Authorities in Thailand and the Philippines have announced the partial closure of popular tourist beaches in Maya Bay and Boracay. The basis of this is the environmental degradation brought about (especially to the coral reefs around the area) by the warming seas, influx of tourist activity and construction of buildings close to shore. This has necessitated the closure of Maya Bay for four months from June, and Boracay (which Duterte called a cesspool in reference to the environmental problems) for six months from the end of April.

With South Africa already facing a climate-caused water crisis, and with a large proportion of the world living on coastal areas, such moves show how the oncoming climate crisis isn’t just an abstract concern, but one with real-world repercussions. As for the tourists who want to visit the beaches of Southeast Asia, it will most certainly also be a first-world problem.

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