What can you do to help us protect Galapagos:
Travelers can make donations during or after their cruise with Ecoventura to the Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund or GTCF of which 100% goes straight to the organizations working on the ground to preserve and protect the Galapagos and not to administrative expenses, as those costs are covered by IGTOA and its member companies including Galapagos Network.
Galapagos Network is a founding member of IGTOA, International Galapagos Tour Operators Association , a 501c3 non-profit organization made up of responsible tour companies dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism in the Galapagos Islands and to providing critical financial support for conservation for over 20 years. Donations are tax deductible for U.S tax payers, though IGTOA will gratefully accept donations from citizens of all nations.
The future of the Galapagos Islands ultimately lies in the hands of the people who live here. That is why educating and inspiring Galapagos youth is perhaps our most important long term investment. GTCF supports EPI Galapagos programs that engage Galapagos young in hands-on conservation training and field word and inspire them to become the next generation of conservation leaders.
Invasive species are the single biggest threat to fragile native and endemic species of Galapagos. We’ve channeled critical financial support to organizations such as WildAid working on the front lines in the battle against invasive species, helping to improve quarantine and cargo handling procedures between the Galapagos Islands and the mainland, and reducing the possibility of extremely destructive species arriving to the islands.
As part of our ongoing commitment to combat poaching and illegal fishing we’ve help fund successful initiatives through Sea Shepherd Conservation Society that improve environmental crime enforcement and prosecution in the Galapagos, and helped obtain GPS and video monitoring equipment for the Galapagos National Park Service to aid in their patrols for illegal fishing activity. Protecting the Marine Reserve is a difficult challenge and one that requires constant vigilance and updates to technology.
During your cruise you will receive a contribution form, please fill it out and place it in the GTCF box on your yacht. Donations will be processed via a secure SSL encrypted server. Ask your guide if you are not sure where the box is located. You will find brochures and detailed information on board.
Here is how you can help DURING your cruise:
Ecoventura has implemented a waste management system and garbage-recycling program on all vessels. Please use the garbage receptacles placed on all decks with separate containers for plastics, paper, glass and organic waste. Organic waste is compacted and discharged according to International regulations and National Park requirements. Inorganic sold waste is classified into paper, glass and plastic and turned into the local municipal waste service and recycling center. The less garbage you leave in the islands, the better. Better yet – bring all packaging back with you to dispose of in the mainland.
Signs are posted in your cabins to remind you to reduce, reuse and recycle. You will find two types of towels in your cabin. The green towels are to be used for the island visits and snorkeling. The white towels are to be used in your cabin only. Our policy is to change your towels daily. However, to conserve energy, only the towels that you place on the floor will be changed.
During the cruise, we will provide you will a water bottle (or you can bring one) that you can refill from our containers of purified water made from our reverse osmosis water maker. Bring biodegradable sunscreens and lotions if possible. Ecoventura will supply you with biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner. Please reuse our brochure and give it a friend – our brochures are printed on 100% post-consumer paper, manufactured with wind power and certified by Green Seal and SmartWood for FSC standards.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside our yachts and is restricted to one designated smoking area on an outside deck away from where passengers congregate.
During the cruise, follow all the National park rules; they include:
The National Park establishes and maintains nature trails and interpretive signs. Signs posted on board our vessels list the National Park Rules & Regulations. During the orientation, your guide will go over the Galapagos National Park rules which you are required to follow. Visitors cannot legally go anywhere in the designated National Park area without being escorted by a licensed guide. Rules are enforced by naturalist guides and park officials and are as follows.
- Do not disturb or remove any native plant, rock or animal on land or in the water.
Be careful not to transport any live material or sand to the islands.
Do not take any food or drink except water to the uninhabited islands.
Do not touch, pet or feed the wildlife.
You must stay within several feet and avoid taking any flash photography
Do not startle or chase any animal from its nesting place.
Do not leave any trash on the Islands or throw any litter overboard.
Follow the marked trails at all times and do not walk out of their limits.
Stay together with your guide who must accompany all passengers on the trails.
Do not buy souvenirs of objects made from native Galapagos products (except for wood) especially black coral, sea lion teeth and shells of the Galapagos tortoises. There is no smoking permitted on the islands.
Become active in your local nature or environmental groups or join the Galapagos Conservancy or Galapagos Conservation Trust (UK) and help protect the Islands for future generations of adventure travelers.
Charles Darwin Foundation www.darwinfoundation.org
Galapagos National Park Service: www.galapagospark.org
Galapagos Conservency www.galapagos.org
Galapagos Conservation Trust www.gct.org
International Galapagos Tour Operators Association www.igtoa.org