CDF joins the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge

03 Aug 23 /

The CDF joins the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge to Implement Community-Based Monitoring and Safeguard Island Ecosystems

The Island-Ocean Connection Challenge (IOCC) is thrilled to announce that the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the leading research institution in the Galapagos Islands, has officially become a supporting partner. With a shared commitment to restoring and rewilding islands and oceans, and supporting the communities that depend on them, this collaboration marks a significant step towards achieving our collective goals.

Islands are home to some of the most diverse and unique species of plants and animals on Earth. The terrestrial and marine habitats of islands underpin many interconnected economies, livelihoods, and cultures. Climate change, ocean degradation, and biodiversity loss are causing entire land-sea ecosystems to collapse, and island communities are disproportionately impacted.

Foto: Inti Keith, FCD
Team from the CDF monitoring coral reefs. Photo: Alan Chung.

Restoring and rewilding island-marine ecosystems across the globe is among the most effective conservation interventions for the benefit of island communities, biodiversity, and climate resilience.

The IOCC is a collective approach to a scalable solution dedicated to implementing traditional practices and modern science together with local communities. Together, we are building a worldwide network of partners, researchers, and philanthropists willing to collaborate outside of silos to benefit oceans, islands, and wildlife.

Dr. Inti Keith, Senior Marine Biologist and Principal Investigator of the Charles Darwin Foundation’s Long-Term Subtidal Ecological Monitoring Program, said: “The Galapagos Islands are one of the most unique island ecosystems which we must better understand and conserve. Monitoring and assessing the composition and structure of marine ecosystems is critical to improve inventory of species, recognize and value the role of biodiversity, assess the arrival of non-indigenous species (NIS) and document possible extinctions or population declines due to anthropogenic stressors. We are thrilled to join the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge alongside our local partners as we continue to work towards safeguarding this unique archipelago.”

Foto: Inti Keith, FCD
Examining the algae. Photo: Inti Keith, CDF.

As part of their commitment to the IOCC, the CDF pledges to conduct marine monitoring baseline analysis and subtidal ecological monitoring for Floreana Island, Galapagos and the surrounding marine reserve. They will also implement community-based seabird monitoring in the Galápagos, acting as an IOCC scientific research and monitoring hub for the region. The CDF is an active partner in fostering sustainable livelihoods with the Floreana Island community and will be valuable IOCC ambassadors as we grow and share knowledge on how island-ocean restoration work can best support their ecological and economic needs.

"Our collaboration with the Charles Darwin Foundation is a significant milestone for the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge," said Penny Becker, Vice President of Conservation for Island Conservation, a founding member of the IOCC. "Their expertise and dedication to marine monitoring and ecological research will greatly enhance our efforts in restoring island ecosystems. We are excited to work hand in hand to foster sustainable livelihoods and create a consortium of partners who share our vision."


For further information, please contact:

Charles Darwin Foundation
María José Utreras, Communications and Marketing Coordinator
mariajose.utreras@fcdarwin.org.ec | +593 98 408 7697

Leslie León, Communication Officer
Leslie.leon@fcdarwin.org.ec | +593 96 978 7679

Island Conservation
Sally Esposito, Strategic Communications Director
sally.esposito@islandconservation.org | +1 706-969-2783

About the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge (IOCC)
The Island-Ocean Connection Challenge is a global initiative dedicated to the holistic restoration of at least 40 globally significant island ecosystems, from ridge-to-reef. By partnering with communities, conservation organizations, funders, and researchers, the IOCC aims to scale island restoration and rewilding efforts. Through collaboration, we strive to benefit biodiversity, climate resilience, and the well-being of island communities. To learn more about the IOCC and our mission, please visit www.jointheiocc.org.

About the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF)
The Charles Darwin Foundation is a renowned nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of the unique biodiversity and ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Through research, innovation, and collaboration, the CDF plays a pivotal role in the preservation and sustainable management of this iconic archipelago. To learn more about the Charles Darwin Foundation and their work, please visit www.darwinfoundation.org.

Andres Cruz

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