儘管與專家的意見背道而馳，聯合國世界遺產委員會(World Heritage Committee) 仍決定，將厄瓜多的加拉巴哥群島(Galapagos Islands )自世界重要瀕危遺產名單中剔除。
加拉巴哥群島向來以「演化歷史的活展覽館」而聞名，但由於外來物種的入侵、過度發展的觀光與過度捕撈等威脅，在2007年被列入世界瀕危遺產名單(List of World Heritage Sites in Danger)。
但是為聯合國教科文組織(UNESCO)提供諮詢的國際自然保育聯盟(International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN)認為，將加拉巴哥自名單中剔除的決定過於草率。IUCN的世界遺產計畫主持人貝德曼(Tim Badman)說：「觀光業、外來種侵略與過度捕撈還是一樣對群島造成威脅，而群島的情況也還是很危險。」
The United Nations' World Heritage Committee has decided to remove Ecuador's Galapagos Islands from its list of globally important sites in danger, despite an expert recommendation to the contrary.
The Galapagos, known as a unique "living museum and showcase of evolution" were inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 2007 because of threats posed by invasive species, runaway tourism and overfishing.
Meeting in Brasilia, the 21-nation panel today approved a Brazilian recommendation to withdraw the islands from the list, saying the government of Ecuador has made "significant progress" addressing threats to the Galapagos.
But the International Union for the Conservation of Nature(IUCN) , which advises the UNESCO committee says the removal is "premature."
"Threats from tourism, invasive species and overfishing are still factors and the situation in the Galapagos remains critical," says Tim Badman, who heads IUCN's World Heritage Programme.
The Galapagos chain of volcanic islands were named the first World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.
These 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve are inhabited by unusual animal life. Today, invasive species are the greatest direct threat to the Galapagos' unique ecosystems. People began introducing goats, pigs and cattle to the islands when they were first settled in the early 19th century. These livestock species, along with cats and dogs, have established wild populations and prey on, or compete with local species, driving some of them to extinction, such as the land iguana of Santiago island.
Feral dogs are a threat to tortoise eggs, native iguanas and penguins. Four goats introduced to the Santiago Islands in the early 1800s, have multiplied into an estimated population of 100,000. Due to their ability to feed on nearly any plant, goats alone may be responsible for the local extinction of up to five plant species and compete with the Galapagos tortoises for their food source.
Increasing tourism and population growth in Galapagos have been linked to the difficulty of keeping introduced species out of the islands.
Some conservation progress is evident. The conservation effort has resulted in a reproducing population of more than 1,500 tortoises, according to a survey conducted over 10 days in June by wardens from the Galapagos National Park Authority.
Preliminary results of the survey also found that albatross, cactus and woody plants have recovered somewhat, restoring the island to something resembling to what Darwin saw.
But the population of the Galapgaos is increasing, bringing with it problems of waste disposal and greater pressure on the islands' natural resources.