Management of tourism and human activity in Antarctica

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  • Created on: 27-04-11 13:00

There has been a solution offered on the growth of potentially damaging tourism in Antarctica

Maastricht University suggested a system of a 'tourist day quota'.

There would be a maximum number of tourist days available, the right to which would be auctioned to the highest bidder. The purchaser is then free to trade the rights further.

Potential Issues

Rise in illegal tourism to Antarctica

Could prevent scientific research

If people can't visit, they may lose interest in the preservation of Antarctica

The system is biased towards the better off.

Potential Benefits

Tourism will be capped, reducing environmental impact

The income from the sales of rights can be used in enforcement and management of the measures

It will see a steady, sustained supply of tourists

Antarctic Treaty

The Antarctic Treaty was established in 1959 outlining regulations on human activity in Antarctica. It was initially signed by 11 countries including France, UK and the USA. It now has 49 signatories.

The regulations include:

  • Antarctica can only be used for peaceful means - there must be no military bases or weapons testing
  • There is complete freedom of scientific research. All research must be freely available internationally.
  • There must be no nuclear weapons testing or dumping of nuclear waste
  • Inspections of ships, equipment and bases will be carried out


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