While I was researching this article, I was hit by the realisation that it may not be a question of whether I have the money to go to the places I’ve dreamed about, but whether they will still be there. The world’s lands and seas are shifting, tourism increasing, and ancient structures are struggling to cope with the changes. Here are the places you need to visit before it’s too late.
Is romance dead? Or its city just sinking? Venice’s cosy canals and Italian charm have given this city its romantic reputation, but along with the 21st century’s apparently dying romance, Venice is sinking into a myth.
- Great Barrier Reef
The most beautiful view, both from space and below the surface, of the world’s most expansive coral reef, is under critical threat. Increasing sea surface temperatures leading to coral bleaching and invasion from the crown of thorns is damaging the great barrier reef beyond repair. The bleakest outlooks have the reef being unrecognisable within the next couple of decades.
- Sundarbans, India and Bangladesh
The Ganges Delta’s mangroves and mysterious shadows that some of the last tigers use as cover are at the mercy of rising sea levels and rapid deforestation in the area.
The tallest mountain staring over the plains of Africa stands to lose its iconic glacial topping with rapidly falling rates of precipitation and rising temperatures.
5. Bolivia Salt flats
The reflective plains captured on traveller’s phones giving us immense travel envy, is ironically under threat from what has made them so famous. The Bolivian government has the given the go ahead for mining the vast lithium reserves under the salt flats; lithium’s mining popularity has increased with the rise of lithium batteries- the ones that run our smartphones.
6. The Seychelles
Sea level rise is claiming another victim. In the middle of the Indian Ocean lies paradise; The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands boasting rainforests, pristine waters teeming with life, and white sands which instantly stipulate envy and wanderlust. Heralded as one of the most beautiful places on earth, sea level rise is slowly hiding the islands below the waterline. Sea level rise is quickly becoming a key threat for many of the world’s favourite destinations and it may be too late to reverse.
7. The Congo Basin
Home to over 10,000 tropical plants, 30% of which are endemic, and many endangered species including lowland gorillas, forest elephants and chimpanzees, The Congo Basin is the world’s wilderness. The world’s second largest rainforest is under threat from the uninhibited extraction of natural resources; diamonds; timber; petroleum; are scarring the land and leaving nothing but mud behind.
8. The Alps
Europe’s favourite skiing destination is melting. Increasing temperatures have led to less and less snow, forcing shorter ski seasons. Shorter ski season and less snow will drive the prices of the yearly ski break up. Get the snow boots on quickly before the prices get too high or the Alps get a little too much sun.
9. The Taj Mahal
The beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal is at risk from erosion and pollution. With some experts believe that the structure could collapse. Extensive work is being carried out in an attempt to save the world’s most iconic building.
10. Bordeaux Vineyards, France
Wine lovers beware. The vineyards in France provide a beautiful escape from the fast-paced life of reality and offer up wine too delicious to deny another glass, but are under threat from a changing climate. Estimates put in a reduction in production by two-thirds in 40 years.