Reduce Effects of Mass Tourism on Galapagos Islands

Target: President of Ecuador Rafael Delgado

Goal: Promote sustainable development and environmental education for citizens and tourists of the Galapagos Islands.

For decades, tourists have flooded the Galapagos, arriving in motor yachts and managing to destroy and pollute the land and the waters surrounding it, without any ecological awareness of the consequences they were reaping.

The Galapagos Islands are a part of Ecuador, a massive group of islands that form an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean near the equator. The islands are home to a vast array of animals and species. Giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and the only tropical type of penguin, all live on these islands making this area not only rich with diversity, but a place to be vigilantly protected.

According to the Galapagos Conservancy, an organization on a mission to conserve and restore the unique biodiversity of the islands, the amount of visitors to the Galapagos have increased exponentially in recent years. The steady flow of tourists is a gateway for many environmental issues and the starting point for ecological decline.

When foreigners come to the islands, they bring with them non-native and invasive species that begin a takeover of local nature as soon as they are introduced. Overfishing is also becoming an issue, threatening native fish populations, some even coming close to extinction.

Many visitors see the beauty of the islands and the economic possibilities. They bring companies overseas to expand and start up businesses. These businesses generate a large amount of waste, not to mention disturb the peace of the environment surrounding them. Pollution and continuously-expanding infrastructure are adding to the decimation of this once beautiful group of islands.

This issue needs immediate action, or else the situation will be irreversible before too much longer. By educating those who work and live on the Galapagos Islands, especially tour guides and business owners, the problem can start to be resolved. Sustainable development practices would also be key in ensuring the safety of the environment. Ecotourism and green development must become the main priorities or soon the beautiful plants and animals will just be a memory.

Dear President Rafael Delgado,

The Galapagos Islands are teeming with biodiversity. Many species native to the island are found nowhere else on this planet such as the Galapagos tropical penguin, the Galapagos hawk and the animal the island was named after, the Galapagos giant tortoise. The onset of thousands of tourists to the islands each year are becoming a threat to the true nature of this land, creating pollution, bringing with them invasive species and causing general wear and tear that threatens the lives of many animals.

Some solutions to this pressing issue are, better environmental education techniques and programs, as well as building up companies and towns in a more sustainable manner. By educating the general public, locals, visitors, and business owners on the dangers of overusing and exploiting the islands resources and beauty, people will begin to realize that their actions must start to change.

Sustainable development would significantly improve the amount of waste generated that currently pollutes the islands and waters surrounding them. Since it would be nearly impossible to physically decrease the number of tourists that travel to the Galapagos, it would be very beneficial to start implementing these eco-friendly practices and changes. I urge you to take action and take a stand against the destruction of these wonderful islands before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Soil-net Library

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One Comment

  1. a laudable goal, but the main reason for the degradation of the Galapagos is not tourists, but invasive species coming from the mainland (Guayaquil) on the freight boats and the disregard of the islands and waters of the marine sanctuary by fishermen, often coming out from the mainland with no idea of the special circumstances of the islands. I have been there several times and have seen this.

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