Written by: Xuân Phi, 19/04/2021
Supported by: Ex-BC Examiner, 20/04/2021
Question: It is now possible for scientists and tourists to travel to remote natural environments, such as the South pole. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?
(IELTS Academic – 17/04/2021)
Expeditions to distant isolated destinations have been on the rise recently. While this can potentially benefit wildlife conservation programmes, I firmly contend that the development is disadvantageous overall considering the risks to the environment.
On the one hand, both scientific and touristic expeditions can help develop conservation programmes. Indeed, on-site scientific research conducted at Antarctica has successfully illuminated the mating habits of many nearly-extinct animal species such as the emperor penguins thanks to close observation of these species, driving initiatives to boost their fertility rate two fold. Meanwhile, tourists who visit remote destinations might learn about the damages of climate change, thus becoming intrinsically motivated to protect Earth’s fragile ecosystems from further degradation. For example, a campaign to preserve Himalayan bald eagles was initiated by two Swedish explorers on an expedition after they eye-witnessed eagle chicks dying of starvation on a far-flung mountain peak.
On the other hand, I believe the threat of pollution these activities pose must be highlighted. One obvious danger is oil spills from the cruise ships and other forms of transportation traveling to the remote observation sites. In 2007, a cruise boat heading to the South Pole struck an iceberg and sank to the ocean floor, causing a diesel fuel spill that covered 25 square kilometers. Despite enormous efforts from the international community, the disaster claimed the lives of thousands of sea creatures including many rare marine birds in less than two weeks. It also resulted in permanent damage to the Antarctic fauna, algae and plankton, which are the foundation of the local food chain, disturbing the ecological balance across the entire continent and nearby waters.
In summary, although scientific research and intrepid tourism in remote areas might partly contribute to conservation breeding efforts, I am of the opinion that they pose more pressing existential threats to the environment and natural habitats. Therefore, a complete travel ban should be imposed by the United Nations to preserve the ecological and biodiversity of these unique environments.
Word count: 328
|Far-flung||Xa xôi hẻo lánh|
|Intrepid traveller||Du khách gan dạ|
|Injurious impacts||Tác động có hại|
|Distant isolated destinations||Các vùng đất xa xôi hẻo lánh|
|Illuminated on the mating habits||Làm sáng tỏ thói quen giao phối|
|Boost fertility rate||Tăng tỉ lệ sinh sản|
|Protect Earth’s fragile ecosystems from further degradation||Bảo vệ hệ sinh thái mong manh của Trái đất khỏi các tác nhân suy thoái|
|Dying of starvation||Chết đói|
|The disaster claimed the lives of thousands of sea creatures||Thảm họa đã cướp đi sinh mạng của hàng ngàn sinh vật biển|
|Damage to the Antarctic fauna, algae and plankton||Gây thiệt hại cho hệ động vật Nam Cực, tảo và các sinh vật phù du|
|Mitigate the inherent dangers||Giảm thiểu những nguy hiểm vốn có|
|Disturbing the ecological balance||Làm xáo trộn sự cân bằng sinh thái|
|Pressing existential threats||Những mối đe dọa hiện hữu cấp bách|
|Preserve the ecological and biodiversity||Bảo tồn hệ sinh thái và đa dạng sinh học|