SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 22, March 2017 - Page 72

meeting in October 2017, in which MPA proposals for East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea will be discussed again. A draft proposal for an MPA in the Antarctic Peninsula is likely to be on the table too. This decision-making meeting will be preceded by a range of technical and scientific workshops and meetings as well as diplomatic contacts through 2017. Consequently, continued support for MPA adoption by Antarctica tour operators – individually and collectively – and engagement in political outreach through 2017 will increase the chances of successful outcomes for one or more of these proposals in October this year.

Tourists can also contribute by demonstrating their support for marine protection, for instance by signing letters and petitions to their country representatives at CCAMLR.

Of course, spatial marine protection is not only about designating MPAs on paper, but also about implementing them effectively for the longer term. As the process advances, we will be looking into forms of engagement by the tourism industry and their customers. For instance, financial contributions to research and conservation initiatives, and participation in “citizen science” projects are some of the other ways in which tourism can contribute to marine protection in the Southern Ocean.

How could your example be transferred to another protected area and how could your experience be shared with others?

This example relates to the Antarctic region, which is characterized by a relatively pristine environment and a unique legal and governance regime. Various international treaties deriving from the 1959 Antarctic Treaty prioritize scientific research, international cooperation, environmental protection and the conservation of marine living resources. These distinct characteristics influence the type of tourism that takes place in Antarctica and the kind of tourists that are attracted to the region.

While the context of Antarctica is quite unique, I think that the basic elements of this example could be transferred to other locations where tourism takes place in marine and coastal environments. This requires tour operators to be committed to the area where they operate for the long run, and to have a vision where environmental protection features highly.

Marine protected areas are needed everywhere, and the example of Antarctica could be replicated where tour operators (and eventually their customers) are willing and able to promote marine protection politically, practically, and in other ways.

LT&C will inform participants about specific positive activities of tour operators and related progress in completing the ring of MPAs around Antarctica.

This LT&C-Example is authorized and coordinated by Dr. Ricardo Roura. For more information contact him (ricardo.roura@worldonline.nl) and explore the websites of the Antarctic and Southern Oceans Coalition (http://www.asoc.org/), the Antarctic Oceans Alliance (http://www.antarcticocean.org/), and CCAMLR (https://www.ccamlr.org/)

Photo Captions:

Ross MPA: No Caption

Picture2: Tourists watching crabeater seal, Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Picture3: Celebrating the success of the Ross Sea MPA. Photo: Christopher Michel/Antarctic Ocean Alliance

Picture4: Tourists at Argentinian station Almirante Brown, Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Picture5: Weddel Seal. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Picture6: CCAMLR planning domains

Picture7: Blue whale feeding. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Picture8: Adelie Penguin colony. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Picture9: Leopard Seal. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Picture10: Adelie Penguin. Photo: Peter Prokosch

March 2017 - Sustainable Travel

72 - SEVENSEAS