Environmental Impact of Tourism on Antarctica
This essay discusses the environmental impact of tourism on Antarctica.
The subheading Description will give an overview of the continent, highlight the unique landscape, weather patterns and research stations making up some of the tourist attractions of this continent.
The subheading Tourism in Antarctica gives an account of the type of tourist Antarctica attracts and their primary motive identifying scientific research staff as tourists as well as highlighting the current trends and growth towards ecotourism.
The History of the Australian Antarctic Territory will be discussed highlighting past errors in environmental management and the current trend of educational theme tours retracing the route of past expeditions.
Legislation Pertaining to Antarctica will be listed and the Environmental Impact Process required prior to any Antarctic activity will be noted.
The Positive Impact of the multiplier effect of tourism on the country of origin will be discussed as well as the personal gratification and environmental awareness of an Antarctic visit. The Negative Impact of the effect an increase in visitors will be analysed under the subheadings of the human impact on Birds, Heritage Sites and the Terrestrial Environment.
Recommendations / Conclusions will highlight the need for continual monitoring and evolution of strategic management plans.
This essay concludes that for the good of environmental sustainability, scientific integrity should be paramount in the future management of the Antarctic having priority over tourism or development. A management plan considering the needs of all interested parties should be developed and implemented in conjunction with the development of monitoring protocols, and strictly adhered to.
According to the New Zealand Metrological Service, the continent of Antarctica lies almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle (at 66 33 S). It is covered by 90 per cent of the world's ice which has an average thickness of about 2,000 metres. Scarcely five per cent of this land mass is without permanent ice or snow, and only the coastal rock outcrops and highest mountain peaks project through the ice sheet. The Antarctic climate varies with altitude, distance from the sea and sea level. In winter the coastal temperature is between -15 to -30 degrees C. and -40 to -70 degrees C in the interior. The warmest weather visitors can expect during the hight of summer is zero degrees C. ( Bromley, 1985 p. 37).
There are three permanent Australian stations on the coast of the Australian Antarctic Territory, Casey, Scott and Mawson, providing headquarters for the scientific exploration of Antarctica. The stations main research disciplines are biology, botany, earth and atmospheric sciences, meteorological and medical research (SCAR / COMNAP, 1992, introduction.).
Eric Lars Lindbland (cited in Luyendyk, 1995, p. 1) Stated that people search...