CONSERVATION IN GALAPAGOS

Ecoventura earns Accolades for Carbon Offsetting Program

AUTHOR Doris Welsh

In Goal to Eliminate Fossil Fuels by 2015 in Galapagos,
Ecoventura Earns Accolades for Carbon Offsetting Program

MIAMI, FL, May 19, 2009 – The visionary, small ship travel company, Ecoventura that has taken on the challenge of helping to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos reports that its own innovative initiative to combat global warming have offset a total of 4031 tons of CO2 this year. In comparison, it is estimated that the average U.S. household is responsible for about 12 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

In 2006, Ecoventura became the first Carbon Neutral operation in Galapagos (and Ecuador). Carbon emissions from the company’s four yachts (and offices including business travel) are reduced and then offset by a portfolio of projects through US-based company NativeEnergy. Guests on Ecoventura tours are also encouraged to offset their air travel to Ecuador through NativeEnergy as well.

“While the 4,031 tons offset this year is actually a 10% decrease over the same period last year, that’s a good thing,” reports Santiago Dunn, president and owner of Ecoventura www.ecoventura.com/. “It shows that we have been successful in also reducing our overall energy use.”

Recognized by the UN as a World Heritage Site for its rare and unique marine and terrestrial fauna and flora, booming tourism in the Galapagos, ironically, has added to the challenges and problems faced by those looking to restore and protect the island’s native species and ecological balance.

“The Galapagos Islands rank right up there with the Amazon and the Serengeti as one of the richest and best known, yet fragile and threatened, ecosystems in the world. Now, the Ecuadoran government is looking to a range of alternative energy resources to make sure it stays that way,” reports Triple Pundit, one of the world’s most well-read websites on the subject of responsible business.

“The Ecuadoran government has turned to wind and solar power as a means of realizing its goals. Along with a range of international aid organizations and private sector businesses, it’s working to eliminate the use of fossil fuels on the Galapagos Islands by 2015.”

This is in line with Ecoventura’s own goals to reduce and offset. In the fall of 2008, Ecoventura’s M/Y ERIC became the first hybrid energy tour boat in the Galapagos following a $100,000 installation of 40 solar panels and two wind turbines on the upper deck. The hope is for the solar panels and wind powered generators to provide enough power to replace up to 20% of the energy formerly produced by diesel generators. The target goal is to have full fleet implementation by 2011.

Ecoventura’s efforts on carbon offsetting were recognized on May 5, 2009 with a NativeEnergy “Cool Business Certificate” citing its fight against global warming by supporting the Cascade Sierra Solutions Trucking Project, keeping a total of 4,031 tons per year of CO2 out of the air. For project details please see www.nativeenergy.com.

Ecoventura, a leader in ecologically responsible travel in the Galapagos Islands, provides the opportunity for guests to island hop across Darwin’s magical archipelago. Each day they venture from a 20-passenger luxury expedition yacht with two naturalist guides to a new island where passengers can get up close and personal with the unusual terrain and fearless exotic creatures that make Galapagos their home.

About Ecoventura: Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with sales offices in Quito and Miami. In operation since 1990, the cruise company transports 4,000+ passengers annually aboard a fleet of three expedition vessels; identical, superior-class 20-passenger motor yachts each with 10 double cabins. The company also operates the Sky Dancer, a 16-passenger dedicated dive live-aboard offering 7-night weekly itineraries visiting the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin. All of its vessels have been purposefully retrofitted to meet or exceed the highest possible environmental standards.

To learn more about Ecoventura’s responsible tourism programs, to reserve a cabin or private charter, or to receive a copy of their 2009/2010 catalog please call toll-free 1.800.644.7972, or e-mail info@galapagosnetwork.com. To access current rates, schedules and itineraries you can log onto www.ecoventura.com/.

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For photos and/or more information on how Ecoventura is making a difference in the Galapagos Islands please contact:

Sara Widness
802-234-6704
sara@widnesspr.com
or
Dave Wiggins
303-554-8821
d.wiggins@comcast.net