Belizeans all across the country celebrated the unexpectedly good news on Tuesday that the United Nations Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared that the Belize Barrier Reef is no longer in danger. First declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, the reef was placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to the reef’s fragility as the result of exploitative fishing practices, pollution, and offshore drilling.
The Belize Barrier Reef is an incredibly diverse ecosystem of hundreds of islands, atolls, mangrove forests, lagoons, and more than a dozen different species of coral. The reef is an important nesting site for several endangered birds as well as a vast gamut of marine species such as sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and colorful schools of fish. Even whale sharks, which can measure up to two tons, come to the reef to feed.
UNESCO declared that the government of Belize, in conjunction with several non-profit organizations and NGOs, have made tremendous strides in improving the health and robustness of the reef. Actions such as imposing a complete ban on all offshore drilling have helped the reef recover from previous environmental damage.
If you’d like to experience the natural wonder of the Belize Barrier Reef for yourself, be sure to stay at the Belize Boutique Resort and Spa. Located on a stunning 1,000-acre property just thirty miles from the coast, the resort organizes reef tours and is the perfect place for families, honeymooners, and adventure travelers to enjoy a fabulous vacation in Belize.
“It’s not just a vacation. It’s an Experience!”