The association "Freunde der Galápagos Inseln Schweiz" was founded in June 1994. The association is part of a worldwide network of organisations with the common goal to protect and preserve the sensitive, unfortunately threatened ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands.
The association "Freunde der Galápagos Inseln Schweiz" aims to promote awareness for the conservation of the islands in Switzerland. The aim is to raise financial or other means to support projects for the research of flora and fauna and the conservation of biodiversity in Galapagos.
Our association now has 1,500 members and 300 patrons (as of March 2016). The president is the biologist Prof. Dr. Lukas Keller, who spent several years doing research on the Galápagos Islands. Other board members are also familiar with Ecuador and the archipelago through their professional activities. Since April 1999, our association has had a part-time office at Zurich Zoo, the first zoo in Europe to successfully breed Galapagos giant tortoises on a regular basis. The zoo supports our efforts to protect the Galápagos Islands through a close cooperation.
Galapagos is home to many endemic species found only there - for example, the sea lizards that inhabit the rocky beaches of the islands and graze on algae in the sea.
Since its foundation in 1994, our association has been involved in various projects around Galápagos with over CHF 2,000,000. A large part of the amount went to the general operating costs of the research station. Furthermore, our association co-financed:
- A rescue operation for the rarest giant tortoise subspecies
- Nature conservation awareness and training programmes for the inhabitants of the island of San Cristobal
- Programmes for the conservation of marine birds and albatrosses
- Marine turtle conservation programme
- Programme for the protection of sharks in the Galápagos Marine Reserve
- Programme for the Protection of the Biodiversity of the Island of Santiago
- Fieldwork research about mangrove finches
- Program for the breeding of giant tortoises
- Research projects of young Swiss doctoral students
- A book about molluscs on Galápagos
Together with the research station and the national park administration, further projects for nature conservation, training and information are supported and carried out.
Additional information about our association can be found in the articles of association (as of 2016) and in our annual report.
The Friends of the Galápagos Islands Switzerland is the Swiss member of the International Friends of the Galápagos Organizations (FOGO's), which includes the following organizations:
Charles Darwin Foundation
Galápagos Conservation Trust
Friends of Galápagos New Zealand
Muséum d’histoire naturelle Genève
Japan Association for Galápagos
Stichting Vrienden van de Galápagos Eilanden