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Published On: Wed, Nov 27th, 2019

4 destinations you should visit before climate change drastically affects them

You will constantly hear about climate change in the news these days, with environmental activists like Greta Thunberg and her hundreds of thousands of friends calling for urgent change. However, many corporations look at their bottom line and refuse to do anything to prevent it. The US has even dropped out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Image:  climatechange.jpg from Needpix

 

Many tourist destinations are doing their best to protect their local environment from things like plastic pollution, over-tourism and such, but more needs to be done to allow our children and grandchildren to both have a place to live in comfort and enjoyable places to visit on vacation.

Costa Rica rooting for change

Costa Rica is a great example of a country rooting for change and protecting its environment. This tiny country has devoted more than a quarter of its land as a protected environment, including nature reserves, national parks, sanctuaries, refuges and protected rain forest and beaches. The country offers a wonderful range of eco-tourism vacation options where people from all over the world can see their beautiful country without leaving a “footprint” on the environment. Other Central American countries are also doing their bit.

Countries who need to step up

While some other countries are slowly starting to follow this small Central American country, many are lagging behind and are likely, according to experts, to pay for this in the near future. Due to this fact and using a variety of sources, the Latin American Travel Company has created an At Risk Tourism Index, which reveals which countries are most at fault and risk, whether relating to plastic pollution problems, animals in danger of becoming extinct, climate change, over-tourism and more.

Should you wish to visit these countries, you should do it soon – but it should also be borne in mind that over-tourism can bring on their demise even sooner. In other words, it’s a Catch-22, “should I, shouldn’t I” scenario. Of course, there is the problem of all those plane flights adding to climate change in their own right, and we don’t all have the time or money to sail to our destination, like Greta Thunberg did!

  1. Thailand

Problems relating to climate change are already evident in Thailand. This is likely caused by deforestation, coastal erosion and the spread of urbanization, along with the creation of hydropower dams. Thailand is already susceptible to extreme weather, causing major flooding or droughts. The country is also home to 489 endangered species of animals and plastic pollution is a major problem here.

  1. Portugal 

While many European destinations, including Sweden, Denmark and Finland, are least at risk, other EU members do have problems. Portugal is number two in the list as the country has a plastic pollution problem and is the 15th most affected country relating to this, with around .27 kg of plastic waste produced by each resident, every day.

  1. Greece

At number three, Greece has the highest number of endangered species with 436 animals and birds in danger of extinction. The popular country is also in the top 20 for its over-tourism, which can have devastating impact on the various popular destinations.

  1. South Africa

South Africa has been hit in recent years by climatic extremes of drought and floods, changes in soil moisture and changing temperatures impacting aquatic systems. A typical example of the problem was revealed in January 2018, when the former Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille told the public that if conditions with lack of water prevailed, the city would be forced to shut of much of the municipal water supply. 

There’s nothing quite as bad as staying at a luxury hotel, only to find you cannot have a shower! While the worst-case scenario didn’t happen, water restrictions are still in place today. As per an article on National Geographic, Cape Town is not alone in this problem, as it is occurring worldwide. 

In the meanwhile, people all over the world are being urged to join the many climate change protests and get involved, push the big corporations to think beyond their bottom line and more about the only planet we have.

Author: Anne Sewell

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