Antarctic heritage


There are a range of charitable organizations that promote Antarctic heritage and conservation in the polar regions. At the top level there is the International Polar Heritage Committee. This is a scientific committee of the International Council of Monuments and Sites that is the principal advisor to UNESCO on matters concerning the conservation and protection of monuments and sites.

Heritage Antarctica is a coalition of national Antarctic Heritage Trusts which have come together to:

“Promote the restoration, preservation and protection of the structures, artefacts and records which reflect the history of human endeavor in Antarctica, as a means to increase understanding of the importance of the Antarctic environment and as an inspiration for future generations”.

United Kingdom

Many UK Antarctic heritage organisations are members of Antarctica 100. Antarctica 100 is a forum for coordinating plans to celebrate the centenaries of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. These include the expeditions of Captain Robert Scott in 1901-04 and 1910-13, Dr William Speirs Bruce in 1902-04, and Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1907-09 and 1914-16 .

The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) supports the conservation of historic buildings in the UK sector of the Antarctic. In particular UKAHT provides a welcome to visitors at the restored Port Lockroy station in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Two charities have their origin in Sir Vivian Fuchs, the first Director of the British Antarctic Survey. The Trans-Antarctic Association provides financial support for expeditions to the Antarctic and associated costs of equipment, publications and travel. The Fuchs Foundation supports young less-privileged people for educational and adventurous outdoor activities.

A number of museums contain artifacts and memorabilia of polar exploration. Notable are the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich and the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. RRS Discovery (Captain Scott’s first Antarctic ship) is moored beside a Visitor Interpretation Centre on the waterfront at Dundee. The James Caird used by Ernest Shackleton to cross from Elephant Island to South Georgia is preserved at Dulwich College, London by the James Caird Society.

Falklands Conservation is active in the Falkland Islands with the involvement of BAS. There are offices in Stanley and London.

The South Georgia Association was formed to give a voice to those who care about South Georgia. South Georgia has an interesting heritage, is environmentally vulnerable, very precious, and very worth defending and preserving.