Prince Charles has been asked to build 1,000 eco friendly homes on the Galapagos Islands. Conservationists have asked for his help after they heard of alarming plans to build a mini-city there which would seriously damage one of the world’s most precious eco-system. It was here Charles Darwin was inspired to create his theory of evolution.
A harmonious residential development of green homes will be created by working with the people on Santa Cruz Island Puerto Ayora, the development will be sympathetic to the local environment. The Galapagos Islands were discovered in the 16th century but only became known to the world when Darwin studied the islands during his voyage on The Beagle in the 1830’s. His theory of evolution by natural selection was based on the islands. There are 13 in total and only 5 are inhabited by a total of 23,000 people. The smaller islands are renowned for their diverse flora and fauna such as the giant sea turtles.
Conservationists have called for a curb on tourism to prevent construction and pollution to the islands which would destroy their natural beauty. The islands were declared the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Prince Charles visited the islands in March 2009 during his tour of South America and talked of preserving the islands because of their biodiversity. Development on the island is restricted to 3% of the total land but the local government has now decided to build 1,000 green homes at El Mirador which will double the population of Puerto Ayora, the largest town on the Islands.
Prince Charles’ Foundation has already held community workshops over the summer there and will formally advise officials on building eco friendly homes and creating more tourism but retaining the eco-system of the Islands. The Foundation hopes to include solar panels on the green homes and large porches to cool air so that there is no need for an air conditioning system. Cisterns will catch rain water to re-use and the eco friendly homes will have green sewage systems. Prince Charles is hoping to show how people and nature can co-exist in harmony and create a sustainable future. The Galapagos Conservation Trust warned that the development did pose a real threat to the Islands but were delighted that the Prince’s Foundation were involved.
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