WASHINGTON, December 15, 2008 The first fuel-handling facility in the Galpagos Islandsa region of great biodiversity and evolutionary importancewas given official environmental certification today, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced. The facility underwent extreme renovations in order to meet certification standards, which are part of a 10-year plan developed by WWF and Toyota, in conjunction with the Ecuadorian Government, to transform high pollution energy systems currently in use in the Galpagos to more sustainable and renewable energy sources. It is one of only a few facilities in Latin America to hold this certification.
"This achievement demonstrates the enormous impact public, private and conservation entities can have when they join forces for a common goal," said Lauren Spurrier, WWF's Galpagos managing director. "The completion of this project and its certification are a milestone in our effort to protect one of the world's most precious and historically significant eco-regions and preserve the livelihoods of the many people who depend on these islands for their survival."
This accomplishment is realized less than two months before the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, a scientist well known for his species and evolution work in the Galpagos Islands. The islands have seen dramatic changes since Darwin's exploration, with a huge growth in population and an expanding tourism industry. Safe, environmentally sound handling of fuel supplies has been a major challenge brought about by this growth.
After a tanker spill released 240,000 gallons of fuel into the waters surrounding the islands in 2001, WWF and PetroEcuador, the state-owned oil company, identified fuel transportation and storage as a major environmental concern that needed to be immediately addressed. WWF and Toyota worked together to develop a technical assessment and design for renovations to the primary facility in Baltra, which included, amo
|Contact: Erika Viltz|
World Wildlife Fund