CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Wednesday March 16, 2016
Scientific American agrees with CNH Tours
The April 2016 edition of the well respected journal "Scientific American" has a well-written, succinct article which corroborates exactly the way CNH Tours feels about tourism in Galapagos. The article discusses the rise of "land based" tourism, which remains very much uncontrolled, despite some government efforts at establishing a regulatory framework. The article links the growth in land based tourism to the growth in overall risks to the archipelago's biodiversity - through the connection between increased numbers of people in the islands with the increase probability of the arrival and dispersal of harfmul alien species.
In contrast, ship based tourism, which does not require the construction of hotels, restaurants and other land based services and infrastructure, has remained pretty much capped for nearly 20 years in the islands. Though it is impossible to have zero impact, one can argue that the impact from ship based tourism has not changed in 20 years, whereas incremental impacts from tourism since then have largely come from the massive growth in the land based version.
We are pleased to note, once again, that most of the people cited in article are past colleagues and old friends of ours. Eliecer Cruz, the governor of Galapagos, was my "co-boss" when I was working at the Darwin Station (he was the park director). His brother Felipe was my colleague in the Isabela Island goat eradication project. Mathias Espinosa is the owner of scuba-iguana and a great local musician. Swen Lorenz, with whom I pursue other projects these days, was the Darwin Station director for a while. I've had the chance to meet Arturo Izurieta, former park director and now Darwin Station Director, on a couple of occasions.
In conclusion, next to not going at all, a ship base visit to the islands is the best way to ensure minimal environmental impact to the archipelago's biodiversity.
The article can be seen by clicking here.