Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Capacity Building
Credibility of the World Heritage ...
Inscriptions on the World Heritage ...
International Assistance
List of World Heritage in Danger
Operational Guidelines
Outstanding Universal Value
Periodic Reporting
Reinforced Monitoring
Tentative Lists
Working methods and tools
World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.32
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize) (N 764)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.18, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Welcoming the efforts undertaken by the State Party towards the implementation of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), including the announcement of a ban on offshore petroleum exploration within all seven components of the property and within one kilometre on either side of the Barrier Reef, notes that this policy announcement still needs to be translated into a legislative instrument and that the adequacy of the one-kilometre buffer zone needs revision to secure the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the full implementation of the indicator under the DSOCR;
  4. Also notes that the Petroleum Exploration Framework is currently being revised and that this document will define further areas that would be excluded from offshore petroleum exploration, as well as other restrictions, and requests the State Party to ensure that the protection of the property’s OUV is fully integrated into the revision of the Framework in line with the requirements under the DSOCR;
  5. Also welcomes the adoption of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) and the provision of funding for its initial implementation and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure that the resources required for the long term implementation of the Plan are secured;
  6. Takes note of the confirmation made by the State Party that a voluntary moratorium on sale and lease of lands within the property remains in place and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a legally binding instrument to ensure a permanent cessation of all sales and leases of state owned land throughout the property;
  7. Urges the State Party to finalize and adopt the Mangrove Regulations in order to ensure that the mangrove areas within the property are effectively protected and requirements under the DSOCR are fully met;
  8. Also strongly encourages the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission to provide the necessary assistance in the elaboration of the abovementioned legislative instruments related to offshore petroleum exploration as well as the overall implementation of the indicators of the DSOCR;
  9. Further welcomes the revision of the Environmental Impact Assessment system and also urges the State Party to fully integrate the protection of the property’s OUV into this process to ensure that the revised regulations guarantee that no areas within the property and in its immediate vicinity can be developed in ways that would negatively impact on the property's OUV, consistent with the requirements under the DSOCR;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Decides to retain Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.32
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision