June 2011
projects
Galapagos: Islands at Risk
2011

The Scoop



In 2011, iLCP photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins established his Galapagos: Islands at Risk project to tell the story of the threats and opportunities facing the Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected for all humanity.  Ralph wanted to capture photographic images that highlighted the islands’ fragile eco-region and rich biodiversity, the people who call this archipelago, and the threats these islands faces today.The purpose of this project was to gather photographs, video and factual notes needed to create a communications campaign that would raise awareness of the threats facing the Galapagos, and to affect action toward addressing those threats.  From the start, Ralph’s intention was to focus on the local communities and local conservation groups, and help bolster their efforts to protect this unique ecosystem and culture.  This project was made possible by a generous grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which is now the largest private donor to conservation projects in the islands.During many consecutive trips to the Galápagos, Hopkins identified the primary threats and challenges facing the archipelago, its wild nature, and its people: unsustainable development, overfishing, invasive species, increased tourism, and a rift between decision-makers and those who live on the islands.   He also learned of a network of international conservation groups working with the Galapagueños.  Today, new coalitions working together on a number of different fronts: environmental education; organic farming; recycling; GPS tagging of sharks and other sensitive species; high-tech monitoring of the Marine Reserve, and enforcement of environmental laws.For iLCP, this project is a great example of how we can facilitate collaborations between our photographers and partner NGOs (including the Galapágos Alliance, the team Ralph enlisted to provide complementary communications expertise).  In addition to serving as the fiscal sponsor for this project, iLCP created and maintains the photo archive that makes Ralph’s images available to the project’s conservation partners.  iLCP also co-produced (with Galapágos Alliance) the above video: “Las Voces de las Galapágos” (Voices of the Galapágos).  The film showcases the people who live on the Galápagos Islands, and highlights their perspectives, goals, and on-going efforts to preserve their home.In October, 2012, project partner WildAid published a new report, The Quarantine Chain: Establishing an Effective Biosecurity System to Prevent the Introduction of Invasive Species into the Galapágos Islands”.  This publication includes more than three dozen photographs by Ralph, images which highlight the environmental and cultural issues at stake in the Galapágos.  WildAid has also used the Las Voces de las Galapágos video as part of its education and outreach campaign.Marcel Bigue, WildAid’s Marine Program Director, told iLCP “These images have been critical in helping us convey our message, by capturing the beauty of the islands, the problems that human activity generates, as well as possible prevention alternatives.  The photographs and video are very powerful tools for informing decision makers and key authorities, the people who will ultimately decide the prioritized courses of action in this bio security scenario.”

 

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Jeff Litton, Cinematographer

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  • Voices of the Galapagos
    Video

Voices of the Galapagos

by iLCP


The film showcases the people who live on the Galápagos Islands and highlights their perspectives, goals, and on-going efforts to preserve the place they call home.

iLCP Fellow Ralph Lee Hopkins set out to tell the story of the Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected for all humanity. He wanted to make photographic images that capture this fragile eco-region, its rich biodiversity, the people who live on the islands, and the threats the archipelago faces today.

During many consecutive trips to the Galápagos, Ralph found the threats and the challenges: unsustainable development; overfishing; invasive species; increased tourism, and a rift between decision-makers and those who live on the islands. He also found a network of international conservation groups working with Galapagueños who are passionate about saving a place they love. Today, new coalitions are improving environmental education; organic farming; recycling; GPS tagging of sharks and other sensitive species; high-tech monitoring of the Marine Reserve, and enforcement of environmental laws.

The Alliance team included writer Carol Ann Bassett; iLCP Director of Communications and Production Jenny Nichols; videographer Jeff Litton, and Ralph Lee Hopkins, who created the Alliance Project with the iLCP to produce this documentary. One outcome of the Alliance is “Voices of the Galápagos.” The film showcases the people who live on the Galápagos Islands and highlights their perspectives, goals, and on-going efforts to preserve the place they call home.

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  • World Oceans Day 2012
    Jun 8, 2012

World Oceans Day 2012

Jun 8, 2012


It's World Oceans Day.  Learn about some of the challenges of maintaining a healthy Ocean in this piece created with The Center for Ocean Solutions in 2010.  The issues raised are still relevant.The Center for Ocean Solutions and iLCP joined forces to create a multimedia production about the effect of climate change on the world's oceans. We worked with some of the leading scientists and leading conservation photographers to illuminate ocean carbon absorption, how that affects the chemistry of the oceans and ultimately how the change in chemistry alters the ocean ecosystem in ways that are irreversible. Share or comment on this story >
Support the following organizations that have been instrumental in the sustainable conservation of the Galapagos: