International Galapagos Tour Operators Association Assists Nonprofit in Cargo Inspection / Quarantine Work
To Secure Healthy Biodiversity on Archipelago
GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR – Feb. 9, 2012 – The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) is providing funds to a leading nonprofit organization which assists quarantine protocols and inspections of cargo at ports of departure for the endangered archipelago.
This work is conducted primarily at Ecuador’s marine port city of Guayaquil. Introducing diseases and non-native plants, animals and insects is one of the greatest threats to the islands’ biodiversity.
The organization in the Galapagos Islands that will receive aid in 2012 from IGTOA’s Traveler Funding Program is WildAid (http://www.wildaid.org/). WildAid has been involved in quarantine and inspection efforts since 2009 and with the Charles Darwin Foundation since 1964 assisting in the conservation and protection of biodiversity of the Galapagos Achipelago.
IGTOA’s Traveler Funding Program (http://www.igtoa.org/galapagos-funding) generates revenue for conservation and professional standards development initiatives in the Galapagos Islands through the support of its member companies and their travelers.
“IGTOA’s funding is one of the first times this sort of joint effort has been done to improve the quarantine process in the Galapagos,” said Matt Kareus, Executive Director of IGTOA.
It is not uncommon for food items transported on ships to arrive caked in contaminated soil or infested with worms, while unsanitary conditions on board add to the human and environmental health risks. But with a growing population and rising numbers of tourists, the demand for imported food to Galapagos continues: between June 2010 and June 2011 alone, potato imports increased 141%, while there was a comparable 128% increase in the import of 13 common fruit and vegetable products.
International Galapagos Tour Operators Association or IGTOA is a 501.c.6 nonprofit association of travel companies and conservation organizations dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos. IGTOA’s mission is to preserve the Galapagos Islands as a unique and priceless world heritage that will provide enjoyment, education, adventure and inspiration to present and future generations of travelers. For more information visit: http://www.igtoa.org