Working on an old question: "How many visitors can the Galapagos hold?" Finding a sustainable model
About the talk
The visitation to natural wonders like the Galapagos Islands poses questions towards its sustainability (natural, social and economic). After a short journey towards the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development and identifying two clear models of influx of tourists to the islands, it is clear the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands faces the pressures from the increasing number of tourists. Tourism in the Galapagos started in the late 60s and since then, the number of tourists have been growing without thoughtful planning, impacting the dynamics of the so-called Galapagos socio-ecosystem. Should we allow more tourists come to the islands, and if so, what are the possible consequences and effects on the natural capital that attracts the visitors and maintains 30,000 inhabitants in the islands?
Based on studies on tourism sustainability scenarios, there seem to be answers to what can be done to give the Galapagos the opportunity to still maintain its uniqueness, visitors' expectations, and sustain the livelihoods and wellbeing of its human population for the future before it is too late. These studies recommend decisive political decisions if the Galapagos Islands are to avoid the point of no return.
This talk is co-sponsored by Latin American Studies program and Recreation Parks and Tourism Management department.
About the speaker
Arturo Izurieta is the Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation. With extensive experience in research, management of protected areas, and management of local affairs, he has worked for more than 30 years in strategic projects and in facilitating relationships between government authorities, native and scientific communities in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Australia, Malaysia and Central America. Dr. Izurieta has a post-doctorate at Charles Darwin University, Australia assessing participatory management of protected areas in the Northern Territory, Australia, and a Ph.D. in Rural and Natural Systems Management at the University of Queensland, Australia. He has been Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands since June 2015 and was Director of the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador, from 1991 to 1995 and from 2013 to 2015. As Executive Director of the CDF, he has focused on organizational planning and strengthening scientific and technical collaboration aiming towards the sustainability in the Galapagos Islands. He has a designation as Adjunct Honorary Researcher since 2011 to the Research Institute for the Environment, Livelihoods and Livelihoods (RIEL), Charles Darwin University, Australia.