Insular metabolism: Flows and challenges of territorial development in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Gabriela Rodríguez Jàcome, Asunción Blanco-Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


© 2018 Universidad Compultense Madrid. All rights reserved. Island are territories whose size, availability of resources and accessibility are limited. Insularity determines a unique territorial dynamic in these spaces which, despite their great strategic value, make them dependent on relations with the outside world. The Galapagos Islands, belonging to the Republic of Ecuador, constitute a very special case of study. Although the categories of World Natural Heritage and National Park give conditions of protection of nature, unique in the world, its inhabitants endure the same or a greater problem associated with the insularity and isleity that other islands face. The present study analyzes the dependency relationships of the flows of tourism, supplies and fuels between the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador from the perspective of insular metabolism and the need to adapt policies and territorial planning to this context. With this framework, this study proposes: a) Understanding the challenges of territorial development considering the insular metabolism, b) Considering territorial planning as an ally of environmental conservation, and c) Understanding strategic flows as a factor to reduce vulnerability and promote the insular viability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-135
JournalAnales de Geografia de la Universidad Complutense
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Galápagos Ecuador
  • Insular metabolism
  • Insular viability
  • Insularity
  • Territorial development


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