(London, England) Today, Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT), the leading UK charity dedicated to preserving the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, announced it has joined the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge (IOCC), a global effort to begin holistically restoring 40 globally significant island-ocean ecosystems from ridge-to-reef by 2030 to benefit people, wildlife, and our planet.

Galapagos Conservation Trust commits to advancing biodiversity protection through its participation in the IOCC. GCT’s efforts will focus on restoring and rewilding Floreana Island in collaboration with the local community, partners, and stakeholders. This comprehensive initiative includes research across species and effective coordination of reintroductions to enhance island ecosystems. Additionally, GCT will contribute to monitoring efforts to support scientific advancements in understanding land-sea linkages within the IOCC framework, including through its work to tackle plastic pollution across the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

“Collaboration and a holistic approach to island restoration are core to GCT’s mission,” commented GCT Chief Executive Dr Jen Jones. “The challenges that we face in Galapagos, including invasive species, overfishing and a rising tide of plastic pollution, are threatening island ecosystems everywhere. We are excited to join the IOCC and forge new connections with other island communities and their conservation partners, both across the Pacific and worldwide.”

The IOCC was launched in 2022 by Island Conservation, Re:wild, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography to combat climate change, ocean degradation, invasive species, and biodiversity loss by restoring and rewilding islands. The IOCC seeks to support island communities, which are disproportionately impacted by these crises, both ecologically and economically, as well as protect biodiversity, and build climate resilience of at-risk islands.

Through the IOCC, partners aim to mainstream and scale island restoration and rewilding efforts through partnerships with land managers and communities to address their most urgent needs. By bringing together diverse partners focused on monitoring land and sea response, restoring islands by removing invasive species, and rewilding them with native plants and animals, we can accelerate our impact addressing the biodiversity, marine health, and climate change crises.

“We are thrilled to join forces with GCT to restore and rewild Floreana Island, Galapagos,” said Dr Penny Becker, VP Conservation of Island Conservation, a co-founder of the IOCC. “Together, with our partners and funders, we can support the local Floreana community in achieving their vision of a thriving, sustainable Floreana Island on land and in the sea.”

Media Inquiries:

Sally Esposito, Island Conservation (sally.esposito@islandconservation.org)
 Tom O’Hara, Galapagos Conservation Trust (tom@gct.org)

Background Information:

About Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT): GCT is the only UK-registered charity to focus exclusively on the conservation and sustainable development of the Galapagos Archipelago. They deliver programmes that fill gaps in scientific and socioeconomic knowledge, fund local scientists, NGOs and community groups, and partner with Ecuadorian authorities.

About the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge (IOCC): The IOCC is a global initiative launched in 2022 to begin holistically restoring 40 globally significant island-ocean ecosystems by 2030. Led by Island Conservation, Re:wild, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the IOCC aims to combat climate change, ocean degradation, invasive species, and biodiversity loss.