Belize Barrier Reef removed from endangered list

After nine years UNESCO has removed the Belize Barrier Reef from the endangered list of world heritage sites.

After the Great BarrierReef in Australia, the reef off the coast of the Central American nation Belize is the second largest in the world.

Home to threatened species such as marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile – the Belize reef was added to the list of world heritage sites back in 1966. And, later in 2009, UNESCO said it was in danger following plans by the Belize government to allow oil exploration in nearby waters.

UNESCO urged the Central American nation to put safeguards in place to protect what Charles Darwin described as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies”, BBC reported.

In 2017, lawmakers passed a landmark moratorium on oil exploration in Belizean waters, which makes it one of the very few countries in the world with such a legislation.

UNESCO praised Belize’s “visionary plan to manage the coastline”, saying that “the level of conservation we hoped for has been achieved”.

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