Short pain, longer gain

Panay News - - OPINION -

SEV­ERAL

fa­vorite tourist des­ti­na­tions in other coun­tries were shut down by their gov­ern­ment due to pol­luted wa­ters, over­crowd­ing, or un­treated waste dis­posal. In 2011, Ecuado­rian of­fi­cials Tachai’s clo­sure, three more is­lands en­acted new reg­u­la­tions lim­it­ing — Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui, and the num­ber of vis­i­tors, their length Koh Khai Nai, which are ac­ces­si­ble of stay and fre­quency of land­ing from Phuket — were also shut­tered to the his­toric Gala­pa­gos Is­lands. for the same rea­son. Thai of­fi­cials Of­fi­cials opened up pre­vi­ously closed rea­soned that the tem­po­rary clo­sure des­ti­na­tions in the small archipelago would al­low the is­lands’ ecosys­tems as a way to re­dis­tribute vis­i­tors, to re­plen­ish and would help pre­vent re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and limit any per­ma­nent dam­age from over- the over pol­lu­tion caused by tourism. tourism. While the is­lands house roughly The same was done re­cently to 30,000 lo­cals, some 200,000 tourists Koh Phi Phi Is­land’s Maya Bay, which visit each year. was pop­u­lar­ized by the 2000 movie

In May 2016, Thai of­fi­cials “The Beach” star­ring Leonardo Di or­dered the in­def­i­nite clo­sure of Caprio. The scenic beach will be Thai­land’s “most beau­ti­ful” Koh closed from the be­gin­ning of June Tachai Is­land, a pop­u­lar div­ing site to the end of Septem­ber this year to in the Sim­i­lan Na­tional Park on the al­low of­fi­cials to clean up the heaps An­daman Sea. The move was to of garbage left by the 4,000 tourists pro­tect the is­land’s beaches and who visit the site each day. co­ral reefs from any fur­ther dam­age Be­tween Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary wrought by tourists, whose huge this year, Colom­bia closed off its numbers were too much for the lo­cal Tay­rona Na­tional Park, lo­cated ecosys­tem to han­dle. Thai ex­perts in Santa Marta on the coun­try’s mea­sured that a beach in the is­land north­ern coast. Colom­bian of­fi­cials should only hold up to 70 vis­i­tors on ex­plained in a state­ment that their aver­age. But be­fore the clo­sure, more move was “to give a rest to the than 1,000 vis­i­tors would be at the ecosys­tem of the pro­tected area.” is­land at any given time. Ap­par­ently, this move has al­ready

Less than two weeks af­ter Koh been done by Colom­bian of­fi­cials STOK sev­eral times be­fore.

Bo­ra­cay be­longs to the top 10 beach re­sorts in the world. It’s a nat­u­ral trea­sure. It should be de­clared a pro­tected nat­u­ral area un­der the NIPAS (Na­tional In­te­grated Pro­tected Ar­eas Sys­tem) Law.

G o v e r n ment a n d l o c a l of­fi­cials, landown­ers and ren­ters, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and aca­demics should all sit down in a round­table and seek the best so­lu­tion. Sav­ing a nat­u­ral trea­sure is worth the brain­storm­ing and time needed to re­store it.

( Email: an­gara. ed@ edan­gara)/ gmail.com| Face­book & Twit­ter: @

PN

NALANGKAG

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