Identifying Opportunities for Climate-Compatible Tourism Development in Belize

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Ambergris Caye, Belize
© Marianne Fish
Climate change is affecting coastal ecosystems globally, with severe implications for developing countries heavily reliant on their natural resources for economic growth. In Belize, WWF and partners are embarking on a research project to examine how we can achieve sustainable growth of Belize’s coastal tourism market while maintaining healthy resilient coastal-marine ecosystems.

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.

Project Partners

Environmental Research Institute, University of Belize

http://www.eriub.org/

 

Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI)

http://www.coastalzonebelize.org/

 

Belize Tourism Board (BTB)

http://www.travelbelize.org/

 

Belize Ministry of Tourism and Culture

http://www.belizetourism.org

 

Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA)

http://www.btia.org/

 / ©: WWF
OCCTDB project partners
© WWF
Please check back for project updates.

For more information about the project, contact:
Nadia Bood
Mesoamerican Reef Program

Expert Advisory Panel

An expert panel provides inputs and guidance on project activities and research methods.

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


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