Urban ecological restoration

Urban ecological restoration

Urban ecological restoration processes and conservation of characteristic species, together with the local community in the Galapagos Islands PC-24-22

This project is currently Active

The Galapagos Verde 2050 program carries out ecological restoration of degraded areas in urban public spaces on three of the inhabited islands of the Archipelago: Floreana, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, and encourages organizations and individuals to plant native and endemic species in danger of extinction.

Our Research Team

Patricia Jaramillo Díaz

Principal Investigator

Patricia is an Ecuadorian researcher who came to Galapagos in 1996 to work on her PhD thesis about the “human impact on native, endemic and introduced flora on the Galapagos Islands” and since...

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Anna Calle


Anna has always been fascinated by the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest. Her desire to protect these unique ecosystems motivated her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in...

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David Cevallos


David holds a Bachelor degree in agricultural engineering from the Army Polytechnic School (ESPE) in Ecuador, a master in environmental science from the university of Debrecen in Hungary in and a...

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Nicolas Velasco


Nicolás has a great curiosity for plant species, their reproduction, ecology and how these disperse. Coming from Chile, started his career as an Agronomist studying the reproduction of fruiting...

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Pavel Enríquez-Moncayo

Project Assistant

Pavel has always admired the people behind the great scientific discoveries both in his home, the Galapagos, as well as worldwide. Further, growing up in the "Enchanted Islands" allowed him to...

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Paúl Mayorga

Project Assistant

I was born and raised in these "Enchanted Islands", which meant from a young age I was naturally immersed in the conservation of the place where I live. Growing up with relatively little technology...

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Danyer Zambrano

Field Assistant

Danyer arrived to Floreana Island when he was only two years old. As he grew up on the island, he always enjoyed the idea of living in a green environment full of natural life, as well as learning...

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Project Details

What is the Galapagos Verde 2050 program doing in ecological restoration in urban areas?

Galapagos has four inhabited islands (San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela and Floreana) with populations that continue to increase, creating challenges for the conservation of the islands. Infrastructure development, commercial activities, and economic sectors generate negative environmental impacts for ecosystems. The expansion of the urban area allows the ideal conditions for the proliferation of invasive species that affect and displace endemic species with a restricted distribution. This is the case of Scalesia affinis, an endemic shrub originally distributed in what is now Puerto Ayora (on Santa Cruz Island), which is currently in critical danger of extinction. Therefore, this project will focus on investigating the restoration process carried out so far and continuing the restoration of the most affected sites through the propagation of native and endemic plants using water-saving technologies.

gv2050 figura23 2022
Urban Restoration - Harbor Master - Puerto Ayora


¿What tools does the Galapagos Verde 2050 program use for ecological restoration in urban areas?

One of the important limitations in the Galapagos Islands is the availability of fresh water, which is why it is necessary to optimize its use using water-saving technologies. The GV2050 program uses the following water-saving technologies that are widely used and proven worldwide for their effectiveness: Groasis Waterboxx®, Cocoon, Growboxx®, Hydrogel and Biochar.
Groasis Waterboxx®. It is a technology that collects rainwater, storing it to provide it through a constant supply of water to the plant, allowing it to develop better.
Information on the use of this technology 

Cocoon biodegradable boxes. With functions similar to the Groasis Waterboxx, but made of biodegradable material that does not need to be removed at the end of its use.
The video shows how Cocoon technology is used in other ecological restoration projects

Growboxx®. Also developed by Groasis, made of biodegradable material, it has a hole in the center where the plant to be restored is planted and four holes in the lid where seeds can be germinated hydroponically.
More information on how this technology

Hydrogel. They are gels of polymeric materials that allow the retention of water in the soil to benefit the vegetation present on the site.
The benefits of hydrogel as a water saving technology 

BioChar. It is a product of biomass pyrolysis of organic waste under anaerobic conditions. It is an adjuvant for water retention in the soil, composting accelerator and source of nutrients.

The information about BioChar
gv2050 plazas figura2
Water saving technologies used in the GV2050 program. a) Groasis Waterboxx®, b) Cocoon, c) Groasis Growboxx®, d) Hydrogel powder, e) Biochar sample

¿What phases is the project timeline divided into?

gv2050 urbana1 2022
Study sites on each island where urban restoration has been carried out in the Galapagos archipelago, divided by the different phases of ecological restoration within the GV2050 program.

Phase 1: It began in July 2014 and was successfully completed in July 2017. Urban restoration activities were carried out in schools, institutions, ecological corridors and other public spaces on the Floreana and Santa Cruz islands.
Phase 2: It began in August 2017 and will run until July 2027. In this second phase of the project, the public and private urban spaces of San Cristóbal Island are added. Work is being done on the restoration of the threatened species Scalesia affinis.
Phase 3: The last and most extensive phase of the program will continue with the restoration of public and private spaces in Floreana San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz.


gv2050 urbana2 2022

Map of the population distribution of Scalesia affinis in the urban area (Puerto Ayora) of Santa Cruz Island.


gv2050 urbana 0222Ecological Gardens made by the GV2050 in the facilities of the Charles Darwin Research Station using endemic plants. Photo: Patricia Jaramillo Diaz


Watch a video about the ecological corridor (cycle path) in Puerto Ayora

Watch video on urban ecological restoration


Read more about our project on populated islands (Blogs):

Ecological gardens in Galápagos: Inspiring future generations

Education and outreach

Do you want to know what we do as a Galapagos Verde 2050 program to make the community aware of the importance of ecological restoration?

