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Assignment Asia Episode 54: A Fragile Environment

Despite being rich in natural resources wonders, many places in Asia face the threat of environmental deterioration. This week’s edition of Assignment Asia looks into environmental woes facing some parts of the continent and the solutions being proposed.

Thailand attracts more than 30 million visitors every year to its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and other scenic spots. In a country whose economy has faltered in recent times, tourism is a consistent success story. But experts say Thailand’s environment is already paying a steep price. Beaches are overcrowded, coral destroyed, and dump sites filled to the brim with trash. Martin Lowe visits islands down the country’s south to investigate the impact of unbridled tourism.

Millions of tons of plastic waste go into the world’s seas every year and harm marine life, as plastic takes forever to decompose. And a bulk of it, according to studies, comes from the Philippines. But the same country may now hold the key to solving the menace. In Manila, Peter Carney met a 15-year-old boy who invented biodegradable plastic out of love for the environment.

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