New Constitution for Ecuador | November 6th, 2008

On September 28th, Ecuador approved a new constitution with 63% of voters in favour – this is a significant figure as voting is compulsory in Ecuador. Under the previous constitution Presidents were elected for a single non-renewable four year term, a recipe for inefficiency and corruption. The new constitution allows a president a maximum of two four year terms. The new constitution increases the powers of the president, especially over the economy, but also brings in a number of special reforms, and most interestingly ‘grants inalienable rights to nature’ requiring the government to prevent species extinction among other things.

Quite what the implications are for Galapagos is hard to tell, though the general restructuring of the economy, greater political stability and revision of the Special Galapagos Law should in general bring benefits, and the new inalienable rights of the environment will surely help in the work to conserve the islands and to ensure its removal from the World Heritage Sites in Danger list.