Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we are passionate about the environmental and cultural and impacts of tourism. Tourism has the propensity to do great things but only when it is done right. In all aspects of the business, we aim to minimise negative impact and maximise your experience.
GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC
RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994
Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.
In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.
The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.
This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.
PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.
Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.
RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS
A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.
Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
Observe applicable restrictions.
Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.
RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.
Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.
Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.
Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.
KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE
Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.
Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.
In the Arctic we abide by the strict rules and regulations set by The Governor of Svalbard and surrounding regions in relation to our tourism activities in order to protect the environment, minimize negative impact and ensure a passenger’s safety on their journey. We also align our behaviour with the Spitsbergen Protection of Environment and Cultural Heritage guidelines. We try to choose smaller cruise ships to facilitate smaller groups, thus minimise waste and pollution – all whilst having an intimate experience in the Arctic.
As an environmentally conscious action, we get rid of waste when we are on shore and do not dispose it in the ocean to create less impact and destruction of such a pristine and fragile ecosystem/location. We also encourage people to explore local communities and heritage sites, such as visiting the Svalbard Gallery which displays various works from local artists. This helps support the local economy.
We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or have many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in and with.
We aim to be environmentally accountable in the office space. We are currently striving towards a paperless office, using as little paper as possible and what paper we do print on is 100% recycled. Currently our brochures are digital only, no print. We recycle our paper, plastic and glass waste and use keep cups for takeaway beverages within the office space.
At Chimu we try to ensure that you are as ready as possible for your travels. In ensuring this, we send information to you regarding what to bring, what to expect, and how to appropriately engage with the environment around you. We live by the term ‘leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories’ and support the education of appropriate waste management, viewing of wildlife, buying of souvenirs and religious sensitivities noted en route by guides and staff.
Chimu's MAD Project has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them develop their own infrastructure for the future.
We also run feature fundraising voyages to raise funds directly for reputable, local, not for profit charity organisations with small budgets and small voices doing big jobs. Other foundations supported in our MAD Project include Project Peru, ECOAN, Mision Mexico, Mawson’s Hut Foundation, LATA Foundation, Medlife and the McGrath Foundation