Galapagos no longer on List of World Heritage in Danger

The Galapagos Islands have been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, despite IUCN´s strong recommendation to the contrary, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said today.

The Galapagos Islands, which have been called a unique “living museum and showcase of evolution” were inscribed on the Danger List in 2007 because of threats posed by invasive species, unbridled tourism and overfishing.

Santa Maria Island, Galapagos Islands.jpg

NGS stock photo of Galapagos by Sam Abell

The Committee found that significant progress had been made by Ecuador in addressing these problems, according to the UNESCO World Heritage site. The Galapagos are part of the national territory of Ecuador.

“The removal of this unique site of global importance to humanity is somewhat premature,” said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, director general of IUCN, in a news statement. “IUCN stands ready to continue its work with the Ecuadorian government to fully implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.”

“IUCN´s recommendation for the Galapagos was that it should not be removed from the Danger List as there is work still to be done,” said Tim Badman, Head of IUCN´s World Heritage Programme. “But we recognize the major efforts of the Ecuadorian government to rectify the situation there.

“Threats from tourism, invasive species and overfishing are still factors and the situation in the Galapagos remains critical.”We will need continued strong commitment from the Ecuadorian government over the coming years to resolve these issues,” Badman said.

World Heritage: Galapagos Islands

Posted by David Braun

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn