Peru's picturesque Inca city of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a victim of its own success, and booming tourism demand now means access must be limited to protect it, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said Monday.
"Machu Picchu is a victim of its own success, because the interest is huge. But at the same time, for us and for the Peruvian people, there is an interest in protecting it," she told reporters after meeting with President Alan Garcia.
Bokova, who will be visiting the site 2,430 meters (7,970 ft) above sea level, said "dangerous" effects of climate change have been damaging the 15th century "lost city," and that her office wants to develop a plan to safeguard the archaeological treasure.
Deforestation has fueled concerns about landslides near the site, northwest of Cusco.
She did not immediately say when a UN plan might be unveiled.
Peru's top tourist draw, Machu Picchu is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.Reuse content