From the National Geographic Endeavour in the Galapagos
Oct 2, 2012 - National Geographic Endeavour
Santa Cruz Island
Our day in Santa Cruz was devoted to tortoises, both in the wild and at the National Park Service Breeding Center. A curious tortoise looked into our eyes, as if asking about Galápagos’ future and our planet’s as well. For this archipelago I feel very optimistic, but sometimes not as much when I think about the rest of the world. That’s when I realize, over and over again, about the importance of people who I call “the world’s well-being ambassadors.” Individuals who have the gift for talking, touching hearts, setting the example and planting the seed of change. This week we have been very fortunate to have Alexandra Cousteau on board the National Geographic Endeavour. She is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and member of a legendary family that has contributed, for three generation now, to spreading the word, of the beauty of our land and sea, but also its fragility and need for protection, and in many cases, restoration.
Alexandra tells us we have to start in our backyard, that the most effective way to solve environmental issues is by solving them in our own community. Do we know where the water in our home comes from? Or where it goes?
Alexandra has a fourteen-month-old baby, born almost one hundred years after her famous grandfather, Jacques Cousteau. There has been a lot of change during this century, like the quality of water, the amount of pristine wild places left, the shape of coral reefs, just to give a few examples. She tells us, “There are so many treasures of my childhood that I wanted to pass to my daughter, gone now. Certainly the Galápagos is an area I will bring her to.”
And indeed, Galápagos is a place that can only give us hope, but let it also become an opportunity to think about the many other sites in our world that we need to care for. Let’s all turn into ambassadors of planet Earth. After all, as Jacques Cousteau once said, “we are on the same ship.”