Places, much like animals can become endangered, and some of the world’s most amazing sights are gradually disappearing. Scientists contend that climate change is affecting oceans, reefs, beaches, and even cities, leading to potentially drastic changes. Development is another danger for once-pristine, off-the-beaten-path spots and their unique cultures.
Here are 5 places on the brink of forever changing, and some that are threatening to disappear altogether. Trust us, you want to see these now—just remember to travel responsibly and respectfully.
Known for its famous 887 moai—carved monolithic statues— future may be compromised by a fading culture. The remote island has a small population of 5,000, of which fewer than half are Rapa Nui (the indigenous people of the island), according to a 2012 study done by The Berkeley Planning Journal. Recent developments, such as the opening of a new luxury eco-resort last year, also have locals concerned about a tourism influx; so much so, there is a movement afoot to limit numbers. Visit before you need a permit to see the island’s ancient petroglyphs, cave paintings, and signmoai, or do some extraordinary diving.
According to NASA, the frozen continent of Antarctica is thawing. While it may be some time until it “melts” away, efforts are in place to minimize the environmental impact of tourism. Cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers are no longer allowed to sail the straits. Some stricter limitations are on the docket from the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, an organization devoted to promoting safe, responsible tourism. Book a cruise through for an eco-friendly journey. Go while it’s still there to see incredible wildlife sightings, immense ice shelves, and outstanding mountain ranges.
Development will greatly affect the remains of the ancient civilization of Choquequirao, known as “the other Machu Picchu.” The Peruvian government recently announced the building of a 3-mile cable car to Machu Picchu’s “sister city.” As a result, tourism will explode from five visitors a day to 3,000 when it opens in 2015. The intent of the tramway is to ease the burden on , which already limits visitors to 2,500 daily and requires reservations to hike the famed Inca Trail. A journey to either of these ancient cities will allow visitors to take in stunning mountain landscapes and impressive ancient architecture.
Few spots in the world are as picturesque as the volcanic mountain of Africa’s tallest peak is beloved by trekkers and was brought to life in Hemingway’s short story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro. A study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says those snows are likely to be gone in 20 years, stating that 85 percent of the ice cap has already disappeared during the last century. To have the best Kilimanjaro climbing experience, visitors should strongly consider an operator like that’s registered, has qualified guides, has porters’ interests at heart, and follows an environmental policy.
Known as one of the world’s premier diving sites, the is suffering from rising ocean temperature, water pollution, and fishing, which are causing erosion to the largest coral reef in the world. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the rate of disintegration to the 7,000-year-old reef is unprecedented; some scientists say that it could be dead within the next 40 years, taking a significant amount of sea life along with it. With such a unique and spectacular array of coral, fish, and other marine life, travelers should put this on their must-see list. But when visiting be sure to look and not touch—the coral is easily damaged.
Source: Yahoo Philippines