From the Sierra Negra ship, in Puerto Ayora Bay, President Guillermo Lasso will sign the executive decree making official the expansion of the Galapagos marine reserve by 60,000 square kilometers, which was announced by the president in November of last year during the climate summit COP26, in Glasgow (United Kingdom).

Galapagos is one of the most recognized protected areas by scientists worldwide.

The event will take place this Friday, January 14, and will include the participation of former United States President Bill Clinton and the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, who will be honorary witnesses. The foreign ministers of Costa Rica and Panama will also attend.

Lasso arrived in Galapagos on Thursday and indicated that that night he would share a dinner with the former US president, who arrived in the islands the same day.

The day before the signing of the decree, the Ecuadorian president participated in a dialogue with a group of inhabitants of Galapagos, through the program Encontrémonos, of the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency.

The president said that the expansion is an operation that will allow obtaining financial resources that will be used exclusively for the conservation of the Galapagos National Park and the care of the marine reserve.

“We will do it in such a way as to guarantee sustainability over time, away from all these fluctuations and fluctuations of politics, when someone comes along and says, ‘here I have come with the best idea, so I’m destroying everything they did back and start again’. No. We are going to take precautions so that (the operation) is intangible, so that it cannot be reversed,” Lasso assured.

The new marine reserve will add to the more than 130,000 square kilometers of waters that are already protected.

On November 1, 2021, in Glasgow, Lasso exposed at COP26 the increase in protected areas in exchange for the “largest debt-for-conservation swap in the world.”

Of the 60,000 square kilometers committed, 30,000 will be a non-fishing production area located on the Cocos Mountain range and the other 30,000 kilometers will be non-longline located after the marine reserve in the northwest and will also serve as a “living laboratory” for the development of scientific research. (I)