News and events Tilburg University

€ 1.3 million for research into managing Antarctic tourism

Published: 09th July 2020 Last updated: 20th May 2022

NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, has approved a research proposal within the Netherlands Polar Programme submitted by Professor of Nature Conservation and Water Law Kees Bastmeijer of Tilburg Law School. € 1.3 million will be made available to fund research into managing Antarctic tourism.

In recent years Antarctic tourism has risen sharply – in terms of both visitor numbers and types of activities – and it is expected to continue to grow. Many of the 29 countries that work together in preserving Antarctica are concerned that the 1991 Environmental Protocol and other regulatory instruments insufficiently protect the environment, safety, and science.

This research program supports the Netherlands in its efforts to proactively manage tourism within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) regarding four themes: (1) maximizing visitor numbers through a cap-and-trade system; (2) restricting diversification of activities through pre-assessment procedures; (3) improving national implementation of ATS tourism regulations; and (4) strengthening the role of non-use.

The research budget is € 1.3 million and the project will be jointly implemented by Tilburg University as the lead applicant, Utrecht University, and Wageningen University & Research. The full name of the project is Proactively managing Antarctic tourism: Exploring the role of the Antarctic Treaty System principles and values and best practices outside the ATS.