Development and environment

On our way to Shigatse, we visited Khruola Glacier. It was the first time for me to see a glacier so I felt quite impressive when I could experience it with my own eyes. However, my impressive feeling disappeared when our tour guide told me that the glacier and hills were full of ice ten years ago.

Looking at the photo, we could see now only half of the hill was covered with ice. When I walked closer to the glacier, I could saw ice on the hill was melting, water running down the hills just like a mini waterfall. I felt sad when seeing this scene as once a wonderful glacier now became much less magnificent than before.

I asked the tour guide was this because of the global warming. He said that global warming was not the main reason. The crucial factor was the construction of roads to the glacier in recent years. As the roads would absorb much heat, ice  which near the ground melted quickly in these years. 

His reply actually made me feel hesitated. If roads were not built, I could not visit the glacier and so attract fewer tourists. Now roads were built but they were destroying the glacier bit by bit. As a nature lover, I understand the benefits of economic development but destruction of nature is irreversible. We could never experience it once it has been destroyed.

For Tibet, as a less developed area with unique and attractive natural environment, tourism should be a great way for it to develop and boost the economy. However, it should develop in a sense that environmental protection and economic development is balanced, and tourism would not destroy the precious nature there by problems like over-tourism. 

For Hong Kong, the situation is also similar. Hong Kong also has its precious ecological value and nature like plants and animals on Lantau Island. Their values should not be neglected when development. Eco-tourism hence could be a possible way to help protect the environment while maintaining positive benefits in economy

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