Named one of the new seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu is a symbol of the Incan legacy. In an attempt to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra has announced a campaign to plant one million trees around the ancient archaeological site.
Off late the area has been facing increasing risk of mudslides in the winter due to heavy rainfall and risks of forest fires in the summers. In order to protect the zone around the sanctuary, the president has pledged to plant trees in the 35,000-hectares complex. According to president Vizcarra, this attempt is a commitment from the government, the region, the municipality, and the citizens who want to protect the world wonder.
The reforestation campaign is not just directed towards safeguarding the sanctuary but also aims to ensure that the native flora and fauna are protected. A similar measure was taken previously wherein the government announced a restriction to three key areas of the site (the temple of the sun, the temple of the Condor, and the Intihuatana Stone) to prevent further degradation. In 2017, the country tried limiting the number of tourists who could visit the site at a time.
However, these government initiatives have received a fair share of criticism as they seem to be contradictory to many environmentalists. The construction of the Chichero International Airport has been the subject of many debates as defenders are concerned about its ecological impact and the risks of overtourism.