5th Galapagos Research and
Conservation Symposium

On June 26th – 27th, 2023, the 5th Galapagos Research and Conservation Symposium took place at the Charles Darwin Convention Center in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal Island. This remarkable multidisciplinary event featured scientific presentations and community-focused talks, showcasing research and initiatives related to conservation, environmental change, biodiversity, oceans, health, and community initiatives.

The primary objective of the symposium was to emphasize the importance of research as a crucial factor in informing solutions and sharing national and international conservation efforts. The event provided a space for the exchange of research practices, with symposium speakers being active researchers in the Galapagos, fostering extensive collaboration networks, and demonstrating a strong commitment to training the next generation of researchers in the archipelago.

This gathering served as a unique opportunity for participants to collaborate on projects and establish new, vital national and international alliances and networks to advance conservation efforts.
Moreover, the symposium aimed to promote community participation as exhibitors and audience members, allowing them to showcase their conservation-related efforts. This enabled authorities to understand the needs and concerns of the local population, influencing their decision-making. The event also played a crucial role in educating the Galapagos community about the special and unique ecosystem they inhabit and the social and public health challenges they face.

The 5th Galapagos Research and Conservation Symposium was organized by the Galapagos Science Center, with the sponsorship of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Symposium 2023

Symposium 2019

Symposium 2018

Symposium 2017


The Galapagos Research and Conservation Symposium was established in 2016 with the primary objective of bringing together scientists from the Galapagos National Park Directorate, the Galapagos Science Center, and the Galapagos community to foster discussion, exchange ideas, and collaborate on scientific efforts related to the conservation of vulnerable island ecosystems and populations.

To learn more, please refer to the proceedings of previous events.

Watch the videos of the previous events:

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In 2022, the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) and the broader UNC & USFQ Galapagos Initiative will celebrate its 10th Anniversary. We are proud to announce the World Summit on Island Sustainability scheduled to be held on June 26–30, 2022 at the Galapagos Science Center and the Community Convention Center on San Cristobal Island.

The content of the World Summit will be distributed globally through social media and results documented through papers published in a book written as part of the Galapagos Book Series by Springer Nature and edited by Steve Walsh (UNC) & Carlos Mena (USFQ) as well as Jill Stewart (UNC) and Juan Pablo Muñoz (GSC/USC). The book will be inclusive and accessible by the broader island community including scientists, managers, residents, tourists, and government and non-government organizations.

While the most obvious goal of organizing the World Summit on Island Sustainability is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the GSC and the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, other goals will be addressed through special opportunities created as part of our operational planning of the World Summit.

For instance, we seek to elevate and highlight the Galapagos in the island conservation discourse, seeking to interact with other island networks in more obvious and conspicuous ways to benefit the Galapagos Islands, the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, and the world. We will seize the opportunity to further develop the I2N2 – International Islands Network-of-Networks. Further, we wish to highlight and emphasize multiple visions of a sustainable future for the Galapagos Islands and we cannot do this alone. Therefore, engaging the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Government Council of Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park, and local Galapagos authorities, including government and non-government organizations and local citizen groups, is imperative.

The Galapagos Science Center on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Borrowing from Hawaii’s and Guam’s Green Growth Program and the Global Island Partnership, we wish to examine existing global programs that emphasize island sustainability and their incorporation into life, policies, and circumstances in the Galapagos Islands. We will also seek to enhance our connections with the institutional members of our International Galapagos Science Consortium and expand the Consortium through the recruitment of other member institutions. We will also work to benefit islands and their local communities by working with citizen groups as well as important NGOs who seek to improve the natural conditions in the Galapagos and diminish the impact of the human dimension on the future of Galapagos’ ecosystems.

Lastly, we will use the World Summit to benefit UNC & USFQ and our constituencies through a strong and vibrant communication plan about the World Summit, creating corporate relationships as sponsors, identifying funding goals through donors, and benefiting our study abroad program for student engagement in the Galapagos Islands. We plan to develop and issue a Galapagos Sustainability Communique after the World Summit that includes the vision and insights of all its participants for a sustainable Galapagos with applicability to global island settings.

We are eager to hear your perspective and have you join us at the World Summit on Island Sustainability!