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Jun 28, 2016

WWF Says Government Must Act to Secure Protection of the Reef

Nadia Bood

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will convene in Istanbul, Turkey in July to debate the status of some of the most extraordinary natural places on the planet.  This includes the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System.  Earlier this year, WWF called for greater protection of the barrier reef from harmful industrial activities such as oil, gas and mining operations, as well as large-scale infrastructure projects.  Over a hundred and twenty-thousand individuals have sent emails to PM Barrow, requesting better protection of Belize’s Barrier.

 

Nadia Bood, Field Office Representative, WWF

“The report, the status report that has been produced by the government has to be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee and then they make a vote.  So the report was submitted by the government to the committee a couple months ago and it has been reviewed by the committee and they have produced or circulated a draft decision based on what they’ve reviewed based on the achievement that the government has done in terms of what they asked to have been put in place.  Based on the different indicators and the discussion on the achievement of those indicators, the committee has come to the decision that Belize still has not made that stride in terms of what is needed to get the system off the World Heritage Site list.  And so the draft decision right now is that it should remain on the endangered list until all the indicators are appropriately addressed.  But this of course will be confirmed in July, you know, when the committee meets which they will be meeting from the tenth to the twentieth of July.”

 

According to the WWF release, only a full ban on offshore oil exploration and drilling in all of Belize’s waters can secure the protection of Belize’s reef and its outstanding universal value.

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