Public support is highly needed after UNESCO’s decision on Belize


Public support is highly needed after UNESCO’s decision on Belize

The 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee took place from July 2 -12 in Krakow, Poland.  A delegation from WWF, including Mesoamerican Reef Scientist Nadia Bood participation in the event.  Her role was important to advocate for the strong draft decision that was upheld and the rapid progress needed to be made in the next year.  At the second day of these meetings the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was maintained on the ‘in danger’ list.

This is the 8th year Belize features on this list. The Belize government has not met its commitment to UNESCO to implement all agreed measures programmed by December 2016. 

WWF together with local partners recently released a Scorecard, highlighting the worrying lack of progress for the 2nd. largest barrier reef in the world. This assessment shows that Belize's government has failed to implement promised protections, leaving the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere under threat from oil drilling and damaging coastal construction. 

The Committee’s discussion on Belize prompted some delegates, including Cuba, Jamaica and Portugal, to raise concerns about oil threats. If Belize complies with the promised actions, it is possible that the reef will be removed from the ‘in danger’ list at the next meeting, in 2018. 

This is a time when public support is most needed.  You can help by encouraging others to join the 400,000 people who have taken action here.