Imagine your bucket list destinations being destroyed at the hands of fellow humans, to such an extent that by the time you get there, there’s nothing left for you to see and witness. Scary, right? Read on to know how you can save your endangered bucket-list destinations from any further damage. By Kumar Shree
Having an insatiable wanderlust and pledging your way to mark your presence all over the world map is something that many of us nurture in our hearts. Doing so in a responsible, sustainable manner is one thing, and being so reckless about it that you end up destroying many of these natural marvels is another. Here, we collate a few of the endangered bucket list destinations, and how to witness these without damaging it further, if not reversing what we have already done.
1. Machu Picchu, Peru
What survived a milestone historical event like the fall of the Inca empire is failing to survive its interactions with modern-day humans. Ever since the iconic destination was included in the list of seven wonders of the world, it has experienced a never-before surge in tourist influx, and that has taken a toll on the heritage destination. People tend to forget their responsibilities towards nature and tend to not only leave all sorts of trash back but also enter prohibited areas for the sake of better pictures; thus accelerating the decay.
What You Can Do: It is advised to stay within the marked territories when visiting the Machu Picchu and have a deep respect for the location. If an area has been marked restricted, stay away from it.
2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is one of the most extraordinary natural habitats of the world teeming with all sorts of biodiversity. The reef is home to corals developed over thousands of years and a plethora of aquatic life that coexist. It is the equation between them that keeps the reef alive and thriving. Sadly, as a result of climate change and uninformed, ignorant tourism, more than half of these corals have lost their lives in the last few years.
What You Can Do: Be respectful of the underwater world when exploring the territory and steer clear of skincare products that have oxybenzone in it.
3. The Amazon
The ignorance seen in dealing with the Amazon Rainforest Fire in 2019 was alarming for more than one reason. The home to an extraordinary number of biodiversity has already been dealing with problems such as massive deforestation in the name of several illegal trades. Add to that the ignorant attitude of the authorities dealing with a massive crisis does not seem too well-meaning for the ‘lungs of the world’.
What You Can Do: When travelling to the Amazon, always opt for an agency that practices eco-friendly measures and supports practices which are healthy and beneficial not for the local environment, but for the residents as well.
If there’s a ground zero for witnessing climate change as and when happening, it is Antarctica. On one hand, the alarming rate of melting ice is altering the region’s landscape; on the other, issues like over-fishing is disturbing the food chain of the indigenous organisms. The operation of cruise ships to and from the land is also severely impacting the ecological balance of the region. These cruises are instrumental in shooting up the carbon in the environment.
What You Can Do: Try to opt for smaller ships instead of cruises when travelling to Antarctica. Moreover, strictly adhere to the environment-friendly practices that ensure less or no carbon impact.
5. The Alps
Alps is another region that is facing the flak of climate change. The towns around the European mountain range are slowly falling in the trap of a vicious cycle. On one hand, they are forced to use snow-making machines to create more snow in order to support adventure sports — a major attraction for tourists, in turn making it a big source of income for locals. However, using these machines is melting more natural snow by contributing to climate change by raising the temperatures of the region.
What You Can Do: Try visiting the destination in summers instead of winters, as it could stop locals from using the snow-making machines. After all, you can always indulge in snow sports at other destinations, where the practice is sustainable, and not as harmful for the environment.