There have been numerous human intrusions in the Antarctic Peninsula and west of the Peninsula. The region is where many Antarctic research stations are situated, and also where the bulk of Antarctic shipboard tourism takes place. A brief summary of this human history in Antarctica reveals a wide range of real and possible disturbances. Potential impacts from human activities continue to exist–and are expected to increase–because of the growing number of expedition tour operators and of the number of trips being offered. In this context, the soon-to-be-effective Antarctic Environmental Protocol is intended to provide a new measure of protection by ensuring that tourism, science, and all other human activities do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, nor on the value of Antarctica and its associated and dependent ecosystems for the conduct of scientific research. The Protocol requires environmental assessments to be prepared before any such activities take place, and efforts have begun to create a database and inventory of information that assists in both the preparation and the evaluation of these assessments.
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Ms Doro Forck (Secretaría de la CCRVMA)
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