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Belize chooses coral reef over oil


Belize's government has introduced legislation to end oil activity in its waters. The measure is intended to protect ocean and marine life, and especially the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef.

The 190-mile long reef, listed since 1996, is second only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef in size, and possibly in ecological significance. It's home to over 1,400 species, including endangered hawksbill turtles, six threatened shark species and a variety of marine mammals, as well as the coral itself.

It's a move that comes from more than environmental concerns; tourism, and especially diving, are a significant sector in the country's economy, Tourism and fisheries together account for about half the jobs of the country's population of about 190,000 people.

For more information from The Guardian (UK), click HERE

Photo: Goff's Caye Reef, Belize (Jayhem/Wikimedia)

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