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Thursday, August 09, 2007

President Correa Appoints Former WWF Director to Governor of the Galapagos Islands

World Wildlife Fund - press release
QUITO, Ecuador, Aug. 8

Ecuador's President Correa today appointed Eliecer Cruz, former director of the Galapagos, World Wildlife Fund, to governor of the Galapagos Islands. Born and raised in the Galapagos Islands, Cruz protected the unique life of the islands in his work with WWF since 2003 and for eight years prior as director of the Galapagos National Park.

"I am completely devoted to the Galapagos," said Cruz. "The Galapagos Islands are a unique spectacle of life and beauty -- and it is home. Even as a child, I knew that I wanted to give back to the Galapagos, to work for their conservation."

His appointment by President Correa recognizes Cruz's unparalleled passion for his homeland as well as his record of accomplishments.

Leading WWF's work in the Galapagos, Cruz concentrated efforts on strengthening the Galapagos Marine Reserve. A key accomplishment was the implementation of a zoning scheme for protection and use of the reserve, which was supported by USAID. Over the past three years, Cruz also organized and led a consortium of environmental NGOs to work with the Galapagos National Park and local institutions, strengthening participatory management.

During his tenure with the park, Cruz was instrumental in working on the development of the groundbreaking Galapagos Special Law. This key legislation created a marine reserve, banned industrial-scale fishing within the reserve, and ensured that tourist revenues would support conservation.

"Eliecer Cruz has proven himself a devoted champion of the Galapagos Islands in his work with World Wildlife Fund," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO, World Wildlife Fund. "With the Galapagos in crisis, President Correa has clearly indicated his commitment to its protection by appointing Eliecer. WWF remains committed to supporting Ecuador in its efforts to conserve the Galapagos Islands."

Cruz holds advanced degrees in biology and environmental management.

Known in the United States as World Wildlife Fund and recognized worldwide by its panda logo, WWF leads international efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats and to conserve the diversity of life on Earth. Now in its fifth decade, WWF, the global conservation organization, works in more than 100 countries around the world.

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