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

Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

Belize
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Housing
  • Invasive / alien marine species
  • Land conversion
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Oil and gas
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Sale and lease of public lands within the property
  • Destruction of fragile ecosystems due to resort / housing development
  • Oil concessions within the marine area
  • Introduced species
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Sale and lease of public lands for the purposes of development within the property leading to the destruction of mangrove and marine ecosystems.

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6208

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1825

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6208

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted: USD 140,000: i) USD 30,000 from the Rapid Response Facility for the monitoring of unauthorized activities in the Bladen Nature Reserves which were impacting the property; ii) USD 30,000 for emergency conservation actions in favour of the critically endangered wide sawfish (2010); iii) USD 80,000 in support of public use planning and site financing strategy development for the Blue Hole Natural Monument (2008-2009). 

 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

March 2009: joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2015: joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Technical Mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 18 March 2016 the State Party submitted a state of conservation report which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/764/documents/ and provides the following information regarding the progress achieved towards the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR):

  • In December 2015 the State Party announced a ban on offshore petroleum exploration within all seven components of the property, as well as within 1 km on either side of the Barrier Reef. In addition, the Petroleum Exploration Framework which will identify additional areas where petroleum exploration will be prohibited and/or restricted is currently being revised and will be finalized in 2016. Furthermore, as of January 2016 there are no longer any petroleum concessions within or around the property. All existing concessions overlapping or surrounding the property have expired and none were renewed;
  • The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP), the Land Use Policy and the National Protected Areas System Bill have been finalized and adopted. Funding has been secured for the implementation of the ICZMP through a project funded by the Adaptation Fund;
  • Consultations with stakeholders on the draft Mangrove Regulations were undertaken in 2015 and the Terms of Reference for the review of the draft were finalized. The Terms of Reference now include a specific reference to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in view of ensuring its future protection with regard to mangroves. The draft Fisheries Resources Bill will undergo a final review in 2016 and will then be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval;
  • The moratorium on sale of national lands within the property remains in force. Information on the land tenure and status of lands within the property is being compiled;
  • Under the project “Management and protection of Key Biodiversity Areas” funded by the Global Environment Facility, it is foreseen to revise and strengthen the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system;
  • New management plans will be prepared for the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and South Water Caye Marine Reserve components of the property;
  • A technical World Heritage Centre mission visited the property in December 2015 to assist the State Party in the implementation of the DSOCR.
  • In the course of 2015 the State Party also submitted clarification on the boundaries of the property within the framework of the Retrospective inventory exercise.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The announcement by the State Party of a ban on offshore petroleum exploration within all seven components of the property and within one kilometer on either side of the Barrier Reef should be welcomed. However, this decision still needs to be translated into a legally binding instrument. Further, the adequacy of the one-kilometre buffer zone to provide added protection to the property’s OUV needs to be further evaluated and subsequently the proposed buffer zone would need to be further adapted to match the requirements under the DSOCR This should be linked to the currently ongoing elaboration of the Petroleum Exploration Framework and definition of additional areas that would be excluded from petroleum exploration and further restrictions on offshore petroleum development. It is critical that the protection of the property’s OUV is fully incorporated into this process and the eventual outcome is in line with the requirements of the DSOCR.  On 27 April 2016 the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party confirming that the World Heritage Centre and IUCN are ready to provide technical assistance to the State Party in identifying measures required to fully achieve the respective indicator of the DSOCR related to offshore petroleum exploration. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee encourage the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission to provide technical advice with regards to this indicator.

The finalization and adoption of the ICZM and the securing of funding for its implementation should be commended. However, it will be crucial to ensure that the necessary resources are also available for the implementation of the Management Plan in the long term.

The development of the Terms of Reference for the revision of the draft Mangrove Regulations is noted. Finalization of the Regulations needs to be given the highest priority in order to ensure that the mangrove areas within the property are effectively protected. It should also be recalled that at the time of the adoption of the DSOCR it was noted that a baseline figure of mangrove cover within the property would need to be confirmed and the respective indicator of the DSOCR would need to be updated accordingly. No suggestion has been received from the State Party in this regard. It is recommended that this issue is also discussed during the Advisory mission recommended above.

Consistent with the DSCOR, the revision of the existing EIA provisions is equally crucial to ensure that no areas within the property and in its immediate vicinity are developed in ways that negatively impact on the property's OUV. It is further noted that the voluntary moratorium on sale and lease of lands within the property remains in place but it is essential that a legally binding mechanism is put in place to ensure a permanent cessation of sales and leases of state owned land throughout the property. The information on land tenure status within the property that is being compiled by the State Party is essential to enable an assessment of progress achieved towards the implementation of the DSOCR. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are ready to assist the State Party with technical advice to help accomplish the respective indicators related to coastal development and mangrove protection under the DSOCR.

The clarifications on the property boundaries submitted are satisfactory and will be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session for approval (see Document WHC/16/40.COM/8D).

Finally, while the efforts undertaken by the State Party are welcomed, some key issues remain to be resolved, as outlined above. It is therefore recommended that the World Heritage Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
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.
40 COM 8C.2
Update of the list of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 40 COM 7A.26)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 40 COM 7A.27)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 40 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 40 COM 7A.1)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 40 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 40 COM 7A.9)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 40 COM 7A.28)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.48)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 40 COM 7A.10)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.11)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 40 COM 7A.12)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 40 COM 7A.13)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 40 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 40 COM 7A.6)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 40 COM 7A.7)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 40 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 40 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 40 COM 7A.15)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 40 COM 7A.3)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 40 COM 7A.4)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 40 COM 7A. 30)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 40 COM 7A.49)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 40 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 40 COM 7A.17)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 40 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 40 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 40 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 40 COM 7A.21)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 40 COM 7A.8)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 40 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.47)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.50)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 40 COM 7A.5)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 40 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 40 COM 7A.24)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 40 COM 7A.25).
40 COM 8D
Clarifications of property boundaries and areas by States Parties

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/8D,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8D, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the boundaries of their World Heritage properties and commends them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
  4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are not able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitations of such properties as inscribed remain unclear;
  5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the States Parties as presented in the Annex of Document WHC/16/40.COM/8D:

    ARAB STATES

    • Syrian Arab Republic: Site of Palmyra;

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

    • Canada: Dinosaur Provincial Park;
    • Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park;
    • Czech Republic: Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc; Litomyšl Castle;
    • France: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France; Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy;
    • Germany: Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau; Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg;
    • Holy See: Vatican City;
    • Italy: City of Verona;
    • Russian Federation: Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow;
    • Spain: Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain; Las Médulas; La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia; San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries;
    • Sweden: Skogskyrkogården;
    • United States of America: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico; Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; Chaco Culture;

    LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

    • Belize: Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System;
    • Cuba: Old Havana and its Fortification System;
    • Mexico: Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan;
    • Peru: Huascarán National Park;
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of): Coro and its Port;

  6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible, and by 1 December 2016 at the latest, for their subsequent examination, if the technical requirements are met, by the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in 2017.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7A.32

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.
Report year: 2016
Belize
Date of Inscription: 1996
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2009-2018
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


top