The reign of fossil fuels is coming to an end in Belize. In a colossal attempt to save the world’s second largest barrier reef, the Central American nation has officially decided to end all oil exploration and extraction in its waters.
The Belize Barrier Reef is a 300-kilometer-long strip of gorgeous coral reefs, stunning clear waters, offshore atolls, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons, and estuaries that lie within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
It’s often described as one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, serving as home to around 100 species of coral, hundreds of invertebrate species, and over 500 fish species. As such, the Belize Barrier Reef was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1996.
Ever since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the people of Belize and environmental groups have been pushing for their government to make this decision.