UNDP through its Biodiversity Finance Initiative in Ecuador has launched the campaign focused on supporting the economic recovery of the Galapagos Island´s inhabitants through employment reactivation and training opportunities. Initiative provided an income for educational and training activities, while there were no visitors to the islands. As a result, local people were able to improve or create small business ideas to strengthen entrepreneurship capacities in the community.
Through the campaign, carried out between November2020 and August2021, 208 local stakeholder has been supported, through activities related to “cash for work” – beach cleaning – and “cash for training” – training on digital tools for small business. Campaign was supported by several partners such as the Local Government of the Galapagos Islands, the academia, NGOs, local community associations and the business sector and total amount raised through the campaign was USD83,530 (83,5% of the goal).
The campaign contained three phases namely; Phase I on Urgent Action, Phase II on Designing a Sustainable Future and Phase III on Changing the Future in the Galapagos Island.
During Phase I, selected “conservation champions” in the Galapagos, around 90 local guides from the national park were financially supported in order to help with the maintenance of the protected area, providing urgent income for local community and ecological protection of the archipelago. On Phase II, the community of Galapagos was invited to participate in a “cash for training” process where 90 additional participants from the economic sectors; which is most affected by the crisis caused by the pandemic, will get access to a two-month training program. Training programme focused on the improvement and reactivation of green entrepreneurships. Finally, on Phase III, an expert panel will select the highest impact ventures that contribute to building a resilient and sustainable economy for the Galapagos Islands. These entrepreneurs will be granted seed funding for their improvement and reactivation plan, as well as access to technical assistance to accompany the execution of the plan.