Galapagos Conservancy (GC), formerly known as Charles Darwin Foundation, Inc., advocates for the lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands through programs of constituency building, education, and fundraising in North America. GC raises money to fund the conservation work of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), and supports local actors in Galapagos that work in partnership with the CDF and the GNPS. Galapagos Conservancy manages $4.5 million in endowed funds to support conservation in Galapagos.
In the coming years we will focus greater attention on education and socio-economic policy work related to Galapagos, while continuing the support of our core research and management efforts implemented by the CDF and the GNPS.
Galapagos Conservancy's Funding Priorities
During the period of 2006-2007, Galapagos Conservancy's grant-making and program activities will focus on four main areas:
- Strengthen local capacity for conservation and sustainable development. We will continue to provide core funding for our principle partners, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), whose work is essential for successful conservation in Galapagos. We will also work with the CDF and the GNPS to strengthen the ability of other local public and private organizations and Galapagos residents to play a meaningful role in conservation. Education initiatives, including environmental education and public education reform, will be at the core of these efforts.
- Fill information gaps related to planning, policy, and effective conservation. Galapagos Conservancy will work closely with the CDF, GNPS, INGALA (the Galapagos National Institute, responsible for planning in Galapagos) and an array of international experts to develop a "State of Galapagos Report" which will include: summaries and gap analysis of existing research; specific studies on tourism, fishing, and agriculture in the islands; an analysis of the micro and macro economics of the islands; and development of effective socio-economic and cultural indicators for Galapagos. This report will be widely disseminated and will serve as an important tool in future regional planning and program development for Galapagos.
- Provide continued support to invasive species work. By March 2006, Project Isabela-an unprecedented island restoration program-will have eliminated feral goats and pigs from an area the size of Rhode Island. Still, more needs to be done to expand the lessons learned and technologies developed to other parts of the archipelago. Also, eradication of other invasive species, such as frogs, fire ants, black flies, and an array of plant species must be continued. Improvements must be made to the Galapagos Quarantine and Inspection System and rapid community response mechanisms that can identify and react to new threats of invasive species.
- Ensure effective management of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). We will continue to support research and monitoring necessary for decision making in the GMR and scientific assessments of zoning schemes and new activities proposed for the Marine Reserve.
History of Galapagos Conservancy
Galapagos Conservancy focuses all day, every day, on Galapagos. We are a membership-based organization and the largest source of private support for conservation efforts for the Galapagos Islands. Our 11,000 Friends of Galapagos are individuals and institutions who care deeply about the Galapagos Islands and understand the scientific importance of preserving this one-of-a-kind ecosystem.
We are fortunate to work closely with many allies, including scientists from many U.S. universities, international non-governmental organizations with an active interest in the Galapagos, and a multitude of other institutions that are committed to Galapagos conservation. We also collaborate closely with travel companies like AdventureSmith Explorations who carry out fundraising efforts and educate travelers on local conservation efforts.
Over the years, our members have contributed to many successful conservation initiatives, including:
- Project Isabela-the largest and most ambitious ecosystem restoration effort in the world-and other control and eradication programs
- Effective management of the Galapagos Marine Reserve, including monitoring and interdiction efforts of the Galapagos National Park Service
- Establishment of the Galapagos Quarantine and Inspection Service, which prevents foreign species from arriving in Galapagos
- Educating local residents, tourists, and Galapagos decision makers on the benefits and importance of sound conservation practices, policy, and sustainable economic activities
- Baseline studies and monitoring of native and endemic marine and terrestrial species.