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Ross Island

Author meltwaterfalls
#1 | Posted: 4 Aug 2008 18:10 
Full name of site: Ross Island
Country: N/A Antarctica (claimed by New Zealand)
Short description of site (also include multiple locations if applicable): The island is located of off Victoria Land near the Ross Ice Shelf. Huts built by Scott's and Shackleton's expeditions are still standing on the island, preserved as historical sites.
Criteria (Mixed):
iv. The bases of Scott and Shakleton are a unique testament to human exploration of the Polar regions.
vi. The bases of Scott and Shakleton are a unique testament to human exploration of the Polar regions.
vii. The three massive peaks make this island the sixth highest in the world and are abutted by the Ross Sea home to the world's largest ice shelf.
viii. Mt Erebus is the world's southern most active volcano, there are also two other extinct volcanos on the island. This represents the southern most point of the Pacific Ring of fire.
ix. Ross island supports the largest colony of Adelie Penguins
Outstanding universal value / comparative analysis: The island consists of three peaks including the extinct volcano Terror and Mt Erebus the world's southern most active volcano. This is part of the Pacific ring of fire. It is the world's sixth highest island. The island is also home to a colony of Adelie Penguins. Ross island is comparable with the New Zealand Subantarctic islands and Macqaurie island but is significantly further south.
As a cultural aspect of the proposal the Island was the base for many of the early expeditions to Antarctica. It was and still is the southernmost island reachable by sea. Huts built by Scott's and Shackleton's expeditions are still standing on the island, preserved as historical sites. There are no other sites associated with Polar exploration on the World Heritage list.

Author Xeres
#2 | Posted: 5 Aug 2008 16:23 
A major issue with this site would be which country would manage it/ who would protect it
and is it vulnerable to climate change

other then that, a great site!

Author meltwaterfalls
#3 | Posted: 6 Aug 2008 06:18 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Yep, it is probably more of a fantasy site than a viable one. I know both the UK and New Zealand have Antarctic heritage organisation that look after the camps and huts. Their sites are here if you want a look.

I have started looking at sites that are not on the list because of their location instead of not being nominated by the appropriate state. I have only worked up this one and the contentious Concordia so far.

As an addition to the fantasy sites idea;
When I was at university one of my lecturers was writing a PhD on ownership of the moon, which included a small section about potential Lunar 'World' Heritage Sites. To be honest I don't think it is a starter for us, and I really don't have much knowledge of the moon.

Author Solivagant
#4 | Posted: 6 Aug 2008 12:36 | Edited by: Solivagant 
But one Antarctic/Subantarctic site which really SHOULD be nominated is S Georgia.
The IUCN document on "Filling the Gaps - Mountains goes through the possibilities worldwide and states

"The following 28 sites emerged as having strong potential for consideration for nomination by the relevant State Party:..................................
Antarctic Realm (not including Continent)
South Georgia Island. UK. Most biologically diverse of all islands in the Southern Ocean.
Significant geological, scenic and historical values."

Interestingly for Ross Island it dismisses any possibilities from Antarctica proper "where legalities relating to sovereignty prevent the nomination of sites."

I wonder why UK hasn't pursued S Georgia? Doesn't it want to wave a red rag at the Argentine bull? It is a shame. Although I have visited it, I haven't been to Australian/New Zealand sub Antarctic islands so I cannot personally compare it with them but my understanding is that it has everything they have and FAR more. Unbelievable mountains (up to 2934 metres) and Glaciers/Fjords/Wiild life (Penguins in almost immeasurable numbers/Albatross/Elephant seals)/Historic remains of whaling stations etc etc etc

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 Ross Island

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