This year, the famous Dakar Rally has moved to South America because of security issues in its previous home in Africa. The race usually showcases the latest in all-road racing technology - diesel vehicles are doing well this year - but there's also the question of what is the real environmental impact of the race. One of Spain's most important environmental groups, Ecologistas en Acción, has asked the Rally to be finished early because of the environmental damage that more than 800 all-terrain vehicles are performing: for each 1,000 km of off-road motoring, one hectare (about 2.5 acres) is eroded. Then there is the high fuel consumption, noise and the general promotion of this type of "sport." Ecologistas en Acción thinks that the spirit of adventure and discovery themes of the adventure hide all too well the reality of big-engined vehicles running on heavyset frames through a natural environment.

[Source: Ecologistas en Acción]

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