The Belize Barrier Reef is the longest Barrier Reef system in the Western Hemisphere.
Belize’s highly diverse reef system includes more than 60 coral species. These coral inhabit approximately 180 miles of the barrier reef, three offshore atolls, numerous patch reefs, and many complex mazes of faro reefs and fringing reefs. This living factory, in turn, provides food and shelter to more than 300 marine invertebrate species and more than 500 species of fish. This wide diversity of marine wildlife helped to earn Belize its World Heritage Site designation in 1996; one of less than 50 marine sites globally.
Coral reefs across the planet are being hit hard by a myriad of threats, but Belize’s marine assets still boast of beauty and bounty. The state of health and wellness of Belize’s reef depends not only on safeguards and protections put in place by Belize’s policymakers but also on individual choices.
Belize has made some important strides in the conservation effort by joining the ranks of just fewer than 200 global parties to sign into the Paris Agreement. Approved in December of 2015 by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is a collective attempt to limit rising temperatures resulting from greenhouse gas emissions. Additional protection measures advanced individually and collectively will continue to ensure that the outstanding value of Belize’s marine assets will remain intact.
Reef Week 2018
Started in 2013, Reef Week is a collaborative initiative led by “Reef-minded” organizations to celebrate Belize’s marine resources. The week-long celebration is nationwide and includes an array of exciting activities. 2018 is the year of the reef and recent conservation success has prompted the launch of the festivities, to begin with, the signing of “The Year of the Reef Declaration”. The declaration prompts signees to practice sustainable living habits and to do all they can to minimize pollution and waste. The call to action to assume personal responsibility for our environmental impact is loud and clear.
Lastly, to participate in the initiative check out the events below:
Learn more about Reef Week:https://www.facebook.com/reefweekbelize/