MIAMI – Ecoventura Executive President Santiago Dunn has accepted an invitation to serve a three-year term on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) National Council. His term begins Oct. 19 at the next WWF meeting in Washington, DC.
Dunn is the visionary leader of Ecoventura, a small ship expedition cruise company founded in 1990 by his father. He is tirelessly committed to protecting the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos and securing its future as one of the world’s leading eco-tourism destinations.
Dunn’s relationship with WWF extends through joint projects and initiatives in the Galapagos that Ecoventura has helped guide and support over the past decade.
Ecoventura helped establish the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund in 2008 in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to support environmental education and marine conservation by strengthening local communities’ ability to manage natural resources. Dunn’s company originally pledged a donation of $80,000 annually (in cash and in-kind services) for the first three years in support of the fund. Dunn has increased that pledge to $100,000 annually for the next
Since this fund’s inception, $238,522 in contributions have gone directly to the various projects now in operation including scholarships for local children to study at the university level, development of micro-enterprises to create alternate sources of income, control of illegal fishing activities through a permanent floating station at Darwin Island and the acquisition of a satellite vessel monitoring system.
Ecoventura assists financially and strategically with the following WWF projects in the Galapagos:
- Since 2007 WWF has provided 27 scholarships for students from Galapagos to study at the University San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) on San Cristobal Island and an additional nine scholarships for high school students to attend an ecology course at Yellowstone National Park.
- Provided financial support for a computer lab for a primary school on San Cristobal Island.
- Supported the Galapagos National Park in the repair of a patrolling boat and to repair the floating platform “Tiburón Martillo” to improve surveillance of the Northern islands of the archipelago – Darwin and Wolf.
- Assisted a project to conduct a census and monitor sea lions health, build and install floating bases for sea lions resting and build a “primary care nursery for wildlife” for sea lions and other species.
- Supported a shark-tagging project jointly with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park.
- Supported the local fishermen’s women’s group OMCA on Isabela Island.
- Provided financial support to the Galapagos National Park for a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to control and patrol the Galápagos Marine Reserve.
- Supported the Galapagos Tourism Chamber (CAPTRUGAL) to conduct an awareness campaign of the Tourism Quality Project in the Galápagos Islands.
- Assisted organization of a workshop “Environmental Penal Law as a Conservation Instrument for the Galapagos Islands and the Region” in coordination with Sea Shepherd and Conservation International.