Galapagos Islands focus of Global Challenges Research Fund

The endemic flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands and the spectacular wildlife of the surrounding Marine Reserve are extremely vulnerable to invasive alien species and to over-exploitation of resources.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how the economy of the islands’ 30,000 resident is also vulnerable to external shocks, especially because of its over-dependence on tourism.

As government and residents strive to recover from the pandemic, the archipelago’s Governing Council has asked Cambridge University, Talking Transformation and the Charles Darwin Foundation to investigate policy options that could reorientate the economy of Galapagos towards a long-term future that is more resilient, more equitable and, above all, reconciles the twin objectives of a good quality of life and the long-term conservation of the unique natural ecosystem. With funding from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund, we are analysing policy scenarios, exploring different approaches to tourism, to linkages between sectors, and to conservation and science as economic activities in themselves. The ultimate aim is that this iconic archipelago can show the way in resetting the course of development in a world afflicted by the pandemic and the climate crisis.


Our multi-cultural team is made up of associate facilitators, policy advisors and environmental governance experts based in South America, Africa and the UK.

+44 (0) 7837 228416


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Cambridge CB24 9NW