Migration and the Environment in the Galapagos: An Analysis of Economic and Policy Incentives Driving Migration, Potential Impacts from Migration Control, and Potential Policies to Reduce Migration Pressure

Motu Working Paper Series No. 03-17

198 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2004

See all articles by Suzi Kerr

Suzi Kerr

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Susana Cardenas

Charles Darwin Foundation

Joanna Hendy

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Date Written: February 2004

Abstract

From 1974 through 1997 the Galapagos experienced very rapid population growth, around six per cent per year. Sustained at this level, the population would continue to double every 12 years. Increased population brings an increased risk of invasive introduced species, which endangers the fragile ecosystems. On 18 March 1998, a Special Law was passed to protect the Galapagos. This law severely limits migration to the islands. We discuss the environmental problems that motivated the law, describe the law, and discuss anecdotal evidence on its operation and potential to date. We then theoretically assess the implications of limiting migration and empirically assess the history and drivers of migration to Galapagos. In particular we discuss distorted incentives arising from subsidies and inadequate regulations that exacerbate migration pressure. Finally, we draw on our analysis to offer some short and longer term policy solutions and ideas on how existing capacity could be enhanced to implement them.

Keywords: Galapagos, migration, environment, tourism, fish

JEL Classification: Q320, J610, O130, O150

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Suzi and Cardenas, Susana and Hendy, Joanna, Migration and the Environment in the Galapagos: An Analysis of Economic and Policy Incentives Driving Migration, Potential Impacts from Migration Control, and Potential Policies to Reduce Migration Pressure (February 2004). Motu Working Paper Series No. 03-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=512062 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.512062

Suzi Kerr (Contact Author)

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand
+64 4 383 4250 (Phone)
+64 4 383 4270 (Fax)

Susana Cardenas

Charles Darwin Foundation ( email )

Quito
Ecuador

Joanna Hendy

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

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