A new 25-year cooperation deal has been signed between the Charles Darwin Foundation and Ecuadorian government that will strengthen crucial scientific research and conservation efforts in the Galapagos archipelago.
The agreement, signed Thursday in Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos archipelago, will secure the work undertaken by the Foundation through the globally renowned Charles Darwin Research Station.
“It (the agreement) highlights our commitment to using science and knowledge to create a greener modern economy that tackles social injustices and puts less pressure on the planet. Science is essential for ensuring conservation,” Ecuador Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said.
Under the deal the scientific station, founded in 1964, will deepen its work that specializes in improving understanding and preserving the unique flora and fauna found in the archipelago and the surrounding seas.
One of the terms of the agreement establishes that the state will have access to all the knowledge and information generated from research developed in the Station.
The scientific research will focus on areas such as global warming, the impact of human activity on the islands, the innovation of sustainable systems, and biodiversity.
"It is an honor to be part of the historic moment of this agreement," said Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation Arturo Izurieta. "Science like music is universal and we are focusing on the generation of excellent science for the conservation of the natural resources of this World Heritage Site of the Galapagos archipelago.”
The deal to extend the work undertaken by the Charles Darwin Research Station is part of the emphasis given to academic research by the Ecuadorean government as it seeks to move away from a primary export economy to a more high tech, high skill, knowledge-based economy.
In recent years, the state has worked with several environmentalist non-profits to double the size of conservation areas and intensify efforts in the marine reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some 95 percent of the territory's 8,000 square kilometers is part of a protected area that is home to more than 50 species of animals and birds found nowhere else on the planet.