Threats to sustainability in the Galapagos Islands: a social-ecological perspective

Carlos F. Mena, Diego Quiroga, Stephen J. Walsh

Producción científica: Capítulo del libro/informe/acta de congresoCapítulorevisión exhaustiva

4 Citas (Scopus)


The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador are world renowned. Located in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, these islands have gained international acclaim associated with their iconic species, terrestrial and marine environments, island morphology, species endemism and biodiversity, and natural and scientific history, often related to Darwin’s visit in 1835. Increasingly, however, the Galapagos Islands are now being recognized for their expanding human dimension related to growing tourism and residential populations that are directly and indirectly linked to emergent social-ecological threats to island ecosystems and their sustainability. Stressed through natural, anthropogenic, and coupled forces of change, the Galapagos Islands are revealing the effects of relatively high levels of national and international tourism that has generated considerable economic development to extend land-based tourism throughout the populated islands, in concert with the more traditional, boat-based tourism, each with their own associated impacts on the environment. In this chapter, we address several challenges to the sustainability of the Galapagos Islands, primarily, associated with the burgeoning tourism industry, which has motivated the migration of people from the Ecuadorian mainland for jobs primarily in tourism, thereby exerting increasing pressure on the urban infrastructure to support new residents and a demand by tourists for high-quality food, beverage, and commercial products that come principally from the continent on cargo ships and on passenger aircraft. We stress the complex interactions between people and environment, a critical lens to view and understand island ecosystems and the multi-dimensional and multi-scale threats to their sustainability.

Idioma originalInglés
Título de la publicación alojadaThe Elgar Companion to Geography, Transdisciplinarity and Sustainability
EditorialEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Número de páginas17
ISBN (versión digital)9781786430106
ISBN (versión impresa)9781786430090
EstadoPublicada - 1 ene. 2020


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