Identifying Opportunities for Climate-Compatible Tourism Development in Belize
In Belize, coral reefs, mangroves and beaches are the cornerstone of the tourism industry and coastal communities rely on mangrove and reef-based fisheries for food security and income. Growth of the tourism industry is key to economic development in Belize but is often accompanied by habitat degradation that directly threatens the resources upon which the industry depends. The challenge faced by decision-makers is how best to move forward with tourism development whilst maintaining healthy, functional ecosystems that support the tourism industry, sustain livelihoods and provide resilience to climate change.
The "Identifying Opportunities for Climate-Compatible Tourism Development in Belize" project will inform that process by assessing the vulnerability of Belize's tourism system to climate change, including the coastal ecosystems on which it depends, and assessing how current policies facilitate or hinder climate-compatible tourism development based on healthy coastal ecosystems. We will also explore the policy reforms and adaptation strategies required to enhance ecosystem resilience to climate change and foster tourism development, at a local and national scale.
This project is funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), through CARIBSAVE.
Environmental Research Institute, University of Belize
Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI)
Belize Tourism Board (BTB)
Belize Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA)
For more information about the project, contact:
Mesoamerican Reef Program
Expert Advisory Panel
Dr. Daniel Scott – Canada Research Chair in Global Change and Tourism & Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, University of Waterloo
Dr. Emma Tompkins – University of Southampton
Dr. Melanie McField – Healthy Reefs Initiative
Dr. Katie Arkema – Stanford University/Natural Capital Project
Mr. Greg Verutes – Natural Capital Project
Mr. Carlos Fuller – Caribbean Community Climate Change Center
Mrs. Ann Gordon – Government of Belize
Ms. Lauretta Burke – World Resources Institute