Personnel from the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources have been working to implement a series of remedial actions to qualify the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System for delisting from the list of World Heritage Sites that are in Danger, a list it has been on since 2009. This initiative has been done in collaboration with the Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Lands and Surveys Department, the Belize UNESCO Office and the World Wildlife Fund.
So far, a draft decision has been published on the World Heritage Centre’s website. That draft serves to notify that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, has met the necessary signs to be delisted.
Such indicators include the enactment of the December 2017 Petroleum Operations (Maritime Zone Moratorium) Act, which established a halt on oil exploration and other petroleum operations in the entire maritime zone of Belize.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources recently led a collaborative team comprising the Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Lands and Surveys Department, the Belize UNESCO Office and the World Wildlife Fund to implement a series of remedial actions to qualify the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System for de-listing from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.
According to a release from the Government of Belize Press Office, the Ministries, and their collaborators are pleased to announce that a draft decision has been published on the World Heritage Center’s website (https://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3807) notifying that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System has now substantially met the indicators for de-listing.
The release says that in June of this year a final decision of the World Heritage Committee will be made at its 42nd meeting in Bahrain.
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System comprises seven protected areas along the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere and includes atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries.
The World Heritage Committee has signaled good news in respect to potentially removing the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in danger at its next meeting. First listed in 2009, it has taken several years to implement programs designed to help the reef recover from various assaults on it over the years. Chris Taylor and Carrie Miller will be going to see one of the sites grouped in the system for themselves, but they expect that with the recovery of the reef and associated wildlife will come more tourists to see its wonders. The trick now, they told us today, is to ensure that the reef is not put under too much pressure that will cause it to slip back toward the status that made it endangered in the first place.
Carrie Miller, Contributing Editor/Writer, National Geographic Traveler
“Conservation is such a huge part of tourism; they go hand in hand. And it’s a double-edged sword, because tourists put a lot of pressure on destinations, but they also bring in a lot of revenue and they’re the reason that destinations are popular.”
Why say “I do” to honeymooning in this Caribbean gem? From exclusive island retreats to adventurous day trips, Belize checks all the boxes for post-wedding bliss
As a destination, the tiny country of Belize doesn’t have near the name recognition and nightlife as popular places to the north like Cancun or Tulum. That’s a good thing. Because if you’re seeking a more private, unspoiled slice of the Caribbean for a honeymoon, Belize is second to none. What you’ll find are tropical islands, unparalleled diving, incredible Mayan ruins, uncrowded beaches, and near-perfect warm weather. What you won’t find are tons of other tourists—making this an excellent place to experience with someone truly special by your side.
A balance of relaxation and adventure is the key to a perfect honeymoon. And hey, some luxurious digs and beautiful surroundings don’t hurt either. Belize is just slightly off the beaten path for most Central American and Caribbean vacation-goers, though that’s quickly changing as the word about this paradisiacal spot spreads.
At first, Jamani Balderamos wasn’t worried. Sudden, short-lived storms are common off Belize’s Turneffe Atoll, where Balderamos was leading tourists on a scuba dive. But a second rumble of thunder followed, then another and another, each spaced 10 seconds apart.
Balderamos realized it wasn’t thunder, but the tell-tale detonations of seismic airguns. Ships tow these industrial devices as part of the process for finding offshore oil deposits.
“I noticed the fish became kind of scared. They started darting all over the place,” Balderamos said. The blasts got louder. He signaled for his group to get out of the water, unsure if the airguns were dangerous. “You could actually feel the reverberation going through your body. I could feel it in my chest.”
Days earlier, on October 12, 2016, Oceana had been tipped off that a seismic ship was bound for Belize. After the organization shared this news with the public, long-simmering opposition to offshore oil boiled over into outrage, said Janelle Chanona, the head of Oceana in Belize.
Tiny Country Partners with Global Conservation Organization to Help Coral Reefs Worldwide
BELIZE CITY, Belize, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Despite being on opposite sides of the globe, Belize and Australia are connected as the home to the planet’s two largest barrier reefs. These fragile habitats are under threat from environmental impacts and must be protected. To help, the Belize Tourism Board has partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create the Sister Reef Project, a campaign to raise awareness and funds for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef.
The Sister Reef Project
The Sister Reef Project is an online fundraiser benefitting WWF. Travelers are encouraged to buy credits to enter to win multiple curious items and experiences in Belize, while simultaneously donating to a worthy cause. All funds from the project will go toward WWF to support its reef conservation efforts in both Belize and Australia.
While the Belize Blue Hole is a key draw for divers, there is many other aspect of diving to attract the dedicated scuba diver.
Belize, to divers the mere mention of the name, brings forth an iconic image of the Belize Blue Hole. Even non-divers often recognize aerial photographs of the blue hole thanks to Jacques Yves Cousteau’s television series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”. His episode “Secrets of the Sunken Caves” back in March 1971 featured the blue hole and brought it to the worlds attention. That sparked the interest that remains today.
Belize – Beyond the Blue Hole
Belize is a Central American country with a growing reputation as a tourism and retirement destination. Previously known as British Honduras, it has long been a special dive destination thanks to the Belize Blue Hole, the atolls and the Belize Barrier Reef.
Report reveals improvement but also details danger posed by tourist-generated pollution, oil extraction and climate change.
Just below the surface of the turquoise sea, coral flutters majestically amid schools of puffed up porcupinefish and fluorescent blue and yellow angelfish.
The gangly staghorn and fanning elkhorn corals are thriving in swimming distance of Laughing Bird Caye, a tiny Caribbean sandy islet in southern Belize, thanks to a restoration project that is yielding striking results.
More than 90,000 corals grown in sea nurseries have been planted in shallow reefs, increasing coral cover in these southern warm waters by 35%. Marine creatures are reproducing, and about 90% have survived natural and manmade pressures for almost a decade.
It is 15 years ago and still I remember it as if it had been this morning. My first dive in the ocean – a submersion into a fairy-tale world of flabbergasting colours, corals of all shapes and forms, fish I hadn’t even found in the Aquarium and that time-less beauty of weightlessness. In total connection with my breath, I have blissfully floated through many a world’s best diving sites since, from shallow to up to 30 metres. Let me share some of my favourites with you.
No diving bucket list would be complete without the famous great blue hole in Central America’s Belize. The circular 300 metres wide and 125 metres deep submarine sinkhole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is outlined by coral reef and inhabited by Caribbean Reef Sharks and the occasional Hammerhead.
Hey Castaways, if you loving diving and love Belize, then you’re going to enjoy this guest post by Joe Black. Cheers!
I’m Joe, I run Nature Rated. I love spending time in the outdoors. Whenever daily life gets me down I head to the nearest lake or river with my kayak and my camera and I spend time recharging my batteries. I hope you’ll love my no fluff to the point reviews and that they’ll help you choose the right gear for your next adventure!
It is one thing to visit and dive in the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s another to understand what makes this destination one of the Great Wonders of the World. Before you put on your snorkel gear, test your knowledge and see how many of the facts below you already know.