Galápagos, November 26, 2021 As of 2014, technical cooperation between the Galapagos National Park (MGNP) and Celebrity Cruises has made it possible for guests and employees to participate in the conservation efforts of one of the most spectacular places in the world.
As part of this long-term alliance, an agreement was signed to support activities that will allow us to continue controlling introduced plants on 20 hectares of high ecological value on the Santa Cruz Island.
The resources were channeled through the Celebrity Cruises Galapagos Fund, established in 2006 as an initiative to support sustainable development in the islands. The Fund is administered by the NGO Galapagos Conservancy, and has enabled the implementation of more than 60 projects.
Planting native and endemic plants is part of the ecological restoration process in ecosystems that have been affected by introduced species. The most commonly planted tree is the Scalesia pedunculata, a species endemic to the islands, which becomes a refuge for many bird species and is considered to be in danger of extinction.
Through this alliance, Celebrity Cruises and the MGNP have planted more than 50,000 trees, surpassing the objectives set at the time the project began. Due to the pandemic the project was temporarily suspended; however, with the return of Celebrity Cruises to operations in the Archipelago, it has been resumed with the weekly participation of about 90% of guests.
Fausto Arcos, manager of Celebrity Cruises in Ecuador, noted, ” being part of one of the emblematic ecological restoration projects in the islands, together with the Management of the Galapagos National Park, is a source of great pride; our guests and employees appreciate the unique opportunity to have direct contact with nature in this pristine place as well as to support its conservation”.
Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos National Park, believes that the support of the private sector strengthens all restoration efforts. “The involvement of tourists in these activities reinforces the message of Galapagos as an ecotourism destination and also represents an opportunity to positively impact the environment,” Rueda adds.
Washington Tapia of Galapagos Conservancy considers this project is a good example of cooperative work with tangible results. The Management of the Galapagos National Park, which provides technical and logistical support, coordinates all activities. Thanks to the efforts of the public and private sectors, ecosystems are being restored and invasive species are being eliminated.