Can one person make a difference in the climate change battle? If that person is Greta Thunberg, the answer is yes.
If you look across a sea of faces in search of the most prominent personality on the global warming scene, skip over the adults. Swedish teen Greta Thunberg may be only 16-years-old, but she is fast becoming a legend for raising awareness about climate change. She’s even taking world leaders to task!
Greta’s influence is being particularly felt during the Strike For Climate Change, starting on September 20th and being held throughout the world. Millions of people are marching for the climate today. Estimates say 270,000 in Berline, 100,000 in Hamburg, 100,000 in London, and up to 400,000 in Australia.
What has Belize been doing?
In Belize, conservationists have already beaten the world to the punch, having long ago realized that if the nation didn’t serve as model of conservation it might not survive.
Once criticized for “putting its stunning coral reefs and other marine resources at risk,” say National Geographic Magazine reporters, a movement rose up and innovative solutions began to emerge from government, environmentalists and everyone who calls Belize home.
If you want to be impressed, read just a few of the steps Belize is taking to ensure its environmental health:
- Belizean Tanya McNab not only founded a new conservation publication called “Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle Magazine”, but she is helping to launch an initiative to protect the Belize Barrier Reef from being overwhelmed by plastic garbage (https://www.plasticfreereefs.com/).
- Oceana Belize is committed to protecting the environment as a participant in the Protected Area Conservation Trust (PACT) by keeping tabs on 103 Belize protected areas that include forest reserves, national parks, wildlife breeding grounds and natural monuments.
- You won’t find a more actively engaged non-profit than the Belize Audubon Society. They have been Belize’s foremost environmental organization protecting Belize’s precious natural resources while educating the public about their value and sustainable use.
- Belize’s Barrier Reef Reserve System was declared to be a World Heritage site after the ecosystem made the organization’s “danger list.” Hard working Belizeans turned things around. In fact, “When coral reef countries come together, Belize is always seen as a leader,” says Melanie McField, founder and director of Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI).
- Fragments of Hope is also focusing primarily on the challenge of coral reef restoration and sustainable management of associated habitats (lagoon and mangrove ecosystems).
- Belize became the first country on the planet to declare a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and drilling.
- The government has tripled the size of its “no take” fishing zones so endangered species can recover.
Belize is by no means selfish when it comes to sharing ideas, innovations, wisdom and assistance. According to the Environmental Defense Fund’s Larry Epstein, “Belize has already been sharing experiences with groups in Indonesia, Cuba, and the Philippines, among others.”
The future looks bright for one of the smallest countries in Central America and the aforementioned initiatives, laws, movements and changes are destined make Belize a role model as the world faces climate change and other environmental dangers.
Greta Thunberg would find in Belize an alliance of like-minded people, businesses and organizations and we salute her for doing what adults have failed to do: protect Mother Earth. After all, it says in the Bible (Isaiah 11:6) that “a little child shall lead them”!
Written by CCL Editorial Team