Inauguration of Infrasound Station IS20 in Galápagos

Infrasound Station IS20, Galápagos

Ecuador, 15-19 June 2017

Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo visited Ecuador on 15-19 June 2017 for the inauguration of infrasound station IS20 on the Galápagos Islands, as the 51st (out of 60) infrasound station in the International Monitoring System (IMS). The installation of IS20 completes Ecuador’s portion of the network and increases coverage particularly in the Pacific.

With the establishment of both IS20 and the establishment and now certification of RN24, the cooperation between the CTBTO and Ecuador has grown steadily. We are grateful to the Government of Ecuador, to the Galápagos Authorities, to INOCAR and to the Galápagos National Park.Lassina Zerbo
CTBTO Executive Secretary
Infrasound Station IS20, Galápagos

This visit also provided the opportunity to hand over to the Ecuadorian Authorities the Certification for the other IMS station hosted in Ecuador, radionuclide station RN24 also located on the Galápagos Islands. The data gathered by the IMS is used to monitor the Earth for nuclear explosions as well as for scientific purposes to study the oceans, volcanoes and climate change. It will also assist local authorities in the detection and early warning of natural disasters such as tsunamis.

We have to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT and existing weapons control measures; Ecuador will help working towards the ratification of the CTBT by the remaining Annex 2 States.María Fernanda Espinosa
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, María Fernanda Espinosa
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo meets with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Political Integration, Rolando Suárez

While in Ecuador, Executive Secretary Zerbo had the opportunity for a number of bilateral meetings with the Ecuadorian authorities. In his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, Zerbo expressed his gratitude for the excellent cooperation of Ecuador with the CTBTO. The Minister María Fernanda Espinosa shared her satisfaction with the outcome of the joint work between Ecuador and the CTBTO in the context of Ecuador’s foreign policy. Regarding the benefits of using IMS data for civil uses, in particular for disaster mitigation, they also discussed future cooperation opportunities to further build relevant capacity in Ecuador. Espinosa and Zerbo praised the efforts of all stakeholders - in particular the Instituto Oceanográfico de la Armada (INOCAR) and the National Park of Galápagos – that enabled to establish both IMS stations in record time, completing the IMS segment in Ecuador.

The IMS stations in Ecuador are useful for Ecuador and for the International Community; they detect nuclear tests but also contribute to an early detection of natural disasters.Rolando Suárez
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Political Integration of Ecuador

The Executive Secretary also met with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Political Integration, Rolando Suárez. Outlining the principles of Ecuador for global Peace and Security, the Vice Minister addressed the status of the CTBT and affirmed Ecuador’s commitment and efforts to reach entry into force of the Treaty. Discussions also focused on capacity building for Ecuador, a country that has been hit by tsunamis and earthquakes as Suárez recalled. He highlighted Ecuador’s interest in particular in the IMS hydroacoustic data and technology.

This  unique territory of Galápagos which requires preservation is at the same time now a proud host of two very important monitoring stations for Ecuador and for the international community.Lorena Tapia Nuñez
President, Galápagos Council, Ecuador 
Inauguration of IS20
Captain Brummel Vásquez, General Director of Maritime Affairs for the Ecuadorian Navy

Station IS20 on Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos becomes the latest to join the growing network of monitoring stations that make up the International Monitoring System (IMS)  – the backbone of the verification regime that underpins the global ban on nuclear testing. Like all IMS stations, IS20 adheres to stringent environmental guidelines, which is particularly relevant in the Galápagos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a unique environmental habitat.

With the completion of IS20, Ecuador fulfils its promises and obligations not only with the CTBTO but also with the international Community, with the world.Jorge Carrion Tacuri
Director, Environmental Management, Galápagos National Park
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations and the International Organizations in Vienna, Wilson Marcelo Pastor Morris

Captain Brummel Vásquez, General Director of Maritime Affairs for the Ecuadorian Navy praised the sustained efforts and tight cooperation between Ecuador and the CTBTO that led to the establishment and inauguration of IS20 in record time.

Today, I am the proudest person for opening in Galápagos an environmentally neutral station which serves global peace.Lassina Zerbo
CTBTO Executive Secretary
Certification of RN24
CTBTO Executive Secretary Zerbo speaks at inauguration

Also participating in the ceremony, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations and the International Organizations in Vienna, Wilson Marcelo Pastor Morris, highlighted the outstanding collaboration of all Ecuadorian  institutions - ten in total - which contributed to the realization of both stations, especially INOCAR and the Galápagos National Park. He expressed his gratitude to Executive Secretary Zerbo for the investment made by the CTBTO to establish the state of the art equipment and technology at both sites.