The Toll of Tourism: Can Southeast Asia Save Its Prized Natural Areas?

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Plastic pollution, Kuta beach, Bali. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Between 4.8 million tonnes and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, 80 percent of it from land sources due to inadequate waste management. According to the Worldwatch Institute, plastic production is increasing 4-5 percent annually.

Excerpts;

From Thailand to Bali, a huge increase in tourists, many from China and other rapidly developing economies, is straining sensitive ecosystems to the breaking point. Some countries are trying to control the boom, with a few closing popular destinations to allow damaged areas to heal…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (04-18-2019)

Bali Proposes a Tourist Tax to Clean Up Plastic Pollution; Yale E360 (01-25-2019)
Bali is considering taxing foreign tourists to tackle the Indonesian island’s mounting plastic pollution problem. Bali receives about 6 million visitors annually, mostly from China and Australia…

South-east Asia closes island beaches to recover from climate change and tourism; The Straits Times (03-27-2018)
More popular South-east Asian islands will be off limits to visitors this year as officials seek to protect eco-systems crumbling from warming seas and unchecked sprawl, despite the risk to tourism revenues and tens of thousands of jobs…

Chile moves to protect Easter Island by limiting tourism; DW (08-02-2018)
Tourists visiting Chile’s Easter Island will face new restrictions for traveling and staying on the island, Chile authorities have said. The move is aimed at protecting both the natural environment and island heritage.

Venice Fights Back; City Lab (02-10-2017)
The world’s most beautiful city has never been more threatened. But a passionate movement of locals is determined to keep it alive. Groaning under the weight of 30 million annual visitors, this most beautiful of places is suffering a degree of pressure that risks pushing it to extinction as a real city…

Colombia’s Tayrona National Natural Park: A Caribbean Coast Gem; By Nelson Rangel-Buitrago & William J. Neal- October 2017
In 2015 and again in 2017 the park was closed for short periods to all except for indigenous groups who live within the park area “for ecological, environmental and spiritual healing” (Colombia Travel Blog, 2017), and the suggestion is made that the Park Management should set a cap on the number of visitors within the park at any given time. The “healing” time is also important to the hundreds of species that call the park home, including at least 56 endangered species. A cap on numbers of visitors may sound draconian, but the park’s mission is to protect the natural ecosystems, rather than becoming just another amusement center…

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