A Call To Action To Save One of The World's Best Island from Verge of Extinction.
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The Philippines tourists index algorithm data showed that Boracay island still holds the nation’s pride as the Philippine prime tourist destination. In fact, Google keyword volume search data tells "Boracay" as the number one keyword in Philippines demographic target and the following backlink online publications are the trending factors:
2012 - No.1 Best Island in the World - Travel, and Leisure
2013 - No.2 Best Island in the World - Travel, and Leisure
2014 - No.12 Best Island the World - Condé Nast Traveler's Readers’ Choice Awards
2015 - No.1 Best Beach in Asia, White Beach Balabag - TripAdvisor
2015 - 7th World's Best Beach - TripAdvisor
2016 - No.1 Best Island in the World - Condé Nast Traveler's 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards
2016 - No.1 Island in the World for Relaxation - Agoda Poll
2017 - No.2 Best Beach in Asia, White Beach Balabag - TripAdvisor
2017 - No.1 Best Island in the World - Condé Nast Traveler's 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards
2017 - No.24 Best Island in the World - TripAdvisor
These accolades continued not just to increase the influx of tourist coming to the island but also drives more local and foreign developers that are potential risks to the sustainability of Boracay environment, ecosystems and natural resources.
Behind these highlighted distinctions, We continue to ignore what our naked eyes see, the intensive indiscriminate use of land and declassification of the remaining wildlife forest areas in use for commercial consumption. This unsustainable tourism development continues to contribute to coastal and ecological degradation, social and cultural dislocation, the rapid growth of island population, rampant solid waste disposal and increasing numbers of illegal connection of sewerage disposal where some of this were thrown out at the shoreline of Bulabog beach.
We see the unstoppable mega construction of high rise buildings on both sides of every road. In 2014, Local Government of Malay issued 296 building permits in a just 3-month period, based on the 441 establishments monitored by DENR 6 monitoring team, 383 establishments committed violations, 174 has no Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), 103 have to discharge permit violation, and 107 don't have permits to operate.
The JICA independent research project called Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management (CECAM) said:
- “After analyzing satellite images, the team calculated that coral cover in Boracay declined by 70.5% between 1988 to 2011. They also noted that that the highest decline over the 23-year period happened between 2008 to 2011, as tourist arrivals rose by 38.4%. The island is experiencing beach erosion, consequently endangering its white sand shoreline.”
Also, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) in their Boracay Research Study provided by Aklanon Scientist Prof. Raymond Jacinto Sucgang:
- “The eminent nitrates and nutrients were discovered in seawater in the various sites [Boracay beaches] of the neritic zone particularly in sites 2,4,6 and 7 Beaches. Potential point sources of infiltrating plumes in Bulabog Beach sites were exposed by the anomalies in tritium and 18O in sea water. Septic and canal outflows, as well as land based run-offs and submarine groundwater discharge, were the identified causes of nutrient enrichment in sites 2, 4, 6, and 7 [White beach in Balabag and Bulabog Beach]. The isotope composition implies that algae acquire nutrients from septic contamination, while a number of corals assimilate inorganic fertilizer nutrients from land-based plumes.”
Puka Shell Beach at the northern part of Boracay lies in one of the remaining tropical forest, home of the endangered wildlife species nearing its extinction. It is one of the last protected environment forest lands but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) managed to reclassify the land for commercial development. Now, there is an ongoing construction of a 426 hotel room with 77 underwater aquatic window rooms resort.
Is this what we call Sustainable Tourism of DOT’s Boracay Initiative? Where is the economic, social, political and environmental sustainability of the island? I doubt that the Local Government Unit truly understands the word “Sustainability”. Destroying the vast natural ecosystem of the island is like killing the very life of it.
"The uncontrolled urban growth and institutional weakness of the regulatory ordinances on building construction and tourism have also brought about all kinds of pollution to the island. Land pollution for lack of waste disposal plan; water pollution for the waste discharges; air and noise pollution because of the vehicles; visual pollution because of the visually obtrusive signboards and advertisements; and light pollution. What people are doing is like “killing the golden goose that lays the golden egg” – people want a piece of this island and overbuild despite the negative impact on the natural island environment and the local community." - Arch. Felino A. Palafox Jr.
- “We have not inherited this land from our parents to do with it what we will. We have borrowed it from our children and we must be careful to use it in their interests as well as our own.” - Moses Henry Cass - Former Australian Minister for the Environment and Conservation
- “Forest... are in fact the world’s air-conditioning systems - the very lungs of the planet and we are on the verge of switching it off.” - Prince Charles
When can we tell enough is enough? Who can stop this if we don’t act together? If not you then who? If not us, who will?
Here is My Comprehensive Proposals:
1. ENVIRONMENT SUSTAINABILITY :
Abolish Building Permits in Boracay Island NOW!
- To Preserve what is left, Restore what's lost.
- To Save the last remaining natural forest lands - conservation.
- To Save and protect wildlife species from land to sea.
- To Stop continuing coastal and ecological degradation.
- To Stop beach and sea coral erosion.
2. TOURISM ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY :
Build Boracay-Aklan Mainland Bridge
- To reduce carrying capacity of the island.
- To relocate government and business workforce residency to the mainland.
- To expand tourist economic growth and infrastructure development throughout the coastal mainland of Aklan mainly in the municipalities of Malay, Nabas, and Buruanga.
- To link tourist travel mode in promoting other mainland tourist attractions.
- To boost tourism supply and demand using the "from Farm to Table" principle by linking mainland local agricultural products of the Aklan province including the promotion of organic foods for tourist consumptions.
- To create a point of entry access technology application system adopting island wide database application to be used for immigration and transportation control. (ISLA ID system)
- Employment and livelihood prioritization for the affected communities.
3. SOCIAL & CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY :
Restore Indigenous People (Ati) and Natural Eco-Heritage
- To promote the island-mainland's cultural tourism to the global market (Ati-atihan).
- To enhance effective social security for the safer community of the island.
- To develop a tangible economic plan that will benefit the wider local communities in line with the tourism industry growth and developments.
- To give indigenous native people *ATI" the rights to grow with their community on the island and participate in the local tourism industry promotion.
Your support will put pressure on our national and local government of the Philippines to make an immediate solution to end this unstoppable mega-construction. We aim to start a good example of global unity to protect the last remaining natural forest land of this amazing island from the verge of extinction so the rest neighboring islands can pave its way to sustainable and balanced tourism development.
- “Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.” - Edward O. Wilson
- "I plead to your principles as I believe you are a compassionate and responsive person, who will not allow greedy/ self-indulgent businessmen to disrespect the sustainability of our environment in Boracay." - Natural Science Prof. Raymond Jacinto Sucgang
- “Preservation of our environment is not liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense” - Ronald Reagan
Your ONE VOTE can truly make a difference in saving this BEAUTIFUL ISLAND! Give your support and share this call for change to your family and friends.
#WeLoveBoracay #SaveBoracayForest #SaveBoracay #SaveBoracayEndangeredSpecies
Visit https://www.facebook.com/dboracay to see some of the amazing pictures of the island.
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