seedlings in the forest nursery of Floreana Island.

Furthermore, as part of our monitoring activities, we are excited to confirm the natural regeneration of several unique Floreana species. These include the violet orchid (Ionopsis utricularoides), winged daisy (Lecocarpus pinnatifidus), Floreana flax (Linum cratericola), cafetillo (Psychotria angustata), romerillo (Trigonopterum laricifolium) and Floreana lippia (Lippia salicifolia). These species are currently growing healthily in our study sites and around Cerro Allieri and Pajas. We also observed regeneration of key species that serve as food source for many endemic birds, while also recording endemic fungi and ferns.

Anna Calle, Paul Mayorga, Patricia Jaramillo/CDF
Examples of the current state of the flora of Floreana Island. Photos by: Anna Calle-Loor, Paúl Mayorga and Patricia Jaramillo Díaz.

This process not only represents the restoration of an ecosystem, but also serves as an inspiring model for the world, demonstrating that re-establishing the capacity of ecosystems to generate services is achievable on a global scale. We urge the international community to join these vital efforts to build a legacy of resilience and biodiversity.

We are important allies for the conservation and ecological restoration of Floreana Island and we work with several public and private institutions that are also giving their best efforts to achieve it. We invite researchers , conservationists and the global community to support the Galapagos Green 2050 Program and its Endangered Species Recovery projects . To deepen our scientific research and knowledge of the biodiversity of the Galapagos, we offer our educational resources here: Link to the seed and propagules guide and Link to the Galapagos Verde 2050 volumes.

You can be part of this incredible ecological restoration program, support GV2050: https://www.darwinfoundation.org/en/get-involved/sponsor-a-species/adopt-a-galapagos-prickly-pear/

Patricia Jaramillo/CDF
Galapagos Green Team 2050; from right to left: Anna Calle-Loor, Nicolás Velasco, Paúl Mayorga and Danyer Zambrano. Photo: Patricia Jaramillo Díaz.

Patricia Jaramillo Díaz

Principal Investigator - Galapagos Verde 2050

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Andres Cruz

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