The World Heritage Committee meeting in Seville, under the chair of María Jesús San Segundo, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, has decided to inscribe Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The main problem with Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System concerns mangrove cutting and excessive development in the property which was inscribed in 1996 as largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, with offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries.
While requesting stricter control of development on the site, the Committee also requested that the moratorium on mangrove cutting on the site which expired in 2008 be reinstated.
The following is a statement by Erika Harms on the decision:
"The preservation of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is critical to both its marine inhabitants and the local communities that depend on the site for their livelihoods. In light of the Committee's decision, we recommit ourselves to support long-term solutions to the conservation challenges in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site."
- Source:Press Release No. 2009 - 71
- Link to the UNSECO Article