The government of Ecuador has just announced that it has green-lighted plans to build the world’s first “ecological airport”… in the Galapagos Islands

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ACCORDING TO SPOKESMAN Guillermo Bernal, the project will feature wind and solar power, a retractable roof, and ocean breezes in the place of AC. Don’t book your flight just yet, though: the project is anticipated to take 15 years to complete.

The islands are one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, especially for nature enthusiasts, and the biodiversity of the islands was just one of the reasons why the Galapagos were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

Some of the species that call the Galapagos home aren’t found anywhere else in the world.

But the number of visitors who flood the islands each year–approximately 80,000 a year since 2001–create serious environmental problems, including habitat and species destruction, soil erosion, and massive amounts of waste.

So forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical, but isn’t another airport (there are already 2 on the islands)–even a supposed “ecological airport”– a bad idea for islands that are already threatened by too much tourism?

What’s your opinion? Sound off in the comments section below!

Community Connection: There are several organizations in the Matador community that offer volunteer experiences in the Galapagos. Check them out here!

Feature photo: Harry R (Flickr creative commons)
Photo: stirwise (Flickr creative commons)