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    Professor Michele Hoyman Published in Book on Galapagos

    galapagos 3Michele Hoyman, Associate Professor in Political Science and Jamie McCall, a Ph.D. student in Public Administration from North Carolina State University, recently published a book chapter entitled “The Evolution of Ecotourism: The Story of the Galapagos Islands and the Special Law of 1998.” This research was the result of a collaborative partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. Created in response to the growing human population threatening the future of the archipelago, the partnership fosters research, education, and outreach programs in the islands. In addition to conservation efforts in the Galapagos, it also promotes a better understanding of the importance of protecting ecologically sensitive areas around the world.

    The field research involved a whirlwind research trip to study the impact of ecotourism policies on the islands major population centers. Over the course of several days the leaders of multiple local public, private, and non-profit organizations were interviewed to gain a better understanding on how ecotourism policy has impacted the Galapagos. This snowball sampling method was used to survey a small but highly knowledgeable group of local leaders with the goal of yielding results that offered a glimpse of the complex relationship between environmental conservation and economic growth and the impact of this relationship on the islands and all its inhabitants. One of the authors’ major findings is that while there is almost unanimous support for ecotourism policies in general, most respondents did not feel that the government has effectively implemented existing laws in this area.  Respondents in particular noted a systematic failure to implement a policy entitled The Special Law of 1998. This policy, enacted in 1998, is a sweeping reform of environmental law aimed at strengthening environmental conservation efforts while promoting economic development. There is ongoing discussion by the Ecuadoran government to consider amending this law.

    Hoyman, Michele M, and Jamie R. McCall. 2013. “The Evolution of Ecotourism: The Story of the Galapagos Islands and the Special Law of 1998.” In Science and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands: Frameworks & Perspectives, ed. Stephen J. Walsh and Carlos F. Mena.  New York: Springer-Verlag, 127-140.

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