A long weekend of celebration is ahead of us; not only is it the Easter Bank Holiday, but on Sunday it’s also our 20th Birthday! On Wednesday, 5 April 1995, the Galapagos Conservation Trust was officially launched at the Royal Society. Over 250 people attended the inaugural event, including Sir David Attenborough and David Bellamy, the Ecuadorian Ambassador, four former directors of the Charles Darwin Research Station, several MPs and no fewer than 10 descendants of Charles Darwin himself!
Since our launch all those years ago a lot has happened, both with GCT and with the Galapagos Islands. Whilst there are now seven full-time staff members at GCT, we are privileged and ever-grateful to have the support of a whole host of volunteers and we work in partnership with many other organisations. We are also fortunate to have a strong, reliable and growing supporter base, without which we simply couldn’t operate, let alone provide the ongoing support and funding to the portfolio of projects that we are involved with in the Islands and here in the UK.
Tourist numbers to Galapagos have almost quadrupled over the last twenty years, changing from 55,786 in 1995 to more than 200,000 since 2013. The resident population has also risen significantly and villages and towns have swelled in order to house the 30,000 people that now call Galapagos home. But despite this pressure, the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve continue to protect what remains one of the most pristine archipelagos in the world.
Over the last two decades we have been lucky enough to witness and contribute to many exciting new discoveries and conservation successes. In order to highlight some of these, we have created a new section of our website which demonstrates how your support can make a very real difference to the future of these magical islands – click here to visit our highlights page. We hope you enjoy this new page and that it inspires you to continue being a part of conserving the Galapagos Islands. Thank you.
by Pete Haskell