The Belize Barrier Reef no longer ‘in danger’ | WWF

The Belize Barrier Reef no longer ‘in danger’

Posted on
26 June 2018
Belizeans and environmentalists worldwide are celebrating today at UNESCO’s announcement that the Belize Barrier Reef has been removed from their In Danger list.

The site had been added on to the In Danger list for almost a decade ago due to the threat of irreversible damage from coastal construction and oil exploration.

Seismic testing for oil was permitted just 10km from the site. 

Public outcry from Belizeans followed. Local efforts were supported by a collation that included WWF, Oceana, and the Belize Tourism Industry Association.

Over the last 18 months, Belize’s government has put in place protections to secure the Belize Barrier Reef from immediate threats. 
 
A landmark moratorium on oil exploration was adopted in December 2017, making Belize one of only three countries in the world with such legislation

Additionally, in June this year, the government put into place critical regulations to protect the country's mangroves and committed to legislate the current voluntary moratorium on selling the public lands within the World Heritage site.

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF-International, said “We have seen an incredible turnaround from when the reef was being threatened by seismic testing for oil just eighteen months ago. Belizeans stood up to protect their reef, with hundreds of thousands more globally joining the campaign to save our shared heritage. In taking swift collaborative action, Belize has shown that it is possible to reverse nature loss and create a sustainable future.”
 
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