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Monday, April 9 • 2:30pm - 2:45pm
SYMPOSIA-02: The Identification of Opportunities for Conservation and Sustainable Tourism at the End of the World, Using a “Telecoupling Mentality”

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AUTHORS: J. Cristobal Pizarro*, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile; Andrea Raya Rey, Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC-CONICET), Ushuaia, Argentina; Courtney Charter, Patagonia Research Experiences for Students in Sustainability Project, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA

ABSTRACT: Today’s local-global sustainability challenges require researchers, managers, and decision-makers to develop a "frame of mind" or "way of thinking" that fully considers telecouplings. This mentality not only considers collecting data on fluxes, systems, and agents between natural and social systems over distances for research but also incorporates the creation of solutions based on the opportunities that these connections provide. We argue this approach could be particularly useful for sustainability based on wildlife tourism, particularly when receiver systems are remote areas with an increasing influx of international tourists. In Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city on the shores of the Beagle Channel in Argentine, we used a “telecoupling mentality” to collect sustainability measures that were recommended by tourists based on their previous experiences visiting similar systems to observe marine wildlife. We collected this information using on-site surveys of 152 tourists from 27 countries during boat tour operations in the Beagle Channel. We found that these tourists connected the Beagle Channel with 34 other marine wildlife destinations distributed around the world, including the viewing of walruses (Arctic), penguin and seabird colonies (Antarctica, Chile) and whale watching (Sri Lanka, UK, and Canada). The most frequent long-distance connections to marine wildlife-viewing destinations were to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Puerto Madryn in Argentina, where we found similar threats and opportunities. We found 8 types of sustainability recommendations, including operational, infrastructural and financial measures. Using the tourists’ previous experiences in similar destinations to the Beagle Channel, we show that not only are people, biodiversity, and ecosystems connected over distances, but also ideas that can flow from international tourists to business owners, improving tourism services and facilities, and help local authorities to confront sustainability challenges across continents. Using this Beagle Channel pilot program, we aim to apply this approach to Antarctica and adjacent sub-Antarctic islands.

Monday April 9, 2018 2:30pm - 2:45pm CDT
LaSalle 5 (7th Floor)

Attendees (3)