Ecuador’s famed Galapagos Islands, the country’s top tourist destination, should be better preserved according to President Rafael Correa.
Correa’s announcement coincided with a visit by a Unesco delegation, which is meeting with Ecuadorean authorities to determine ways to preserve the archipelago.
Unesco’s World Heritage Centre director warned last month of threats to the flora and fauna of the “fragile and delicate” island chain.
Correa did not specify whether government agencies would be given more money to combat the effects of tourism, human settlement, the introduction of non-native species and other threats.
The Galapagos Islands, 625 miles off Ecuador’s Pacific coast, were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979 for their unique plant and animal life including giant tortoises, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies.
Charles Darwin’s observations of the islands’ finches inspired his theory of evolution.