Belize Barrier Reef, A Top Attraction in Belize
At its June 26, 2018 meeting in Bahrain, the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (known as UNESCO) declared that the Belize Barrier Reef has been removed from the list of endangered World Heritage Sites.
Measuring more than 200 miles long, the Belize Barrier Reef was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996 but was listed as a World Heritage Site in Danger due to more than a century of overfishing, pollution, and other exploitative activities. But since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1981, the Belize government has worked hard to protect the reef, declaring large regions of it to be protected marine environments.
Recently, the government of Belize imposed a strict ban on all petroleum exploration and drilling on the reef. And this year, the government announced that it will ban the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic cutlery and other single-use items as a further method to protect the integrity and health of the reef.
Despite covering less than one percent of the world’s ocean surface, coral reefs like the Belize Barrier Reef are home to more than one-quarter of all marine life. The Belize Barrier Reef is a source of significant income for the well-regulated fishing industry as well as the burgeoning tourism industry. Every year, more than one million visitors come to the reef to enjoy Belize attractions like sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and sport fishing.
The news that the Belize Barrier Reef is on the mend is great news for anyone wanting to buy Belize real estate and/or retire in Belize. UNESCO’s declaration is proof positive that the future of Belize lies in ecotourism and not oil extraction, despite promises from the petroleum industry that it could provide a significant income stream for the country.
If you’ve ever wanted to buy Belize real estate, the time to act is right now. Cerros Sands, a true “community in the country” located in Corozal District on the edge of the reef is considered by many to be the best place to live in Belize. Cerros Sands is a gated, master-planned community with undeveloped lots and completed homes for sale in Belize at attractive prices.
The government of Belize imposes zero restriction on foreigners owning or renting Belize real estate, and many expats enjoy a comfortable living from vacation rentals. If you’d like to learn more about living or buying real estate in Belize, contact Cerros Sands today.