Glacial and periglacial landscapes have intrinsic cultural, economic and cultural value

There are two types of wilderness they consist of: active and relict landscapes, which can be characterised by the following:
• Tend to be remote regions
• Consist of a harsh physical environment
• Are sparsely populated (indigenous populations).
• More densely populated
• Greater opportunity for economic development such as tourism and farming.

Environmental Factors
Inherent scientific value:
– The need to maintain a gene pool of wild organisms to ensure genetic variety (Global Seed Bank in Svalbard).
– Protection from manmade disasters.
-Preserve valuable crops (provides an insurance policy for the worlds food supply).
Economic Factors
Economic activity includes:
• Livestock farming
• Agricultural farming
• Forestry
• Hydro-electric power
• Tourism
• Mining

Biodiversity Factors
• Tundra vegetation occurs in periglacial areas, both in high latitudes and high altitudes.
• Tundra approximately covers 8,000,000 km².
• Permafrost increases fragility.
Natural system Factors
These regions also have implications on natural systems.
• 75% of freshwater is locked up as ice.
• Glaciers contain 2% of global water.
• Glaciers are vital in supplying water for irrigation.
• The Arapaho glacier in Colorado, USA produces 260 million gallons of drinking water annually.
Soil: Both permafrost and tundra are major carbon stores.

The Wilderness Continuum


The Wilderness Continuum measures the variation in the Wilderness quality by using several principle, criterion and indicators affecting the Wilderness quality that such as the level of human modification (e.g. extractive use), attributes of remoteness or its visual naturalness. This approach permits a precise assessment of the Wilderness resource, revealing those factors, which contribute to or compromise Wilderness quality.