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Title: Challenges in protecting the wilderness of Antarctica

Author: Tin, Tina; Hemmings, Alan;

Date: 2011

Source: In: Watson, Alan; Murrieta-Saldivar, Joaquin; McBride, Brooke, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Ninth World Wilderness Congress symposium; November 6-13, 2009; Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-64. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 147-152.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Since 1998, the wilderness values of Antarctica have been among those given legal recognition under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Despite the legal obligation, on-the-ground implementation has attracted little interest. The term "wilderness" and its consequential operational implication, including the designation of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas and the drafting of Environmental Impact Assessments, is still poorly conceptualized in Antarctic Treaty System discourse. Many possible factors underlie the lack of attention to the protection of wilderness in Antarctica. There is the perception that wilderness is in overabundance in Antarctica and hence does not require special protection. Setting areas aside, out of bounds of infrastructure development, may be perceived as threatening to national ambitions and the accepted ideas of freedom of movement. There is no formal definition of either term in the Protocol or elsewhere in Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) instruments, and the concept of wilderness (as other terms in the Protocol) seems often to be cast as too complex or philosophical to be applied in practice. We ask the question of how existing environmental measures within the ATS and non-Antarctic wilderness management tools could be used to achieve on-the-ground protection of the Antarctic wilderness.

Keywords: wilderness, biodiversity, conservation, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values, Antarctica

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Tin, Tina; Hemmings, Alan. 2011. Challenges in protecting the wilderness of Antarctica. In: Watson, Alan; Murrieta-Saldivar, Joaquin; McBride, Brooke, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Ninth World Wilderness Congress symposium; November 6-13, 2009; Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-64. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 147-152.

 


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