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Places to see before they change forever
  • Don't expect Havana to look like this for much longer. One of the best things about the Cuban city is its authenticity, but a recent tourism boom will mean the city is cleaned up and the crumbling buildings repaired. Global hotel chains are expected to move in to Havana, as well as restaurants and other big businesses.

  • There are various initiatives protecting the Great Barrier Reef's 2,900 individual coral reefs, 600 continental islands and 300 coral cays, including 'no take' zones (so no fishing or shell collecting) and moorings are managed to ensure boats don't damage the reef. But the largest coral reef system in the world is shrinking and scientists predict 95 per cent of the coral could be lost by 2050. Pollution, irresponsible tourism and global warming are the main threats.
  • Home to 1.4 billion acres of forests and 4,100 miles of rivers, the Amazon Rainforest is being destroyed by expansions in agriculture, construction of roads and illegal logging. Climate change is also driving deforestation and at the current rates, 55 per cent of the rainforests could be gone by 2030. As well as jaguars, pink dolphins, many birds and fish, more than 30 million people from indigenous groups live in the Amazon and depend on nature. As the indigenous people move, we lose valuable knowledge about the Amazon's plants and medicines. 
  • With the Dead Sea's water levels dropping due to the diversion upstream to meet domestic, agricultural and industrial demands, the salt waters could disappear completely within the next century. The Dead Sea has already lost over a third of its surface area and annual inflows are predicted to decrease. 
  • With a new cable car currently in the works, ancient site Machu Picchu is under threat from mass tourism. It will carry tourists from Aguas Calientes up to the mountaintop ruins, but UNESCO says this will spoil the natural vistas and increase the tourist traffic to an unsupportable 400,000 visitors per year.
  • It may not be an ancient site or natural wonder at stake but the Tibetan language and culture faces a real danger, the Dalai Lama has warned. Since being ruled by the Chinese from the 1950s, Tibetan history is slowly being erased with new laws replacing Tibetan language lessons with Chinese Mandarin. The Chinese government's policy to end the nomadic way of life has seen thousands of Tibetan nomads relocated from their grasslands to urban dwellings and this is having a disastrous impact on the Tibetan herders' ability to maintain their traditional livelihoods.
  • 2016 saw the opening of the Atlantic island's first airport. As one of the world's most remote islands, St Helena was only accessible to tourists willing to make a five-day boat journey from Cape Town. Once fully up-and-running, weekly flights could potentially bring 30,000 tourists a year. Many residents fear the tiny island cannot meet such a demand and that St Helena will lose its soul.
  • The city of Bagan is at risk of collapsing due to a number of factors. Being home to spectacular archaeological sites has made it popular among foreign visitors. Another major problem is the haphazard renovation and rebuilding of temples that were damaged in the 1975 earthquake. Myanmar is yet to solve the issue of preserving its valuable sites while making them accessible to tourists.
  • The rising human population and effects of climate change could cause Africa's iconic Serengeti National Park to deteriorate and even disappear completely in a few decades. Global warming is making the dry season longer and the rains more powerful, damaging the National Park's landscape. In Tanzania, the number of inhabitants has shot up to 50,000,000 and is estimated to double in 20 years while increasing the need for wildlife hunting, food and firewood.
  • This pristine natural area in New York is a nature lover's dream, offering hiking, kayaking and fishing to visitors. But the idyllic lakes, mountains and quaint hamlets could disappear due to controversial new plans for casinos to be built in the area. Heightened interest in second homes has also resulted in new development pressure, while other threats include climate change, improper forest management and invasive plants and insects.