Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

AKLAN, Philippines — Authorities in the Philippines have arrested a resort owner on the island of Boracay for allegedly violating the country’s forestry and marine resources management laws. The investigation is part of ongoing efforts to roll back decades of tourism-driven environmental degradation. Rizaldy Rivera, a special investigator with the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) environment division, said the Filipino suspect owned at least two resorts in Boracay found to be in violation of the forest code, the coastal easement zone, and the water code. The resorts have been identified as La Bonita and Boracay Oriental. “The owner of the said resorts has been informed to self-demolish properties that encroach on the easement zone since 2018 but they refused to do so,” Rivera told Mongabay. Local residents participate in a massive cleanup drive on Boracay Island on June 27, 2018, as part of the 6-month rehabilitation program to clean up the holiday resort island. Image by Alan Jay Jacalan/Department of Agriculture (DA) via Philippine News Agency In addition to the national forest and water code violations, the NBI has also filed charges under the “25+5” easement ordinance of the local government of Malay municipality, in Aklan province, where the world-renowned resort island of Boracay is located. Under the water code, an area 20 meters (66 feet) from the sea shore must be respected or free of establishments. With rising tides, this was extended to 25 meters (82 feet), adding another 5% safe distance as shorelines are meant to serve as…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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