The Galapagos Islands are near and dear to my heart. I had the privilege of escaping on a week long luxury yacht charter in the Galapagos about a decade ago, and the wonder of the wildlife on these islands still moves me deeply. Snorkeling with sea lions and penguins, diving with hammerheads, giggling with the swimming lizards, watching the giant land tortoises slow motion mating rituals. Viewing birds and sea creatures that only exist in this one place on earth. No wonder Darwin was so enamored of this magical place.
The extreme ecological sensitivity of these islands is challenging, and the Ecuadorian government is proactive in minimizing the impact of its eco-tourism industry. They carefully control the number of yachts in an anchorage and govern the number of people allowed on an island on any given day. You can only venture ashore with a trained guide who helps you observe rules that support the fragile eco-system. Rules like no food ashore, no flash photography, no going any closer than 6′ to an animal. It is just amazing how close the animals will let you get – they have not been preyed upon by humans so they do not run for cover when you get close.
So I am delighted to learn that Yacht Carbon Offset (YCO) has secured carbon credits from a renewable power station in the Galapagos Islands. YCO is an innovative company in the yacht charter industry that allows yacht owners and charter guests the opportunity to offset their carbon impact by supporting environmental projects in other parts of the world. If you are chartering a mega yacht in the south of France, the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world, you can work with YCO so that your carbon emissions are offset by supporting the reduction of greenhouse gases in the Galapagos.
The small project on San Cristobal island, one of the five inhabited islands in the Galapagos, consists of three wind turbines. These units displace the use of diesel-fueled generators, and in the first year of operation (2007-08), they provided 31% of the island’s electricity supply. The first 3km of power lines were placed underground to minimize the hazard to the endangered indigenous Galapagos Petrel, and other bird species. In addition, it reduces the frequency of fuel deliveries to the island and the related risk of fuel spills which have been very problematic in the past.
I have been a supporter of YCO’s efforts, and I am pleased that they now have a way to directly offset the impact in one of the most magnificent yacht charter destinations in the world.
Contact Ocean Getaways for a Galapagos Yacht Charter… put it on your bucket list.