Together with the Galapagos Biosecurity Agency (ABG), WildAid hosted the official inauguration of the new Galapagos Biosecurity Laboratory, a project funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The new lab will strengthen the three barriers to quarantine measures against invasive species, as well as allow ABG management to more efficiently launch biosecurity measures. The lab, located in Santa Cruz Island, in the Galapagos, will also be made available to private and public agencies that request it.
Since 2013, WildAid has helped strengthen the prevention and quarantine of invasive species in the Galapagos in three areas: a) control and inspection at ports and airports for prohibited goods that could be carriers of invasive species or pests; b) pest monitoring and epidemiological surveillance for the early detection of threats, and c) emergency actions and rapid response against threats.
The lab’s opening represents a great tool in the prevention and control of invasive species, pests, and diseases in the Galapagos archipelago. The Minister of the Environment, Tarcisio Granizo and the ABG’s executive director, Marilyn Cruz, inaugurated the lab and stressed the importance of this building in the timely diagnoses of biosecurity concerns for Galapagos.
Other attendees included WildAid’s Ecuador team, officials from the Galapagos National Park, Governance Council and officials from the Government of Santa Cruz, as well as Mrs. Lorena Tapia: Minister-President of the Governing Council of the Galápagos Special Regime, Jorge Carrión: Director of the Galapagos National Park, representatives of the Ministry of Health, ARSA, Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of the productive sectors and personnel from the ABG and Galapagos National Park Service, among others.
Thanks to the support of the Leona M. And Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, qualified ABG staff can now support Molecular Biology, Entomology, Microbiology, Serology, Histopathology, Phytopathology, Necropsy and Parasitology departments in the new lab.
WildAid is proud to support the community of Galapagos and Ecuador as a whole with this new lab. Its opening will allow institutions to take a step forward in combatting the clear and present danger presented by invasive species and diseases towards the future sustainability and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands.