Planning for a changing environment: administration and management of South Georgia

Change log
Davis, Pam 

The administration and management of South Georgia's fauna developed through the regulation of the sealing and whaling industries of the late 19th and 20th centuries. These regulations began as economic measures to benefit the industry with little thought given to preserving stocks. The relative success of the elephant sealing and whaling industries brought into focus the necessity of conservation measures to preserve stocks. Other measures to protect wild animals and birds were introduced on South Georgia as well. The first comprehensive approach to conservation came in 1975, when the Falkland Islands Dependencies Conservation Ordinance was established to protect the island's fauna and flora. This ordinance used as its basis the Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora but additionally provided for Areas of Special Tourist Interest, anticipating the growth of tourism on South Georgia. The growth of tourism is one of the new challenges facing the island's ecosystems and raises the question of whether the 1975 Ordinance provides sufficient control. Specific information on the numbers of tourists and other visitors, the sites visited, and the measures controlling it are presented. Administrative response to tourism and other changes, including those caused by fur seal and reindeer populations and the fisheries industry surrounding the island, is assessed in light of other management plans: Macquarie Island Nature Reserve Management Plan and the Graefe et al model of Visitor Impact Management. Recommendations and conclusions are made based on that assessment.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge
Digitisation of this thesis was sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.