In a historic decision for marine conservation efforts, the Government of Belize has adopted a full oil moratorium for all Belize offshore waters, including the entire Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site. The Belize reef system is the second largest reef system in the world, with approximately 200,000 Belizeans dependent on the reef for their livelihood.
“The World Heritage Committee has always taken a strong position that oil and gas exploration or exploitation activities are incompatible with World Heritage status. This moratorium is fully in line with this,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. “I would like to congratulate the Belize Government for its leadership and thank both civil society and the government for working tirelessly hand-in-hand to safeguard this site for future generations. By working together, we can take action to protect our irreplaceable marine sites.”