Unesco - Belize Barrier Reef

UNESCO Paper - Belize Barrier Reef System
January 8, 2012

UNESCO Paper – Belize Barrier Reef System
The Belize Barrier Reef System is a series of coral reefs located on the coast of Belize in the Atlantic-Caribbean Ocean.   It is the second largest system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (National Geographic News, 202).   The Belize Barrier Reef System is being threatened by the enormous growth of the human population.   As the human population increases and the supply of land weak, people are encroaching upon the reef and destroying delicate ecosystems.   Animal and plant species are not just being reduced but eliminated.   This is happening at an alarming rate.   How do we stop this from happening?
The World Heritage Group is an organization that was established to help preserve threatened ecosystems, including those found in the Belize Barrier Reef platform. The Reserve was inscribed as a natural World Heritage property in 1996 (World Heritage Site, 2006). The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System belongs to the Central American biogeographic province and is made up of the following areas: Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, the northernmost part of Ambergris Caye, the west area of Chetumal Bay, Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, South Water Caye Marine Reserve and Sapodilla Cays Marine Reserve (Coastal Climate Adaptation Strategies, 2011).
According to Coastal Climate Adaptation Strategies 2011, “There are over 500 species of fish, plus a great diversity of scleraetinian corals, hydroids and molluscs, sponges, marine worms, and crustaceans” (para 2.). The area is home to a large population of West Indian manatees in the world. Many different bird species of conservation concern can be found in the cayes and atolls. Loggerhead, green, and hawksbill sea turtles nest in Belize (Travel Belize, 2012).   Colonies of major sea...