How Boracay went from paradise to cesspool – and what lessons can be learned

Even before a video that revealed foul-smelling black sewage flowing freely into the crystal blue waters of its white sand beaches went viral earlier this year, the fate of the Philippines’ tropical Boracay island had already been sealed.

In February, tough-talking Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called the popular holiday destination a “cesspool” and dispatched an emergency government taskforce to save the island from an ecological catastrophe. Inspectors found over 800 environmental violations.

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On Wednesday, Mr Duterte, known for his firebrand, hardline tactics, finally decided that more drastic action was needed, ordering a six month closure of the island’s busy tourist industry from…

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