Reaching Consensus on Antarctic Tourism Regulation: Calibrating the Human-Nature Relationship?

In: D. Mueller, L. Lundmark and H. Lemelin (eds), New Issues in Polar Tourism, Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2012

17 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012

See all articles by Kees Bastmeijer

Kees Bastmeijer

Tilburg University

Machiel Lamers

Environmental Policy Group

Date Written: December 20, 2012

Abstract

The states that jointly manage Antarctica were not yet able to reach consensus on a number of specific management issues relating to Antarctic tourism. While recognizing that many factors influence the international decision-making process, this publication aims to explore one rarely discussed philosophical factor that may be of great significance for understanding the difficulties in reaching consensus: the possible differences in the human-nature relationship among the CPs and expert organisations. Based on an explorative analysis of relevant documents, it is concluded that CPs and expert organisations consistently reject the ‘mastery’ attitude, both in general Antarctic policy instruments and in tourism-specific documents. The relevant documents relating to two sub-themes (the acceptability of permanent land-based tourism facilities and large-scale adventure or sporting events) show that there is a strong tendency to use ‘rational arguments’ that do not reflect human-nature relationships; however, a closer look reveals that underneath these relatively neutral positions, substantially different human-nature attitudes appear to be hidden. These differences may not block consensus regarding general policy statements on Antarctic tourism, as these statements leave sufficient space for different interpretations; however, different attitudes towards nature may well constitute a hurdle in reaching consensus on concrete management issues. It is most likely that CPs with different human-nature relationships have different views on what the specific ‘values’ of Antarctica are and how these values could best be protected, and, consequently, it is also most likely that these CPs have different opinions on what norms should be set in respect of specific tourism developments. This makes it understandable that the approach of the ATCM to focus strongly on (the desirability of) norm setting is not always successful. Underlining the explorative nature of this study, the authors would recommend further research on human-nature relationships in the Antarctic tourism context. More knowledge and consciousness of differences in human-nature attitudes might invite stakeholders to search for management solutions based on a greater understanding of each other’s convictions.

Keywords: Antarctica, Antarctic tourism, tourist activities, human-nature relationship, sustainable tourism, mastery, stewardship, partner, participant, Antarctic Treaty, Environmental Protocol, permanent facilities, sport events, decision making, polar tourism, Polar Regions

JEL Classification: K32, K33, l83, N50, Q26

Suggested Citation

Bastmeijer, Kees and Lamers, Machiel, Reaching Consensus on Antarctic Tourism Regulation: Calibrating the Human-Nature Relationship? (December 20, 2012). In: D. Mueller, L. Lundmark and H. Lemelin (eds), New Issues in Polar Tourism, Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2192065 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2192065

Kees Bastmeijer (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=c.j.bastmeijer

Machiel Lamers

Environmental Policy Group ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706 KN
Netherlands

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