Expansion of protected areas signals progress for protection of Galápagos Islands

Underwater photo of sea turtle swimming near coral


From rugged marine iguanas sunbathing on basalt shorelines to tortoises plodding across grassy plains, the Galápagos Islands boast unparalleled biodiversity. Earlier this year, the Ecuadorian government again confirmed its commitment to protecting this rich ecosystem by creating the Hermandad Marine Reserve—expanding the established protected area by nearly a third and bringing the total area of protected waters around the islands to nearly 77,000 square miles.

“The creation of the Hermandad Marine is fantastic news for Ecuadorians and for the world,” says Pablo Guerrero, marine conservation director for WWF-Ecuador. “These enchanted islands continue their journey as a living laboratory and take a great step toward achieving the common goal of protecting 30% of our planet’s oceans by 2030.”

Now the Ecuadorian government has called on WWF-Ecuador and other organizations to craft a long-term plan to guide the management of the new reserve. “This requires the active participation of all related sectors, including fisheries,” says Guerrero. “Adequate planning and zoning of the new area will guarantee inclusive conservation, tourism development, and economic benefits for everybody.”

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