The decades-long effort to protect the Galápagos Islands realized an important milestone on January 14 when Ecuador’s president Guillermo Lasso signed a decree to conserve more than 23,000 square miles of ocean around the Galápagos Islands and beyond.
An enduring connection
Lindblad Expeditions has had an enduring connection to the islands, ever since Lars-Eric Lindblad brought the first citizen explorers to the archipelago and funded the very first Galápagos Park Rangers. Lindblad Expeditions founder and Co-Chair of the Board, Sven Lindblad, who first visited the Galápagos Islands in 1967 as a 17-year-old, was honored to witness this historic moment alongside President Ivan Duque Marquez of Colombia; former United States President Bill Clinton; Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and other local dignitaries including Gustavo Manrique, Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition.
Sven Lindblad, the founder and co-chair of the board of directors of Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, reports live after the event.
The Galápagos Islands are a jewel of our planet.
The new Hermandad Marine Reserve expands the current Galápagos Marine Reserve by almost 50 percent and extends northwest to the Costa Rican maritime border. This swath of ocean will safeguard a migratory corridor known as the Cocos-Galápagos Swimway, which is used by sea turtles, sharks, whales, rays, and many other marine species.
Following the ceremony, Sven Lindblad said, “This is a really valuable and important step for marine protection… And hopefully these extensions will only get larger and larger over time. It's been a tremendous joy. People have come from all over the world to celebrate what Galápagos has done.”
Left to right: Ecuador's Minister of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition Gustavo Manrique; President of Colombia Ivan Duque; President of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso Mendoza; Sven Lindblad; Sylvia Earle; Ecuador's Minister of Tourism Niels Olsen Peet; former U.S. President Bill Clinton.