Partners Move to Develop Endowment Fund for The Galapagos Marine Reserve

November 9, 2020; By Molly Shane, Marine Program Officer

On October 15, 2020, in Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ana Albán, Executive Director of the Sustainable Environmental Investment Fund (FIAS), together with Danny Rueda, Director of the Galapagos National Park (GNPD), Diana Vinueza, representative of WildAid Marine, and Mariana Vera, representative of Conservation International, signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement for the creation of the “Galapagos Marine Reserve Fund.”

This initiative seeks to contribute to the conservation, restoration, protection and management of one of the most important marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world. The signing of this agreement is the first step to obtain financial resources that guarantee the sustainability of the priority actions of control and surveillance of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and therefore the protection and conservation of species and their ecosystems.

The Galapagos National Park Directorate and WildAid Marine developed a Fleet Renewal and Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) Plan in 2019 that emphasizes the need to incorporate new vessels into the fleet and strengthen the GMR’s control and surveillance strategy. As government funding is limited for large capital expenditures as well as the maintenance and operation of MCS assets, the decision was made to establish a financial mechanism to cover investments over the long term.

This agreement marks the first step in laying the foundation for the design of the institutional, legal and financial structure for the establishment and administration of the GMR Conservation Fund, which will allow for the channeling of national and international contributions within the context of a well-articulated resource mobilization strategy. The establishment of this critical financial mechanism will help to ensure sufficient funding for the long-term protection of the Galapagos Marine Reserve.