Vietnam’s largest tourist island polluted

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Increasing pollution is threatening the seas and ecology surrounding the tourist island of Phu Quoc in Vietnam’s southern Kien Giang province, local media reported Monday.

Rubbish and waste water from tourism services, fishing boats and fish breeding farms are discharging some 180 tons of waste per day, though only half is being properly collected, causing serious contamination to the environment, daily newspaper Vietnam News quoted the natural resources and environmental office of Phu Quoc island district as reporting.

More than 100,000 residents live on the island, along with over 1,600 companies and businesses, predominantly hotels, resorts, services and food processing workshops that lack standard garbage and waste water treatment systems.

The island’s authorities have approved a project to build a waste treatment plant.

A plan on establishing Phu Quoc Special Economic Zone is being considered by the government, local newspaper Thanh Nien (Young People) reported.

To date, 164 investment projects, including 21 overseas-invested ones, with combined capital of nearly 169 trillion Vietnamese dong (7.5 billion U.S. dollars) have been licensed to operate in the island district.

The government has recently approved a mechanism for construction of an entertainment complex with a casino on the island. Phu Quoc welcomed roughly 600,000 tourists in 2014, up nearly 40 percent against 2013. It is striving to become an international eco-tourism and resort center.

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