Since 2012 Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) is implementing a technical cooperation project in Santa Cruz Island (Galapagos, Ecuador) financed by the Veneto Region.
Tutela della salute e prevenzione dai rischi di inquinamento antropico (Health protection and prevention of the risks from anthropogenic pollution)
is developed by the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics of Ca’ Foscari University in collaboration with the Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado de Santa Cruz (GADMSC, Galápagos, Ecuador) and the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL, Guayaquil, Ecuador).
The overall objective of the project is to support the sustainable development of Galapagos Islands, with a special focus on Santa Cruz Island, where more than 75% of the total population of the archipelago lives.
Starting from April 2013 I am involved as consultant for water quality monitoring and management. In May 2013 we performed the first sampling campaign in Santa Cruz, aimed at preliminary assessing the quality of the waters used for domestic and recreational purposes.
This first monitoring campaign was done in collaboration with technicians of all the institution involved in the control, management and protection of water resources in Galapagos: Parque Nacional Galápagos, Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería, Acuacultura y Pesca, Agencia de Regulación y Control de la Bioseguridad y Cuarentena para Galápagos, Consejo de Gobierno de Régimen Especial para Galápagos, Fundacion Charles Darwin, Estación de Investigaciones Marinas y Ayudas a la Navegación de Galápagos, Fondo para el control de especies invasoras de Galápagos, ESPOL and GADMSC.
In November 2013 I’ve been to Santa Cruz, together with Prof. A. Marcomini (Scientific Coordinator of the project), to present and discuss the first results of the monitoring campaign.
On this occasion we also presented the Water Sampling Guidelines for Santa Cruz Island (Directrices Oficiales para el monitoreo de la calidad del agua en la isla Santa Cruz ). If approved by all the local institutions, this document, together with the Database collecting all the historic data, will represent a valuable tool for supporting future monitoring activities. This will also facilitate information sharing for the protection of water quality and local population’s health.
Concerning the future plans, a new joint monitoring campaign will be performed in Spring 2014 aimed at better constraining water pollution sources and promoting new water management practices.