IGTOA Awards $10,000 to Ecology Project International to Educate and Inspire the Next Generation of Galapagos Leaders

"EPI is thrilled to receive IGTOA’s support again this year. With your generous grant, EPI will bring dozens of local youth in Galapagos into the field to help study and protect giant tortoises. For many, it is their first opportunity to explore the National Park. Together we are creating the next generation of conservation leaders in one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. Thank you!”

Julie Osborne -- Advancement Director and Co-founder, Ecology Project International

IGTOA believes that one of the most important things that we can do to protect and preserve the Galapagos Islands in the long term is to help educate and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders there. To this end, we are proud to support Ecology Project International (EPI) for the second year in a row with a grant of $10,000. EPI operates programs designed to build local capacity for conservation leadership by engaging teens in research and hands-on conservation projects.

As a result of IGTOA’s support, 32 Galapagos teens and four teachers will participate in the EPI’s program this year and acquire the skills, knowledge and inspiration necessary to allow them to become active and informed participants in Galapagos conservation. Participants will monitor giant tortoises in the wild, work to eradicate invasive species, such as wild blackberry, and restore habitat for threatened species.

Much of the endemic biodiversity of Galapagos is under threat of extinction, yet local conservation leadership and educational experiences that engage youth in applied research and conservation are lacking. Fewer than 40% of people living in the Galapagos were born there and a majority of residents have not had the opportunity to visit the National Park.

By investing in youth, we can ensure that the next generation is committed to the future of the Islands, that they learn about their fragile environment, and find inspiration to become future conservation leaders.

Matt Kareus

Matt is the Executive Director of IGTOA.

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