Before they fade away - Food and Travel
This in depth look at magnificent destinations that will soon disappear due to climate change ran in the October 2018 issue of Food and Travel. I investigate the cause of their distress, how significantly they have been impacted already and what you can do to help as part of a responsible visit. Imaginative travel copy with plenty of vivid descriptions was a key way to balance all the scientific information for this piece, but the most time consuming aspect of it was the research. Each entry required 10-12 different sources, from academic papers to statements by local governments. Read the full story here or get a sense of it from the excerpts below.
‘Adventure into the primeval wilderness of the Congo Basin– a mosaic of savannah, rainforest and swamp the size of Mexico – and it’s easy to imagine that you are the first human to set eyes on this mystical wilderness. However, just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean its residents can’t see you. The area is home to more than 200 tribes, many of whom still follow a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle. A rustle in the bushes could be a Bayaka warrior tracking his next meal with a bow and arrow or it could be an endangered lowland mountain gorilla.’
‘What will be next? Scientists suggest that up to 90 per cent of Madagascar’s rainforests have already disappeared due to deforestation and it’s a depressing thought that many of its endemic species could be extinct before they’re even discovered. ‘Spend your Malagasy ariary on schemes that support the people who call it home and the forests of Madagascar could still be echoing with the call of the indri by the time the next generation visits.’
‘You’ve probably seen images of friends bobbing like rubber ducks on its surface, or smeared in its thick black mud, which is revered for its healing properties. Now, headline-writers are making quips about the fact that the Dead Sea appears actually to be dying. Unfortunately, it’s no joke. The water is receding 1.2m every year.’‘Slide through this watery mangrove forest in a canoe and you may see a ripple beneath the surface. It could as easily be a freshwater dolphin as a Bengal tiger, the only big cat that’s as comfortable swimming as it is slinking through the muddy swamps of this curious waterworld. The 10,000 sq km of deltaland where the Bay of Bengal mingles with the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers has always been prey to tides so dramatic that about a third of the land disappears and reappears every day. Except these days, it doesn’t necessarily reappear.’