IAATO Members Vote to Develop an Antarctic Conservation Plan

Oceanwide Ship in the Ice

Members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) have agreed to develop a science based conservation plan for the Antarctic Peninsula in collaboration with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) to support decision making for tourism management, according to a press release.

“This was an important decision that reflects our members’ ongoing commitment to sustainable Antarctic tourism,” said Terry Shaller from Ponant and Chair of IAATO’s Executive Committee. “It’s about combining our knowledge and resources with SCAR’s scientific expertise to develop an effective long-term management plan that will conserve the Antarctic environment while enabling sustainable use.”

“The partnership is an important step further towards the adoption of best-practice for the region” noted Steven Chown from Monash University and President of SCAR. “Joint work among stakeholders lies at the very foundation of good conservation planning.”

The agreement was made last week in Edinburgh, Scotland, at IAATO’s annual meeting.

Over 130 people attended representing member companies and invited experts from governments, environmental and scientific organizations and charitable trusts, all of whom have a vested interest in Antarctica’s future.

In other news, the group named Dr Damon Stanwell-Smith as Executive Director.

Stanwell-Smith will lead the Secretariat and work with IAATO’s Executive Committee to ensure the association is functioning according to its mission of safe, environmentally responsible private-sector travel to Antarctica. Previously he was UK Head of Marine Environment at the Danish international consultancy, NIRAS and Head of the Marine Programme at the United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), 

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