Galapagos invasive species:
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Towards sustainability: Regional planning in the Galapagos
has made two commitments of great importance towards the conservation and sustainable development of the Galapagos Islands:
- In 1959, the Galapagos national park was established
- In 1998 the legal framework was established for the conservation and sustainable development of the
islands, in the publication of the Special Law for the Conservation and
Sustainable Development of Galapagos Province (the "Special
Law"), which guides the preparation of the technical and regulatory instruments
of a new tourism-based model for
development in Galapagos.
By constitutional mandate and according to the Special Law, the Galapagos National Institute, INGALA, is the highest-level corporate
body established in the region, integrating three structural elements that give it the authority to
undertake the actions required to implement the new scheme of sustainable development in the region:
Consequently, INGALA is the body which represents the environmental, social and economic interests of the
and whose main mission is regional planning and its mandatory follow-up and evaluation, according to Art. 239 of the Constitution.
However, the important function assigned to this
organisation does not include the financial resources necessary to fulfill such a large and important responsibility. The question is, how to achieve it?
- Executive power of the National Government, represented by five
Ministries: Environment, Defense, Finance, Tourism and External Trade.
- Local government, represented by the three mayors (Santa Cruz,
San Cristóbal and Isabela) and provincial Prefect.
- Private organisations, represented by the production and conservation sectors.
How shall this challenge of the new sustainable development model be addressed?
It is important that the Galapagos community understands that planning builds the medium and long-term future. The Galapagos
Regional Plan is the primary technical instrument that establishes the direction of the broader
actions that lead to the new tourism-based model for sustainable development in Galapagos. On 23rd May 2003 INGALA approved the Strategies and objectives for implementation on five action and institutional management areas: conservation, production, human development, environmental services and land use planning.
- Recognising that technical, scientific and empirical knowledge is scarce within the
institution. Therefore, in order to comply with its established responsibilities, INGALA is implementing and strengthening a Technical Planning Unit, consisting of technical staff from within and outwith the institution.
- Encouraging and facilitating the work of cooperating institutions which expressed a commitment to support the implementation of the regional plan in the
Floreana Agreement of 3rd December 2002.
- Ensuring the functioning and strengthening of the decision making structure established in Galapagos. This signifies that actions must be produced by the Technical Unit of INGALA, the provincial arena for agreements (integrating local government and the national park), and the Technical Planning Committee of the INGALA Council, so that decisions made are founded on a technical basis and have the necessary consensus.
- Strengthening Galapagos institutions, principally INGALA, local government and the
Galapagos National Park, and establishing appropriate strategic alliances with cooperation
organisations and outside assistance.
The relation between regional, sectoral and annual operative planning
In order to understand their relations and dependencies three hierarchic levels of
planning must be defined:
Level 1. Regional planning. This guides medium and long-term planning, identifies the initial
state and establishes policies and directives to create the desired state. The definition of the new model of sustainable development is based on indicators, to allow follow-up and evaluation.
Level 2. Sectoral planning. This level establishes programmes and budgets according to the priorities of each municipality. It comprises the municipal planning produced by each municipality based on directives in the regional plan and the
resources of each municipality. This level also includes the planning of the Galapagos
National Park, land and marine areas, in which the technical staff of the Planning Unit are
Level 3. Annual operative plans. This comprises the day-to-day activities which the
organisations carry out each year, based on the resources received from the State or external cooperation, and whose results are evaluated on the basis of environmental, social and economic indicators.
Source: Galapagos National Institute (INGALA).
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website was created on 25 October 2004 by PT and JK