This video says about itself:
21 December 2015
Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) off of Ambergris Caye in Belize
Belize bans offshore oil drilling along barrier reef system
18th December 2015 / Sandra Cuffe
Early this month Belize’s cabinet approved a policy that legally bans offshore exploration in what amounts to 15 percent of the country’s marine territory.
- Reports earlier this year that the government of Belize intended to open up iconic marine protected areas to offshore drilling met with widespread opposition.
- The new ban, approved on December 1, prohibits offshore oil exploration and drilling along the Belize Barrier Reef and within a World Heritage Site comprised of seven marine protected areas in the country.
- The UNESCO World Heritage Committee and national environmental groups applauded the announcement as a step in the right direction.
No offshore oil exploration will be permitted along the Belize Barrier Reef or within the country’s seven World Heritage Site areas, the government of Belize announced this month. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee and national environmental groups applauded the announcement as a step in the right direction.
At a December 1 meeting, the Belizean Cabinet approved a policy that legally bans offshore exploration in what amounts to 15 percent of the country’s marine territory. The measure protects 1,316 square miles along the Central American country’s section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second longest in the world. A moratorium on all offshore drilling remains in place.
According to the new policy, offshore oil exploration is banned within one kilometer on either side of the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within the seven protected reef areas that comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s List of World Heritage in Danger since 2009 due to the sale, lease, and development of mangrove islands and the lack of a solid regulatory framework for the site’s conservation. Offshore oil activity was added to the list of concerns in 2010….
The World Heritage Site — comprised of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park, and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve — contains a unique array of reef types, and hundreds of sand and mangrove cayes. It provides important habitat for threatened species, such as the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), and American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).
Alexandra Cousteau visits Belize for marine conservation: here.
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