Spirit of Big Five

Update on Sustainability Projects

We are glad to share with you the latest results from the Fundacion Galapagos-Ecuador.  Its three sustainability projects report great success, and show that what started as an ethical gesture has turned into a rewarding contribution to the islands’ natural environment and the community who coexists with it. 

1. COASTAL CLEANUP: since 1999 we have accomplished 109 coastal cleanup trips throughout the islands. These efforts are the result of conscientious work with the local artisanal fishermen of the islands. So far, 79,988 Kg (175,973 pounds) of solid debris have been collected.  In 2010 we will be leading twelve more coastal cleanup trips.  Our solid joint efforts with the Coca Cola Foundation of Ecuador are certainly providing us to easier access to technologies, as well as other new tools for efficient work.  The marine environment of the Galapagos receives direct benefit from this project, and by saving the oceans we are surely guaranteeing the normal course of life on the terrestrial ecosystems.

2. SOLID-WASTE MANAGEMENT & RECYCLING: on the island of Santa Cruz, the program has recycled a total of 1,916,889.20 Kg (4,217,156.20 pounds) of solid waste.  Additionally, 922,786 Kg (2,030,129 pounds) of organic garbage have been processed and composted by the Municipal Government of Santa Cruz. This organic material has turned into natural fertilizer for local farmers and it improves the quality of their products, while relying less on fertilizer being shipped from the mainland (or artificial fertilizers).  The recycling specific numbers (by type of debris) are interesting to analyze:

PLASTICS - 157,619 Kg/346,761 pounds
GLASS - 452,573 Kg/995,660 pounds
CARDBOARD - 1,168,236 Kg/2,570,119 pounds
PAPER – 110,878 Kg/243,931 pounds
BATTERIES - 1,204 Kg (2,648 pounds)
OTHER MATERIALS - 26,376 Kg/58,027 pounds

We are excited also about starting our contribution to the first recycling pilot program on Isabela Island.  Machinery has arrived already at the designed facility and we will start reporting shortly on many more success stories coming from Isabela Island.  Stay tuned!

3. STUDENTS ONBOARD OUR GALAPAGOS EXPEDITIONS: we believe the education of the Galapagos children is a must and efforts need to focus in such field. Since 1998 we have taken a total of 192 students in Galapagos expeditions, and in 2010 we have made arrangements for taking at least 50 students aboard the Metropolitan Touring's expedition fleet.

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