In addition to scientific research, the Galapagos Verde 2050 is connected to the local community through various activities. Examples include tools such as our publication of the first trilingual book that encourages the creation of ecological gardens using endemic and native Galapagos plants (Siémbrame en tu Jardín), the book "El proyecto Galápagos Verde 2050” which socializes and explains the mission and vision of the project over time and details the actions that are developed for the ecological restoration of the archipelago, and the book of ““Guía de Semillas y Propágulos de Galápagos” that is useful when identifying all the seeds of native and endemic plants of Galapagos. In addition, we have organized workshops, conferences and various outreach activities at a local, national and international level.

gv2050 urbana5a 2022
Books published by the Galapagos Verde 2050 with the purpose of disseminating and instructing the general public about the Galapagos flora and the progress of the program.

Do you want to know more about the book sow me in your garden?

Watch video 1

Watch video 2

To socialize with the community, the importance of the endemic and native flora of Galapagos, we have produced illustrations of the most representative plants of the project study sites or those that are in danger of extinction, as is the case of Scalesia affinis. With these illustrations it has been possible to make promotional material to create a sense of belonging of the community towards the GV2050 program and to make known the importance of recovering the species that are threatened in the archipelago. We have been distributing this material among the population on various occasions such as: open houses, expeditions, new plantings with the community, commemorative days (such as Women's Day), etc.

gv2050 urbana6 2022
Illustrations of endemic and native plants of Galapagos that are planted during the development of urban restoration projects and recovery of endangered species.

gv2050 urbana7 2022Promotional material for the Galapagos Verde 2050 program that includes 8 models of masks, 8 models of t-shirts, 4 models of buffs and 1 model of a bag to buy at the supermarket.

gv2050 urbana10 2022
GV2050 events with the community and distribution of promotional material. Photos: Joshua Vela



This project proposes a work that involves urban ecological restoration as an alternative to the challenges that involve the socio-environmental system in the archipelago, such as improving knowledge and creating strategies to reduce the impacts of urban development, through use of ecological gardens of native and endemic plants of Galapagos.

The specific objectives of our project are:

  • Improve knowledge and create strategies to reduce the impacts of urban development, through the use of ecological gardens of native and endemic plants of Galapagos.
  • Conserve populations that have been destroyed in natural areas.
  • Provide the community with a source of education and study through the implementation of ecological gardens.
  • Provide the community with sources of seeds and seedlings that allow the restoration of natural spaces, avoiding the proliferation of invasive plants through the implementation of ecological gardens.


Our results

What results have we obtained from ecological restoration in urban areas within the Green Galapagos 2050 program?

Floreana Island: In Floreana, a total of 264 plants of 13 native and endemic species have been planted in 4 different sites.

San Cristóbal: 27 plants of 5 species have been planted in the Jacinto Gordillo environmental education center in San Cristóbal

Santa Cruz: 919 specimens of 25 species have been planted native and endemic 11 sites.

Would you like to know about the results obtained by the Galapagos Verde 2050 program in 2021?

Watch the following video:


Would you like to know what awards the Green Galapagos 2050 initiative has won?

A) Green Latin America Awards

The GV2050 initiative was a finalist in the fifth edition (2018) of the Latin America Green Award and obtained THIRD PLACE in the “Water” category among 2,733 projects. Additionally, Galapagos Verde 2050 was awarded the Directv PROTAGONISTAS award "for having been one of the most outstanding stories, for the clarity of its purpose, its impact, its legacy and its ability to inspire positive change for the region and for the planet”.
More information about Galapagos Verde - Summary Prizes:

Read more about the success and Green Latin America Awards for the GV2050 (Blog):

Galapagos Project Finalist of the Green Latinamerican Awards 2018

B) DirecTV protagonist Awards and inspiring stories:

Watch video (we can cut the section GV2050) 
Watch inspiring women video
Inspirational stories in Galapagos, Mexico, Chile



Keywords: Urban restoration, local community, water saving, ecological restoration, water scarcity, threatened species, Groasis Waterboxx®, Hydrogel, Cocoon

Bibliographical References

Atkinson, R., Guézou, A. & Jaramillo, P. (2017). Siémbrame en tu Jardín - Kanpa sisapampapi tarpuway - Plant me in your Garden. Jardines nativos para la conservación de Galápagos - Galapagos suyu kuskata kamankapak sisapampakuna - jardines nativos para la conservación de Galápagos. Segunda edición. Islas Galápagos-Ecuador, Fundación Charles Darwin.

Jaramillo, P., Tapia, W., Negoita, L., Plunkett, E., Guerrero, M., Mayorga, P., & Gibbs, J. P. (2020). El Proyecto Galápagos Verde 2050 (Volumen 1).

León-Yánez, S., Valencia, R., Pitman, N., Endara, L., Ulloa, C. and Navarrete, H. (2011). Libro rojo de las plantas endémicas del Ecuador, 2aedición. Publicaciones del Herbario QCA, Pontificia Universidad Católica el Ecuador, Quito.

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