Belize, home of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, permanently suspended oil activity in its ocean waters. The legislation marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its oceans—and all the life within—from oil exploration and extraction.
A first-of-its-kind report, released in collaboration with our partners in the region, warns that Belize stands to lose millions in revenue generated by one sector alone if protections for the reef aren’t put in place and enforced.
The coastal nation of Belize is at a crossroads. In 2009, the reef system was added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. It remains on the list today because of mangrove deforestation, unsustainable coastal development and offshore oil exploration. The good news is a coastal zone management plan can safeguard Belize’s natural assets and produce a win-win opportunity for the people and environment.
The government of Belize has not put into place promised protections for the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage site, leaving the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere under threat from offshore oil drilling and damaging coastal construction, according to a new WWF assessment.
On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.
The coral reefs and coastal mangroves of Belize are necessary for both the wildlife that live there and the people who rely on it for income and protection. Help us save this threatened World Heritage site.
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