The Belize Barrier Reef is no longer endangered

28th Jun 2018
Written by: Dave Owen

UNESCO has removed the Belize Barrier Reef from its list of endangered World Heritage Sites.

The reef, the second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, was added to the endangered list nine years ago. Since then, UNESCO says the Belize government has taken “visionary” steps to preserve it.

Manatee Close up

In 2009, plans were put in place to allow oil exploration in neighbouring waters, which resulted in UNESCO putting the reef on the endangered list. In 2012, an informal referendum by environmentalists saw 96% vote against offshore oil activity. Finally, at the end of 2017 lawmakers passed a moratorium on oil exploration in Belize’s waters.

The Belize Barrier Reef is home to plenty of threatened wildlife, including manatees, turtles, and several species of sharks. UNESCO has praised Belize’s “visionary plan to manage the coastline.”

Controversially, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has not been added to UNESCO’s endangered list, after the body argued sufficient conservation steps were being taken. That’s despite the reef having lost half its coral cover in the past thirty years. There’s plenty of things travellers can do to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. The success of conservation efforts in Belize show it isn’t a lost cause.

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Belize Beach Conservation

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7 - 140 days

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Belize Marine Conservation & Diving

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7 - 70 days

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Marine and Diving Internship

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Beach Conservation Belize

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Mayan ruins? Check! Pristine beaches? Check! Exotic animals? Check! Warm Caribbean waters? Check! Belize has everything you could ever want!

Reef Conservation in the Caribbean

from £995.00

7 - 168 days

Join an award-winning project and become part of an active research team. Gain PADI qualifications whilst living on your own...

Internship Manatee Conservation

from £1,555.00

28 - 140 days

Improve your CV, add experience to your Uni or College course and have an amazing time in a Caribbean paradise!

Belize Manatee Conservation

from £795.00

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Belize is at the centre of a biodiversity hotspot with pristine subtropical forests, exotic wildlife, ancient Mayan ruins and the...

Private Island Marine Experience

from £960.00

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Travel to a private Belizean island to contribute to marine conservation, specifically the conservation of the Belizean Barrier Reef.

Belize Marine Conservation & Diving

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7 - 180 days

Dive in some of the most pristine and renowned marine sites in the world, helping further the research and protection...

Caribbean Conservation in Belize

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7 - 84 days

Volunteers are needed to assist the conservation team’s efforts to preserve the ecosystem.

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Trek though jungles to Mayan ruins and relax on white-sand beaches. Get an authentic taste of Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico...

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