Tourists contribute greatly to the local economy. However, tourists also contribute to the erosion of the area, plastic pollution, and carbon emissions. Peru only introduced a ticketing system to limit the number of visitors in 2017 when UNESCO threatened to place Machu Picchu on the list of world heritage sites in danger.
Global concern grew for the UNESCO World Heritage Site when news broke of a new international airport. It is being built in a nearby town with a completion date in 2023. The airport will allow for millions of more tourists to visit each year. As a result of the new airport, hotels and other developments are being built in a hurry.
In recent years, Peru has suffered the effects of climate change. They are experiencing bigger weather swings which result in more floods and droughts. Additionally, they have lost a significant amount of their glaciers, and have unsafe levels of air pollution.
Peru understands that it can’t continue on the same path. That’s why the country has recently announced its Machu Picchu Carbon Neutral initiative.
Here’s how Peru will make Machu Picchu carbon neutral
In October 2020, Peru announced an initiative involving various entities including a hotel group, municipalities, Green Initiative, PromPeru, and Peru’s Ministry of Environment. The Machu Picchu Carbon Neutral initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions in and around the World Heritage Site.
Changing the relationship between tourism and carbon emissions is important for the sustainability of popular destinations. As a result, locals can economically benefit from tourism without their home and health facing the consequences. It will make Peru a more attractive destination for sustainably-minded travellers. In fact, Peru is already targeting those travellers with their new sustainable tourism brochure.
The brochure talks about the many amazing natural wonders the country has to offer. The wildlife, mountains, rivers, rainforests, and more each have a description that explains why their conservation is important. The brochure acts as a guide for sustainable destinations and experiences.
The strategic alliance has developed a plan to make Machu Picchu the first carbon-neutral wonder of the world. The goal is a carbon reduction of 45% by 2030, and carbon neutrality (zero net emissions) by 2050.
The culturally-rich travel destination is dedicated to finding innovative strategies to reach those goals. For example, they are finding new methods to handle the overwhelming waste problem in the area. Peru will implement an organic waste decomposition project that turns organic waste into bio-fuel without emitting any carbon emissions. A donated compacting machine is helping the district process seven tons of plastic waste each day. Additionally, Peru is working to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in the area. Private and public sectors are working together to reduce the use of non-renewable resources.
Peru takes pride in its varied and dramatic landscapes, from rugged coastlines to rolling dunes. The people of Peru want to protect their country so future generations of locals and tourists alike can enjoy the stunning nature and fascinating history of their land.
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