Galápagos Economic Reactivation, through Science, Community and Work “REACCT”, is an initiative proposed by the San Francisco University of Quito and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, through the Galapagos Science Center, in order to support projects and local initiatives that promote economic reactivation and become an alternative to face the crisis caused by COVID-19.
The call for applications was launched for San Cristóbal, calling for proposals within 4 thematic areas: Citizen science, food security, conservation of native and endemic plants and marine best practices.
28 proposals were presented by members and sectors of the San Cristóbal Island community. After a multi-parameter evaluation process, 7 proposals were selected to be financed by the REACCT fund.
The projects will be led by permanent residents of San Cristóbal, aiming at solving the conservation challenges that relate to the Galapagos Islands while, at the same time, it means generating benefits for the local population.
The selected proposals are innovative and range from using photovoice to analyze how the island’s urban conditions influence our health and eating habits, implementing urban gardens and assess their profitability to allow a successful replication, growing native and endemic plants in family gardens, take advantage of fruit and vegetable surpluses and, strengthening environmental education for kids; to projects like, monitoring plastics and microplastics on San Cristóbal beaches and, also supporting research projects led by the GSC.
REACTT start fund was initially $ 35,000, designated to support at least five (5) ideas, business entrepreneurships, projects or actions of the community, especially from families who have lost their ways of life due to the health crisis. However, due to the number of the submitted proposals, the GSC made the decision to expand it to $ 41,900, in order to support seven (7) initiatives.
2020 has undoubtedly been one year of great challenges due to the fact that COVID-19 has impacted us all, in various ways. Thus, it has been a priority for the GSC to contribute to the economic activation of the islands through the support of these seven, selected proposals.