After a long process dealing with procedures, permissions, getting documents stamped, and arranging sponsored air transportation, we finally have the donation from ECWF of radio equipment sitting inside the Sea Shepherd office in the Galapagos.
These radios will be donated to the Ecuadorian police and three other environmental protection organizations. The radios will greatly improve their safety and efficiency. This donation of 156 handheld radios, nine car radios, chargers, antennas, cable, power supplies, and an assortment of other small items will be sufficient to set up separate communication systems for each organization.
We will be able to set up a communications network for the police with full coverage over the populated areas in Galapagos. At the moment, the police only have a small number of borrowed radios at their disposal using a shared network. With this new donation they will be able to have their own secluded system, which obviously greatly reduces the leaking of information.
The radio project started in October 2008 and we are presently in the second phase of the project. From January to May 2009, Marcel Wensveen radio technician from the Netherlands donated his time, money, and energy to improve the already existing communication system of the Galapagos National Park Service. Repeater stations were fixed as well as radios on boats, in offices, and to mobile radios. The National Park's network is working better now then when it was first installed.
For this next phase, Marcel Wensveen is being sponsored by LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics; without their help, he could not have completed the project. LUSH's contribution is taking care of a small compensation that enables Marcel to return to Galapagos once more.
In the coming weeks, Marcel will be reprogramming radios as they used to belong to the Dutch police and frequencies need to be changed. He will be installing radios in the new police cars as well as setting up repeater stations and more.
We expect all new systems to be operational by the end of November 2009.
all photos credit Sea Shepherd Galapagos