July 29, 2021

Prohibit the use, trade and transport of pyrotechnics with noise in the Galapagos Islands

Prohibit the use, trade and transport of pyrotechnics with noise in the Galapagos Islands


The full Council of the Government of the special regime of Galapagos today prohibited the commercialization, possession, transportation and use of pyrotechnic devices with noise of any nature and characteristic in that Ecuadorian archipelago.

"Prohibit the entry, trade, distribution and use of fireworks or pyrotechnics in the province of Galapagos, with the exception of those that produce luminous phenomena soundlessly," says the first article of the resolution.

As soon as the resolution was approved, the president of the Galápagos Government Council, Lorena Tapia, said that "while today the world is seduced by colors and explosions in the sky, in Galapagos we make decisions thinking about the conservation of this beautiful place" .

He considered that the resolution, which prohibits in the province of Galapagos the entry, trade, distribution and use of the aforementioned fireworks or pyrotechnics, "in a gift for Ecuador and the world."

A source from the Galápagos Government Council told Efe that they will deploy a campaign in five languages ​​(Spanish, English, German, French and Japanese) in order to raise awareness about the ban.

Today's decision seeks to protect the health, tranquility, welfare and safety of the Galapagos Islands, both its population and biodiversity, healthy family recreation and environmental protection, according to the Council.

Tapia, former Minister of Environment, warned since 2017 that pyrotechnics should be banned in the islands due to its potential impact on native fauna.

Already in that year a campaign against the use of pyrotechnics in the islands was deployed and in 2018, information was deepened in educational establishments throughout the province, benefiting 1,226 students with this information.

Among the considerations on which today's resolution was based are investigations that determine the damage caused by these artifices to marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as human health.

"Ecosystems as sensitive as the Galapagos Islands are affected, mainly its unique fauna on the planet and highly protected by the Ecuadorian State," according to the Galápagos Government Council.

He explained that the main affectations at the fauna level are usually tachycardia and other heart diseases, nervous stress, anxiety, notably altering the ethology of the individual and therefore the survival of the species.

On the other hand, many pyrotechnics contain chemical components that dissolve in water, contaminating rivers, lakes and drinking water. The fireworks release a fine cloud of smoke and particles, affecting the local air quality.

Another important point considered was the nervous alterations to people with autism spectrum disorder. Children with autism present auditory hypersensitivity and the loud roars caused by pyrotechnics, significantly alter their condition.

"Political decisions like this are necessary to preserve our natural heritage intact, preserve ecosystems and above all build a culture of harmonious and sustainable coexistence between human beings and nature," the Council said in a statement.

The Galapagos Islands, possessing unique species in the world, are located about a thousand kilometers from the Ecuadorian continental coasts.

The archipelago was declared in 1978 as a Natural Patrimony of Humanity by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture.

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