Mark your calendars because the first international day dedicated to Antarctic Ambassadors will be held on April 25, 2022.
The global event was announced in August last year by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations.
The membership organisation formalised its definition of an Antarctic Ambassador in May to be someone who:
- Loves and respects the region;
- Educates others by sharing their Antarctic experiences;
- Advocates for Antarctica when opportunities arise, and;
- Protects Antarctica by making positive changes at home.
The idea behind the new L.E.A.P acronym is to empower everyone to LEAP into action as ambassadors of the region, using their knowledge and passion in support of Antarctica.
Lori Gross, from IAATO’s Education & Outreach Working Group, said: “Ambassadorship is such a huge part of our mission and vision but has never been fully formalised. We’ve used the period of pause created by the pandemic to strengthen the definition of an Antarctic Ambassador and develop a more structured program, including creating a more visual way of showcasing Antarctic Ambassadors globally.
“We’re really looking forward to unveiling this work on Antarctic Ambassadorship Day as well as showcasing our existing ambassadors, celebrating their achievements and hopefully inspiring others to begin their own Ambassadorship journey.”
Antarctic Ambassadorship has been a cornerstone of IAATO’s mission since its inception in 1991, the same year the Antarctic Treaty’s Environmental Protocol was created, establishing rigorous standards beyond those already outlined in the Treaty of 1959 and providing the framework for the continued protection of the Antarctic environment.
IAATO members subscribe to the belief that the ultimate protection and conservation of Antarctica largely depends upon the sound policy to which all Antarctic Treaty nations adhere coupled with the power of Antarctic Ambassadorship – the love and respect for the continent, the desire to educate others about it and the willingness to advocate for its protection – all things instilled within those fortunate enough to have witnessed its majesty first-hand.
But Ambassadorship is not just for those who have had the privilege of going there. Throughout 2022, IAATO will be releasing educational resources for schools and individuals, so that everyone can be inspired to start an Antarctic Ambassadorship journey from home.
Gina Greer, IAATO Executive Director, said: “Ambassadorship is something anyone can get involved in, and we’re excited to host the first Antarctic Ambassadorship Day this year in the hope it will inspire more people to join this exciting community.”