As youth deteriorates with age, an island as beautiful as Boracay also has no complete protection from nature and man’s ravages.
There will come a time when human contact to the island would create irreversible harm that could render it less to tourists’ liking as it is now. Hence, local organizations and environmentalist groups have formed initiatives to delay the island’s negative changes—best to nip those issues right in the bud before they become uncontrollable. Here are some ways people who have fallen in love with Boracay can give back to the little jewel of nature:
The Boracay Initiative
This call to action for the stakeholders and local government units outlines the framework for sustainable tourism, conservation, and social responsibility for Boracay. Hailing “Less Conversation, It’s Time for Action,” this 2010 proposition focuses on providing educational and training programs on sustainability and capacity training for the community, public and private stakeholders, LGUs, and businesses.
The implementation of conservation agreements has become the top mission of the initiative. Points for good governance, carrying capacity, and zoning limit have been identified. Likewise, water use efficiency, utilization of renewable energy, and wastewater management have also been ongoing ordinances on the island. With support from partners like Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels, and The Clean Blue Asia, The Boracay Initiative can also mitigate disasters through disaster prevention and management efforts.
Role Of Businesses and Individuals
After implementing the setback zoning limit on the island, most establishments within 30 meters from the shoreline have been relocated to the islands. However, some have ignored the rule and continued operating past the window period for the relocation. This defiance calls for tourists to be active travelers by not patronizing establishments heedless of the conservation law.
There are several ways to help the island keep its pristine beauty. Local and foreign tourists can take necessary eco-friendly actions like keeping small trash pieces until a bin is spotted, using paper bags and reusable containers, and opting for walking or biking to go around the island.
Businesses have more prominent roles to play since their impact on the environment can be more detrimental. Every establishment must not channel wastewater to the sea, have an organized solid waste management method (like recycling reusable materials), and lower carbon imprint by utilizing sustainable energy sources. Business owners must see the more extended benefits that come with investing in solar panels, biodiesel, and waste management system.
Past Conservation Effort
The Junior Chamber International (JCI), the Philippines, an affiliate of the international organization of the same name that brings together youth and citizens creating positive change, rolled out “Sama Ka, Let’s Protect Boracay!” campaign on 4 August 2012. The cleanup initiative aimed to keep Boracay clean and save its natural resources to maintain its high standing as a global tourist destination.
According to JCI public relations and marketing officer Ana Pista, it would be a setback for the country’s tourism if the island was voted down due to environmental reasons. Hence, the campaign sought to gather one million signatures, the same amount of donation the organization’s sponsors would give to support Boracay.
The island-wide coastal cleanup facilitated by the local Malay government and the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry collected and segregated tons of garbage from over 500 resorts and establishments.
According to JCI National President Randolf Ivan Ruste, this kick-off campaign would be more effective if the children and tourists in Boracay knew how to protect and preserve the island through proper waste disposal.
Three Simple Yet Highly Effective Ways to Help Preserve Boracay
There’s no doubt in everybody’s minds that Boracay is one of the best tropical destinations in the world due to its beautiful blue waters and white sand.
However, just like any other natural resource, Boracay is subject to exploitation and degradation due to inadequate maintenance and waste management by business establishments and visitors.
If you want to enjoy Boracay in all its natural glory, you need to do these simple steps to protect, conserve, and restore arguably the best beach in the world.
1. Don’t Patronize Businesses That Violate the Rules
Due to Boracay tourism’s popularity, businesses have set up shop to capitalize on the number of visitors flocking to the island. As more and more companies have taken advantage of this opportunity, fewer spaces are available along the beachfront to establish their stores. As a result, for the sake of profit, some put up their businesses within 30 meters from the shoreline, violating the setback rule.
Some businesses also fail to provide a solid waste management system to lower their carbon footprint and ensure that their waste isn’t streamed down to the sea.
Tourists and locals alike can ensure that they are only patronizing businesses and shops that follow Boracay’s conservation rules. Supporting environmentally friendly businesses may seem like a small gesture, but it is an important one in supporting Boracay’s conservation efforts.
2. Dispose Of Your Rubbish Correctly
Businesses aren’t the only ones at fault concerning Boracay’s rules. Visitors sometimes fail to comply with the simplest of tasks, which is the considerate disposal of their rubbish. Some are guilty of discarding wrappers, empty bottles, and unwanted items along the roads. Others do throw their trash, but they dispose of it at the wrong waste bins, like putting biodegradable waste inside non-biodegradable baskets.
Make sure to observe this simple rule to keep the beaches of Boracay clean and free of waste. If there are no rubbish bins available in the area, place it inside your bag and dispose of it in the correct bin when possible.
3. Join NGO Groups That Conserve Boracay
There are various groups out there that help conserve coral reefs, protect the bats, and others to preserve natural resources and habitat found in the paradise island Boracay. Doing a search query using your browser should yield a list of different groups to join and activities to partake in.
What are other ways that you can help preserve Boracay and maintain its natural beauty? Share your thoughts by commenting below!