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Jun 28, 2016

World Heritage Committee Releases Draft Decision on Barrier Reef System

What is the future of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?  That’s the question conservationists are asking in light of international attention focused on the vulnerability of the barrier reef.  According to an announcement from the World Wildlife Fund, a World Heritage Committee has released a draft decision pertaining to the status of the site.  That decision notes that the announcement by government to ban offshore drilling within the World Heritage Site is yet to be legislated.  It also calls to question the adequacy of a one-kilometer buffer.  News Five spoke with WWF Field Office Representative Nadia Bood.

 

Nadia Bood

Nadia Bood, Field Office Representative, WWF

“The Belize Barrier Reef System is of course a World Heritage Site.  It has been placed on the list of endangered sites for quiet some years now and all indication is that the government has been working with the World Heritage Site Commission to try to get the system off the World Heritage Site endangered list.  So in 2015, there was a delegation from the World Heritage Site Commission and IUCN that came to Belize to work with the government to develop a desired state of conservation document which spells out a number of key things that need to be done towards getting Belize removed from the list of endangered sites.  Key among those are no oil exploration in the World Heritage Site, the fact that there has to be a coastal zone management plan implemented, mandated regulations implemented, one that has been updated pretty much and some other public attention.”

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