Policy Memo: Equator to Pole: Using Science Diplomacy to Incorporate Best Practices from Latin America and the Caribbean for Sustainable Cruise Tourism in the Polar Regions
Keywords: science diplomacy; polar regions; cruise tourism; tourism; cruises; best-practices; knowledge sharing
During the last decade, cruise tourism in the Arctic and the Antarctic has grown exponentially as changing environmental conditions have enabled increased access to the polar regions. This industry has the potential to support communities via financial and social benefits; however, it is also a climate- and capital-intensive global economic activity whose negative impacts are difficult to assess, monitor and control. The current state of voluntary, industry-led standards and regulations around polar cruise tourism are likely insufficient to deal with the negative environmental impacts which will escalate in the coming years due to global warming and over-tourism. As such, science diplomacy—a mode of international relationship-building that mobilizes science, technology, and innovation to tackle transnational issues—can be used as a tool to enhance science-based conservation efforts and address cruise tourism’s governance challenges that often escape jurisdictional boundaries. Addressed to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), this policy memo outlines how science diplomacy can help develop collaborative policies to manage the risks and opportunities of cruise tourism expansion in the polar regions. It presents key recommendations based on best practices from regional experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean, including convening an international workshop on climate change and cruise tourism, soliciting a request for proposals for establishing a UNWTO polar observatory, and using outreach tools to develop knowledge-sharing partnerships.
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Julian Campisi is Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream at University of Toronto-Scarborough. He completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at York University in 2019. His research interests are predominantly in the field of international political economy and comparative politics, specifically the methodologies that underpin political risk assessments in the private and public realms, with specific interest in the Italian case. Julian has worked and studied in China, Australia, and Italy over the years in a variety of industries. Currently, he teaches courses on Canadian politics, public policy, international relations, and multiculturalism, in addition to providing consulting advice on geopolitical risks. He recently completed a 2020-21 MITACS Science Policy Fellowship with the Department of National Defense in Canada, a Fellowship at the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), and is a visiting Fellow at JHU SAIS Bologna.
Ana Watson is a Ph.D. candidate in Geography at the University of Calgary. She is originally from Peru and her background includes more than 10 years as a biodiversity specialist. She has been involved in research projects that explore gaps and needs for inclusive and participatory governance for conservation and international development. She was a 2021-2022 Science, Technology, Policy Fellow at the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).
Julianne Yip received her Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) with a focus on the anthropology of scientific knowledge. Following sea ice and climate scientists, her research has focused on understanding the worlds and times that Arctic sea ice gives rise to, and the implications this has for human self-understanding. She was a 2020-21 MITACS Canadian Science Policy Fellow, and a Science, Technology, Policy Fellow at the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank the IAI Step program staff and collaborators for all of their help and guidance throughout the fellowship year, and for their assistance in pushing forward this project and outcome, including comments on the first draft. They would also like to thank Sofia Nanni and Megan Postema for their help and work on the project. Finally, the editorial and reviewer comments and suggestions on part of the JSPG team were much appreciated.
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