Prince Charles will help guide the construction of 1,000 eco-friendly houses on the Galapagos Island of Santa Cruz, long a destination for tourists eager to see the Ecuadorian archipelago that so inspired Charles Darwin.
The development, which will incorporate solar and other green technologies, has not been met with universal enthusiasm according to the Daily Mail, which reports that some conservationists are concerned that there are already too many tourists visiting the islands for the delicate ecosystem to handle.
The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, which is set to open in Punta Ayora next month, is a nonprofit devoted to creating developments that protect rather than destroy their surroundings. The Prince has made trips to the Galapagos in the past and commented on their importance not only as part of the western world’s scientific heritage, but as a center of ecological diversity.
Some of the conservationists who rallied against the creation of the homes, which will likely end up belonging to workers in the islands’ rather massive tourist industry, have said that they are relieved that the Prince’s Foundation will be involved with the development given that it is going forward.
Declared UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site in 1978, the 13 main islands of the Galapagos are home to an incredible diversity of animal life that visitors today access predominantly by small cruise ships.
Check out photos of Prince Charles and Camilla's last trip to the Galapagos below.