The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the World, was on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger sites since 2009. Thanks to a series of conservation measure, it has now been removed from the list, proving once again that protecting sensitive marine areas does help them to recover from the damage human development can cause.
The reef, like many reefs around the World, provides a vital source of income for the population. In Belize, 200,000 inhabitants rely on it, which is more than half of the population. Tourism and recreational activities represent $200 million for the country.
In the past decades however, the reef has been put under increasing threats from exploration for oil, development along the coast, and a lack of strong regulations. A series of campaigns and protests and have encouraged the government to take actions to protect the reef. A work that has paid off.