Our natural heritage is in danger Drag the panda or scroll

Belize: Save one of the world's most endangered reefs

Our natural heritage is in danger Drag the panda or scroll
Belize: Save one of the world’s most endangered reefs

Belize: Save one of the world's most endangered reefs

Save Belize’s endangered reef

Belize is home to one of the world’s most endangered reefs, but this precious World Heritage site is under threat from oil concessions. Ask Belize’s prime minister to take action.

Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize

Dean Barrow
Prime Minister of Belize © Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press / Press Association Images

Dear Prime Minister Barrow,
The reef is our shared heritage. Please save:

  • The Environment The Environment
    The Environment
    In 2009, UNESCO placed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System on the List of World Heritage in Danger. In recent years, the reef’s ecosystems have been damaged by coastal construction, which led to loss of precious mangroves. Regulations to protect mangroves and prevent further damaging coastal construction needs to be urgently adopted.
  • Local livelihoods Local livelihoods
    Local livelihoods
    Nearly 200,000 Belizeans are estimated to rely on the reef. To safeguard the well-being of these families, it is essential to keep marine and coastal environments healthy. Harmful industrial activities, including deforestation along vulnerable coastlines and unsustainable coastal construction, should not be allowed.
  • Economic value Economic value
    Economic value
    The reef’s economic contribution accounts for 15 per cent of Belize’s annual GDP. That includes approximately US$15 million from the commercial fishing industry and about US$200 million from tourism activities. Sustainably managing the reef and keeping it free from harm can secure stable income streams for residents, and attract investment.
  • Coastal protection Coastal protection
    Coastal protection
    Coral reefs and coastal mangroves provide protection against storm surges, hurricanes and erosion. These ecosystem services save Belize up to US$350 million per year in avoided damage. Industrial activities like coastal deforestation, construction, dredging, and dumping can destroy these valuable reefs and mangroves.
  • Rare wildlife Rare wildlife
    Rare wildlife
    Belize’s waters are home to 1,400 different species, including 500 types of fish and 100 corals. This reef hosts the world’s largest population of threatened west Indian manatees, as well as endangered sharks and marine turtles. The survival of these rare animals depends on keeping their habitats safe from threats.
Dear Prime Minister Barrow,
Thank you for listening to the voice of the people and adopting the moratorium on offshore oil activities in Belizean waters in December 2017. I encourage you to take the remaining steps to secure the long-term protection of Belize’s reef as a positive legacy of your leadership for Belizeans and the world.

Sincerely, a champion of Belize's reef.

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