Increased tourism in Antarctica is causing scientists, political leaders and tourist companies to question what policies should protect the continent, and how.

That was video of tourists in Antarctica from YouTube.

Voice of America highlights how much tourism has grown in Antarctica:

“Antarctica is becoming more accessible than ever before. It has become the ‘it’ place to visit for adventure tourists. The 2007--2008 tourism season set records with more than 46,000 tourists making the journey to Antarctica. This is more than 20 times the number from 1983.”
(Voice of America)

An April 6 conference in Washington brought together the members of the Antarctic Treaty--400 diplomats from 47 countries-- to decide what to do about Antarctic eco-tourism.

Australia’s ABC brings us this recording of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the conference:

“We have submitted a resolution that would place limits on landings from ships carrying large numbers of tourists. We have also proposed new requirements for lifeboats on tourist ships to make sure they can keep passengers alive until rescue comes.  And we urge greater international cooperation to prevent discharges from these ships that will further degrade the environment around the Antarctica.” (ABC Australia)

The Telegraph points out the problem with making resolutions via the Antarctic Treaty:

“As many of the tourist ships that operate in Antarctica are registered in countries that are not members of the Antarctic Treaty, they are not subject to any decisions made and so can get away with having less stringent safety regulations.” (The Telegraph)

The Telegraph also reminds us of the damaging accidents that have occurred:

“At the end of 2007, 154 passengers and crew … were forced to abandon ship after an iceberg ripped a hole in the side of their 2,400 ton cruise ship the M/S Explorer and it sank, leaking oil into the ocean. The passengers spent six hours shivering in lifeboats in temperatures of -5C after the Liberian-registered cruise ship sank 75 miles north of Antarctic coast.” (The Telegraph)

The Australian brings us this perspective from an owner of a tour company, who said:

“… tourist ships were an ‘easy target’ for international condemnation. ‘The Antarctic is a region that requires great care, but it is important they (the proposed reforms) cover government vessels as well as commercial vessels to be appropriate…’” (The Australian)

The New York Times asks:

“…How to strike a balance between appreciating the natural world through firsthand experience and protecting it by staying away — and staying at home?" (The New York Times)

So do you think it’s possible to allow tourism in Antarctica and to protect it at the same time? How should regulations be enforced?

We invite you to share your thoughts and ocmments with us at Newsy.com, and please be sure to check out our sources.

I’m Syed Shabbir for Newsy.com, where multiple perspectives help provide the real story.

Earth Day at the End of the World

by
0
Transcript
Apr 22, 2009

Earth Day at the End of the World

Increased tourism in Antarctica is causing scientists, political leaders and tourist companies to question what policies should protect the continent, and how.

That was video of tourists in Antarctica from YouTube.

Voice of America highlights how much tourism has grown in Antarctica:

“Antarctica is becoming more accessible than ever before. It has become the ‘it’ place to visit for adventure tourists. The 2007--2008 tourism season set records with more than 46,000 tourists making the journey to Antarctica. This is more than 20 times the number from 1983.”
(Voice of America)

An April 6 conference in Washington brought together the members of the Antarctic Treaty--400 diplomats from 47 countries-- to decide what to do about Antarctic eco-tourism.

Australia’s ABC brings us this recording of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the conference:

“We have submitted a resolution that would place limits on landings from ships carrying large numbers of tourists. We have also proposed new requirements for lifeboats on tourist ships to make sure they can keep passengers alive until rescue comes.  And we urge greater international cooperation to prevent discharges from these ships that will further degrade the environment around the Antarctica.” (ABC Australia)

The Telegraph points out the problem with making resolutions via the Antarctic Treaty:

“As many of the tourist ships that operate in Antarctica are registered in countries that are not members of the Antarctic Treaty, they are not subject to any decisions made and so can get away with having less stringent safety regulations.” (The Telegraph)

The Telegraph also reminds us of the damaging accidents that have occurred:

“At the end of 2007, 154 passengers and crew … were forced to abandon ship after an iceberg ripped a hole in the side of their 2,400 ton cruise ship the M/S Explorer and it sank, leaking oil into the ocean. The passengers spent six hours shivering in lifeboats in temperatures of -5C after the Liberian-registered cruise ship sank 75 miles north of Antarctic coast.” (The Telegraph)

The Australian brings us this perspective from an owner of a tour company, who said:

“… tourist ships were an ‘easy target’ for international condemnation. ‘The Antarctic is a region that requires great care, but it is important they (the proposed reforms) cover government vessels as well as commercial vessels to be appropriate…’” (The Australian)

The New York Times asks:

“…How to strike a balance between appreciating the natural world through firsthand experience and protecting it by staying away — and staying at home?" (The New York Times)

So do you think it’s possible to allow tourism in Antarctica and to protect it at the same time? How should regulations be enforced?

We invite you to share your thoughts and ocmments with us at Newsy.com, and please be sure to check out our sources.

I’m Syed Shabbir for Newsy.com, where multiple perspectives help provide the real story.
View More
Comments
Newsy
www3