The Galapagos Islands are one of the archipelagos renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the world, “the ecological and evolutionary processes characteristics of the Islands have been minimally affected by human activity. However, due to the impact of human activity, such as tourism and fisheries management, for example, the archipelago is recognized today as World Heritage in Danger (González et al. 2008, 13).
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It goes without saying that human interference into natural processes and unsustainable management activities influence on the ecosystem of the Islands negatively. Thus, urgent actions of government concerning management and conservational activities should be done in order to preserve a natural heritage of the Galapagos Islands.
According to the recent survey, the two areas of the management should be re-organized in order to prevent undesirable changes. Tourism and fisheries management are two sections that influence on the ecological system of the Galapagos Islands most of all.
The two readings discuss these options from the point of view of environmental management. The main argument of the first reading “Rethinking the Galapagos Islands as a Complex Social-Ecological System: Implications for Conservation and Management” concerns the problem of the tourism as the main reason of negative changes in the environment of the Islands.
The core idea if the article is to re-organize the management activity to “maintain a desirable state to exist” (González et al. 2008, 13). The main measures are the reorganization of the traditional practices of the management industry, new approaches to the territorial planning and provide interdisciplinary researches in the social and biophysical sciences.
The second article “The rocky path to sustainable fisheries management and conservation in the Galapagos Marine Reserve” also deals with the environmental management. However, it focuses attention on the fisheries management. The main subjects for discussion are “the two main resources, spiny lobster and sea cucumber, have shown alarming signs of deterioration” (Hearn 2008, 1).
The reason of this process, according to the article, is that the design the management system that does not work. Both readings claim that the Galapagos Islands survive a critical period nowadays. The human activity affects greatly on the environment of the Islands. In addition, the two readings suggest the idea that strong state control and privatization are needed to improve the situation.
Certain limitations should be applied to touristic and fishery activities. The understanding of the dynamics and functioning of the archipelago, conservation-based approach to the problems can be really helpful.
However, such approaches to the problem imply the changes in lifestyle of people who were born on the Islands. The methods described in the article do not suggest how it can be done without a negative impact on the cultural heritage of the Islands which is one of the main touristic attractions.
Tourism and fish industry are the main sources of income, at the same time, they are considered to be the main sources of damage and destruction of the native eco-system of islands. These two issues are connected and interdependent. People used these resources for centuries without changing their lifestyle. Reduction of the number of tourists will reduce the number of marine products extracted from the sea.
It can lead to negative economic changes as well. So, how those two issues (tourism and fishery management) can be reorganized (using suggested methods) so that not influence the economic state and life of autochthons?
Hearn, Alex. “The rocky path to sustainable fisheries management and conservation in the Galapagos Marine Reserve”, Elsevier, (2008): accessed from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/ocean-and-coastal-management
González, Jose A. Carlos Montes, José Rodríguez, and Washington Tapia, “Rethinking the Galapagos Islands as a Complex Social-Ecological System: Implications for Conservation and Management”, Ecology and Society 13 (2), (2008): 13, accessed from https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art13/