Objective I: International Preserve :: Objective II: Sensor Network :: Objective III: Ideal Village :: Appendices

The most effective organization that can implement the solutions to the problems of the Galapagos while also achieving the aforementioned goals is a non-governmental one. Government organizations such as the United Nations have incredible power, but with strings of sovereignty attached. When the international community attempts to dabble in the affairs of Ecuador, resentment and poor cooperation can often result. However, recent events in the Galapagos have provided an interesting example of a possible policy mechanism.

When Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez decided to fire GNP director Edwin Naula, many conservation groups put a hold on funding the park and indirectly the Ecuadorian government (MSNBC 2004). President Gutierrez began to consider instating Fausto Cepeda, a potential political puppet for Gutierrez and the fishing industry, as the next GNP director. After protests on both sides, the park rangers eventually won and Cepeda was not appointed as the new park director. More importantly, the president had agreed to meet with these conservation groups in deciding who will be the new park director ("Park Rangers End Strike", 2004).

Furthermore, there are multiple organizations (primarily NGOs) that are responsible for the fiscal wellbeing of the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve. An intuitive question arises: what if there existed some sort of international organization that acted as an alliance of funds to the park, one that could yield incredible bargaining power over the fishing industry and other aspects of the Ecuadorian government? The advantages to such a group would be tremendous. Issues of sovereignty, hegemony, and international meddling would be treated with more care than if an international governmental organization dictated rules to Ecuador. In accordance to this approach, the non-governmental organization ORGALA was created.

Mission Statement

The purpose of ORGALA is to unite non-governmental organizations worldwide in a common interest of preserving and protecting the delicate and incalculably precious ecosystem of the Galápagos archipelago and surrounding waters. ORGALA will distribute critical funds to organizations who are working in and around the Galápagos in an efficient and well advised manner to maximize the positive impact on the preservation effort for the Galápagos. ORGALA will also strive to work closely with local and national Ecuadorian officials to bring about urgent changes of policy and commitment to the ecosystem of the Galápagos. Finally, in recognizing the essential part that education plays in the effort to protect the environment, ORGALA will encourage and support institutions that educate the general public of the archipelago and the Ecuadorian mainland on the nature of the priceless ecology of the Galápagos.

Goals of ORGALA

This organization and the constituents therein, recognize the threat posed to the environment of the Galapagos Islands. These threats include human activities such as fishing, poaching, touring, and developing on the islands. While this organization recognizes Ecuador's sovereignty over these islands, this organization will provide funding for specific issues that it wishes to resolve, both in terms of methodology and timelines. This organization will encourage and require input from the Ecuadorian government; however, it will remain as an independent organization with its own structure and schedule.

ORGALA will aim to protect the environment of the Galapagos Islands by taking measures that it deems necessary by providing research, funding, and workers to carry out its goals. ORGALA will aim to contribute funds to existing programs and for new programs that may be created. This organization will oversee all the programs in which it sponsors to ensure funding is directed according to its goals. ORGALA will work hard with the Ecuadorian government to ensure a coordinated effort to protect the environment. ORGALA will promote education of the residents of the Galapagos Islands as well as the residents of Ecuador to promote awareness of the unique environment of the Galapagos Islands.

Bylaws of ORGALA

General Assembly:
Scientific Panel:
Board of Representatives:
The passage of proposals:
Executive Actions:
Founding Members:
Amendment of the Bylaws:


ORGALA, an organization made of the NGOs with a common goal would provide a strong voice about the ecological sanctity of the Galapagos Islands. The unity created by ORGALA, greater than the sum of individual parts, will have the political and economic influence necessary to protect the fragile ecosystems. Each NGO would be provided with a voice that would contribute to the organization and strengthen the cause of each NGO in the organization. Whereas all the NGOs will see their influence increase, larger and smaller NGOs may see benefit in different ways.

By joining ORGALA, larger NGOs will see a tremendous increase in their political influence, for they are organizing a unified front for the protection of the Galapagos Islands. While some individual NGOs have, in the past, already been able to change policies by controlling the funding, with a united front, they will be able to continue to do so, but more effectively and efficiently. Their will be greater recognition from around the world to both this organization and the concern for the environment as a whole. In addition, ORGALA will provide a forum to promote communication between individual NGOs. Members of the scientific panel will have the advantage of meeting and exchanging their ideas -- possibly with different perspectives and different expertises -- to find the best possible solution to a given problem.

The smaller NGOs will realize an increase in economic power that they would not have independently. They will have a voice in an organization aimed to fulfill a common cause. While some may worry about special interests, these NGOs will see their relative influence increase through the structure of the organization. Each of these NGOs will see a greater proportional economic strength through ORGALA than if they acted independently. To provide some rough figures of the assets of potential investors as currently listed on their respective websites:

Charles Darwin Foundation -- $4.9 million
Galapagos Conservation Trust -- <$1 million
World Wildlife Fund -- $336 million
WildAid -- $1.1 million

Of course it is possible that organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank would be invited to join, especially since they represent billions of dollars of influence (IADB 2004). Similar organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) may also join, but there membership must be carefully weighed to minimize political influences and promote purely environmental concerns.

See an outline of how ORGALA functions.

International Preserve
:: Political History
:: Managerial History
:: Galapagos as a Part of Ecuador
:: Current Problems
:: Our Goals
:: Current NGOs in Galapagos
:: The ORGALA Solution
:: Initial Preservation Strategy
:: References