International Development, Latin America & the Caribbean, Migration, Sustainability Ecuador’s vice president talks biodiversity protection

March 2, 2020
By Kristen de Groot | Penn Today

From banning plastic bags on the Galápagos Islands to coaching cattle farmers on how to preserve Amazon rainforest, Ecuador is working to preserve its environment while trying to help citizens improve their quality of life, said the country’s vice president. 

Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner spoke to a packed house at Perry World House (PWH) on Feb. 27, and discussed the challenges of biodiversity protection in Latin America, handling the influx of migrants from Venezuela, and managing eco-tourism in the Galápagos Islands.

The talk was moderated by Michael Weisberg, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Penn. Weisberg has been conducting research on the Galápagos for several years and co-leads community science and conservation initiatives there.

Sonnenholzner, who is PWH’s Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence this year, met with Weisberg’s Galápagos team. He heard from the team leads, including Galápagos guide Ernesto Vaca, about their work supporting the islands’ communities to conserve their unique environment. He also participated in a podcast.

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