Public Perception of the Antarctic Wilderness: Surveys from an Educated, Environmentally Knowledgeable European Community
In: Alan Watson, Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar and Brooke McBride (eds), Science and Stewardship to Protect and Sustain Wilderness Values, Rocky Mountain Research Station (Proceedings RMRS-P-64), Fort Collins, 2011: 109-117
9 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 20, 2012
In 2007 and 2008, students from Tilburg University (the Netherlands) collected 269 responses on a questionnaire about Antarctica and its management. Respondents in the Netherlands clearly supported protecting Antarctica as a wilderness, and acknowledged Antarctica’s importance as part of the global climate system and as a science laboratory for the benefit of mankind. Since the Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty frequently state that they manage Antarctica “for the benefit of mankind,” research on the general public’s opinion on management issues should be considered relevant information for the decision making process within the Antarctic Treaty System. The strongest opinions of those surveyed suggest that they would like to see that management of Antarctica would allow for scientific research and educational visits on a small scale, while several other categories of activities — many commercial, for-profit or extractive — would be discouraged or prohibited. Large scale tourism, land-based tourism, construction of roads and airstrips, mineral resource activities and whaling all received little support from the respondents. According to respondents, “protecting Antarctica’s wilderness values,” as mandated under the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, means ensuring that Antarctica remains as close as possible to its original condition.
Keywords: Antarctica, wilderness, wild, Antarctic tourism, values, public perception, Netherlands, mining, Antarctic Treaty, Environmental Protocol, benefit of mankind
JEL Classification: K32, K33, N50, Q26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation