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ANTARC-SHIP: Fostering environmental stewardship among Antarctic tourism governance actors and institutions

  • 1 April, 2023
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Policy
  • dr. M.A.J. Lamersdr. B.S. Amelung

Antarctica is an unusual tourism destination. Due to the complex governance structure, the (environmental) performance of tourism in Antarctica is pre-dominantly regulated by the industry itself. The majority of tour operators are organized under the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), the self-governing body responsible for all tourism-related matters in Antarctica. This self-regulatory system has been functioning well, but is under increasing pressure from internal challenges, such as the diversification of operators, as well as external challenges, such as the sprawl of landing sites and the increasing attention for the industry’s high carbon emissions. The meaning, scope and effectiveness of self-regulation have become fuzzy.
Using the concept of environmental stewardship, this project examines the self-regulation of the Antarctic tourism industry. It investigates possible di-mensions and aspects of self-regulation, how stakeholders interpret and shape current self-regulation, and what they think can and cannot be ex-pected from this system in the future. The project focuses specifically on two key issues: spatial distributions of tourism and carbon emissions. The findings will inform decision-making by state regulators and industry alike on the fu-ture role of self-regulation within the overall regulatory context of Antarctic tourism.

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Anisja Obermann

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