Island Ecosystems Challenge to Sustainability
Book Now Available


As part of the ten-volume Book Series on the Galapagos Islands (Stephen J. Walsh & Carlos F. Mena, Series Editors) and published by Springer Nature, an 11th Edition titled Island Ecosystems Challenges to Sustainability has been released. This latest edition features papers and presentations delivered at the World Summit on Island Sustainability, hosted by the Galapagos Science Center in June 2022.

Sustainable development is a process to improve the quality of life of people, while maintaining the ability of social–ecological systems to continue to provide valuable ecological services that social systems require. In the Galapagos Islands, the maintenance of amenity resources to support tourism and the quality of life of residents is explicitly linked to ecosystem goods and services, particularly, the accessibility to high-quality natural environments and the terrestrial and marine visitation sites that showcase iconic species.

On June 26-30, 2022, the Galapagos Science Center celebrated its 10-Year Anniversary. As the crowning event of the anniversary celebration, the World Summit on Island Sustainability was held on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Archipelago of Ecuador. The intent of the World Summit was to bring together leading experts on island ecosystems and, particularly, on island sustainability from across the globe to represent a diversity of perspectives, approaches, and stakeholder groups. The World Summit was an exclusive event that featured an “expert convening” of scholars and practitioners to address the social, terrestrial, and marine sub-systems of the Galapagos Islands and other similarly challenged island ecosystems from around the globe. The World Summit attracted 150 scientists to the Galapagos Islands to discuss projects conducted, for instance, in the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Guam, French Polynesia, Chile, Australia, and the Caribbean Islands.

Island vulnerability, resilience, and sustainability were examined by scholars, for instance, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Catholic University of Chile, University of Guam, James Cook University, University of the Sunshine Coast, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, California Academy of Sciences, University of San Francisco, and the University of South Alabama as well as affiliated scientists from Exeter University, University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton, and the Galapagos National Park.  The World Summit also included scholars from Re:wild, World Wildlife Fund, EarthEcho, and the East-West Center, Hawaii.

Previous 10 Books in the Series

Science and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands

Evolution from the Galapagos

The Galapagos Marine Reserve

Darwin, Darwinism and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands

Disease Ecology

Understanding Invasive Species in the Galapagos Islands

Sustainable Energy Mix in Fragile Environments

Urban Galapagos

Land Cover and Land Use Change on Islands

Water, Food and Human Health in the Galapagos Ecuador

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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!