We may think over it or choose to ignore it completely, the Earth is in danger. Does not matter whether we blame it on global warming, uncontrollable blast of human population, air pollution, so-called modernization, rising sea levels, greenhouse affect, deforestation – the bottom line is the undeniable fact that our planet is getting hurt in many irreversible ways. Landscapes are changing, islands are shrinking, national parks are shriveling, glaciers are evaporating, rain-forests are dying out, hundreds of plants and animal species are getting extinct day by day. Here are some of those stunning places which you should visit before they disappear from the face of the Earth, and more importantly, do something about them.
Greenland’s ice sheet is one of the largest contributors to sea level rise around the globe, and the country experienced its highest average summer temperature on record and an early melt last year. You can see calving glaciers, giant icebergs.
A study released this year shows that 75 percent of primate species have shrinking populations and 60 percent are threatened with extinction, with their decline being attributed to hunting, farming, ranching, logging, mining and oil drilling. Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas, as well as chimpanzees and golden monkeys, on a trek in the forests of Rwanda.
Major ices shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have broken apart, retreated or lost volume in recent decades, and the trend continues today with a crack in the Larsen C shelf growing this year. All the arctic species are in grave danger, and many of them are already extinct.
As the city of canals, gondolas and hundreds of bridges, Venice, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, is known for its waterways. But, as it turns out, the water could be exactly what is ruining the historic and one of the most romantic cities in the world. Venice has been sinking for centuries, but some evidence suggests the process is speeding up—possibly even sinking five times as fast as previously thought.
In addition to global warming and air pollution, tourism and overuse is killing the beautiful biodiverse islands. With an extremely unique and diverse wildlife population, a dive into the waters of the Galapagos offers the chance to encounter several species of sharks. But the rise in ocean temperatures has caused loss of species, reef die-offs and algae blooms. Ecuador has been getting ready to build a “penguin condos” island and to impose restrictions on tourism.
The iconic European Alps are beloved by snow sports enthusiasts, but climate change is bringing challenges for the mountain range. Alpine glaciers are retreating and temperatures are increasing at an alarming rate, according to the European Environment Agency. The Alps are at a lower altitude than many other mountains which is why these changes are so worrying.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s natural wonder. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space. It is set off Australia’s east coast and sprawls out over 133,000 square miles. The lavishness of the reef’s marine life is being hurt by climate change, according to theWorldWildlife.org. Sediment, nutrient and pesticide pollution have increased. Urban and industrial developments continue; illegal fishing is hurting the ecosystem. By some estimates the reef could be irreparably changed in the next 20 years.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Russia’s Lake Baikal, one of the most spectacular on the planet, holds about 20 percent of the world’s unfrozen freshwater – making it the largest freshwater lake by volume – but it faces threats from pollution and hydroelectric projects.
Research published last year showed that rising sea levels resulted in the disappearance of five of the Solomon Islands, while erosion on others has forced the relocation of beautiful villages.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is famous for its salinity that makes swimmers especially buoyant. You should go on a trip there while you still can because it is on the verge of extinction. The sea that is said to have healing properties has been losing more than three feet per year, because neighboring countries are taking from the River Jordan, which is the Dead Sea’s only major water source. The sea has lost a third of its water already and there is no solution in sight.
The list of the places that are on the verge of extinction unfortunately does not end here. Few of others include Kiribati Islands, Glacier National Park Montana, Borneo rainforest, Tropical Andes, The Himalayas, Madagascar and many more.
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to appreciate the beauty and value of these places. Across the globe, changes in climate, human interaction, and other environmental factors are altering the natural habitats that created these havens of biodiversity and wonder. You should visit these places before they are just gone from the face of the planet. As after few years these will only survive in photographs and textbooks.
And do something about them, to help protect these endangered places and their inhabitants.
Everyone loves the Sphinx, the Eiffel tower, the Stonehenge – but how about one in China, one in USA or one in Japan? The famous UNESCO World Heritage sites have replicas around the world. Here is a little list of these famous fakes.
Tower Bridge, Suzhou, China
The Tower Bridge was built by Suzhou Municipal Engineering Design Institute and sports four tower rather than two.
It houses a couple of English-style coffee shop on its top floors.
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Sanghai, China
The 1:4 scale replica of the famous Italian monument is situated in the financial hub of China. The original tower’s construction started on Aug. 14, 1173 and was completed in three stages over the course of 199 years.
Sphinx, Shijiazhuang, China
The 60-meter long and 20-meter tall statue was built as part of an outdoor filming location. It is about the same size as the original and is made of concrete and framework reinforced with steel.
The original, known across the world as Great Sphinx of Giza, is located on the Giza Plateau adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza on the west bank of Nile River. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture and it is believed that it was built during the reign of Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558-2532 BC).
Chauvet Cave, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, France
It took approximately $60 million and several years to create a near-exact replica of the famous Grotte Chauvet. The replica includes more than 400 paintings of horses, bears, rhinoceros, mammoths, hand prints and carvings.
The original can be seen in southern France and contains the earliest known and best preserved figurative cave paintings in the world.
Eiffel Tower, Tianducheng, China
The 108-meter tall replica of the Eiffel Tower is the main attraction of the Tianducheng town.
The original was built in 1889 as an entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, France.
Stonehenge, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA
A full-size replica of Stonehenge made entirely of styrofoam. The replica was created by Mark Cline of Enchanted Castle Studio in 2004.
The original is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the U.K.
Stonehenge, Hefei, China
Stonehenge is one of the favorite among the replicators. However, no replica comes as close as the one built in the Chinese city of Hefei. Built as a part of the new housing development, it is a remarkable replica of the original.
