Belize praised for ‘visionary’ steps to save coral reef

Repeating Islands


This is great news: UNESCO has removed the Belize Barrier Reef from its list of endangered World Heritage Sites after nine years because Belize took “visionary” steps to preserve it successfully. BBC reports:

The reef is the second largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is home to many threatened species including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile.

Unesco added the reef to its list of world heritage sites in 1996 but said it was in danger in 2009 following plans by the Belize government to allow oil exploration in nearby waters. Unesco urged Belize to put safeguards in place to protect what Charles Darwin described as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies”.

Environmentalists organised an informal referendum in 2012 in which 96% of those who took part voted against offshore oil activity. In December 2017, lawmakers passed a landmark moratorium on oil…

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