The UNESCO World Heritage committee recently decided to remove the Galápagos Islands from its World Heritage In Danger list, which it has been on since 2007.
The decision proved controversial, as the islands have only been on the list for three years. Many people, including members of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris, disagree with this decision. Taking the islands off the In Danger list may wrongly imply they do not face dangerous challenges; removal from this list could send the wrong message to donor countries and organizations, as well as tour companies in Ecuador.
While Ecuador has made tremendous progress in preserving and protecting the Galápagos Islands, there is still much work to be done. The country has successfully eradicated goats from Isabella Island, implemented immigration control, introduced new species control including fumigation of aircrafts, and begun GPS monitoring of the Galápagos Marine Reserve, among other things.
The dangers that were listed when the Galápagos was put on the In Danger list persist, so removal from the list may be misleading; many fear this action could cause irreversible damage to the islands.