St. Peter’s Basilica, Nikko, Japan
A miniature model of Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica at the Tobu World Square in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture on Aug. 16, 2010. The amusement park exhibits 102 structures of 1:25-scale world-famous architectural works and ancient monuments including 45 inscribed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The original was built during the 10th and 11th century and is located within Rome, Italy.
Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
A full-scale replica of the Athenian monument, the Tennessee model was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.
The original was built in 447 BC at the peak of Athenian Empire’s power. It is one of the most important surviving buildings of Classical Greece.
Colosseum, Macau, China
A replica of Roman Colosseum is at the Fisherman’s Wharf, a local invested entertainment park with a casino at the Outer Harbour area in Macau. Companies around the world are pumping billions of dollars into this former Portuguese enclave to build new casinos, hotels and shopping malls to tap a growing flood of Chinese tourists.
The original was built in 80 AD under the rule of Emperor Titus. It is believed that the structure had a capacity of 50,000 to 80,000 spectators.
Pyramid of Egypt, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The pyramid-style hotel houses 4,407 rooms and is named after the city of Luxor in Egypt. It is similar in size to the Bent Pyramid and Red Pyramid in Egypt. It was constructed at the cost of $375 million in 1993 and, at that time, was the tallest building in the Strip.
The original was built by the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu and is the third largest Egyptian pyramid.
Statue of Liberty, Tokyo, Japan
This Statue of Liberty in Tokyo is actually a replica of a replica! In 1998, a replica of the famous statue was erected to celebrate Japan’s ties with France. It was taken down after a year but proved so popular, another replica was produced to take its place.
The original Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Oct. 26, 1886 and was a gift to the United States from the people of France.
Christ the Redeemer, Lisbon, Portugal
Inspired by Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and overlooking the city of Lisbon is the statue of Christ the King. The project was completed in 1959 and was a way of expressing gratitude after Portugal was spared from the devastation of World War II.
The original was completed in 1931 and is listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is considered as a symbol of Christianity across the world.
2017 has been declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by United Nations. The declaration recalls the potential of tourism sector to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The #IY2017 will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas.
Inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction.
Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change.
Cultural values, diversity and heritage.
Mutual understanding, peace and security.
2017 presents a unique opportunity to explore and highlight tourism’s potential to help transform our world into a place of prosperity and well being for all.
It is a unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental, while raising awareness of the true dimensions of a sector which is often undervalued.UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai
As one of the largest and fastest-growing socio-economic sectors of our times, tourism can stimulate economic growth, create decent jobs and business opportunities, helping millions of people escape poverty and improve their livelihoods. The tourism sector accounts for 7% of worldwide exports, 10% of the world’s GDP and one in eleven jobs. Even then this sector is almost ignored as a mainstream economic portfolio in many countries and societies. If managed well, it can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and protection of natural and cultural assets.
Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
4% or more annual increase in international tourist arrivals since 2009
7% of total world exports and 30% of world services exports
US$ 1.5 trillion in exports from international tourism in 2015
10% of world GDP
Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
One in every eleven jobs globally
Largest export category in many developing countries
57% of international tourist arrivals in 2030 will be in emerging economies
Almost twice as many women employers as other sectors
Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
Committed to reducing its 5% of world CO2 emissions
Raises financing for conservation of heritage, wildlife and the environment
Can be a vehicle for protecting and restoring biodiversity
Must sustainably manage an expected 1.8 billion international tourists in 2030
Cultural values, diversity and heritage
Revives traditional activities and customs
Empowers communities and nurtures pride within them
Promotes cultural diversity
Raises awareness of the value of heritage
Mutual understanding, peace and security
Breaks down barriers and builds bridges between visitors and hosts
Provides opportunities for cross-cultural encounters that can build peace
A resilient sector that recovers quickly from security threats
A tool for soft diplomacy
This mandate of declaring 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is an initiative to make tourism as a prevailing medium for economic growth, culture preservation and social stability.
We, at Born2C, are glad with the declaration and look forward to making ideas happen for Sustainable Tourism.
Some text & content from tourism4development2017.org
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So you are contemplating where to go this summer - Himachal, Uttarakhand, Kashmir, even in far east at Sikkim, Arunachal etc. And you don't want to stay in a regular touristy hotel or resort.
Presenting a few offbeat places to stay in Uttarakhand in this issue. Be it himalayan homestay, or boutique resort, or luxury hotels, or private cottages - whatever your preference this time is, Uttarakhand offers you all.
Many of us living in urban areas long for travel for brief escape from deadlines, pollutions, traffic jams, inhuman daily routines and expectations. Mountains are almost perfect for these kind of respites, and more so in the summers like this.
We long for a place where we can sit back, relax, with our favourite book, or a canvas with our brushes, or simply free time with our dearest ones... along with a hot cup of coffee, while boundless green woods and snow capped mountains tranquillize our eyes.
But unfortunately most of the places on the hills cannot offer you such a retreat. After all, most of the popular hill stations, including the likes of Shimla, Nainital and Manali, have become highly commercialised and are often crowded with hordes of tourists. If you want to enjoy the real charm of being in a hill station, choose to stay in some offbeat destinations - far from the maddening crowd, are surrounded with the nature's best which is actually the soul of the Himalayas.
Here's a collection of some of the most serene and secret stays that are perched within the mountains of Himachal Pradesh that can treat you in a way you truly want to spend your holidays on the mountains.
A volunteer travel program allows you to completely immerse yourself in a different environment and culture. You will gain a deeper understanding of the world in a way that isn't possible through ordinary travel.
While all of our programs will give you the opportunity to travel India and give back, here are some more options that are particularly good for volunteer travel, specially this Summer.