Belize Barrier Reef Officially Removed From UNESCO's In-Danger List

July 2018:- What is known as the Belize Barrier Reef System (BBRS) was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in danger in 1996 by the World Heritage Committee because of what it considered to be undue stress or overdevelopment on Belize's cayes and because of oil and gas extraction activity off Belize's coast.

Belize Barrier Reef SystemFollowing the moratorium on oil and gas extraction exploration issued by the Belizean government in December of 2017, as well as new decisions by the government to regulate forestry affecting the unique network of mangrove trees in Belize, the World Heritage Committee determined that the BBRS was no longer under threat of destruction and announced its intention to remove the BBRS from its list of world heritage sites in danger.

The committee finally followed through with its intention in its meeting in Manama, Bahrain on June 26th. The BBRS is a natural system comprised of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cayes, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. It is at the moment considered a vital habitat for many threatened species of animals, including the marine turtle, the West Indian manatee and the American marine crocodile.

The delegation from Belize that attended the WHC meeting was led by Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Patrick Faber and the Minister of Environment, Honorable Omar Figueroa. The meeting that lasted four days covered in its agenda the natural wealth of Belize.