“Today is truly a wonderful day for Belize,” said Nadia Bood, a scientist working in Belize on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund. “Last year, the reef was in danger from oil exploration, and now Belize has stepped up to make protecting the environment a priority.”
Although Belize does not have substantial petroleum deposits, a number of international corporations have identified areas on the reef where drilling for oil could potentially be profitable. At issue is the practice of exploratory drilling that sends out shockwaves through the reef, putting much of the reef’s marine life in peril.
It is estimated that Belize’s offshore reef brings more than $200 million dollars in revenue to the economy, primarily in the form of tourism and domestic fisheries. Belize is home to hundreds of endangered animals, birds, and plants that thrive on the reef, all of which could be endangered by drilling practices and potential oil spills such as the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 that took place in the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
“We heartily applaud the government of Belize for putting the long-term health of the reef ahead of short-term profits from petroleum companies,” said Larry France, Manager Manager for Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia, Belize. “The reef is both a vital source of revenue in the form of tourism dollars and a natural heritage for our children and our children’s children.”
Chabil Mar is an award-winning luxury resort located on the Caribbean coast of southeastern Belize. Chabil Mar is dedicated to sustainable tourism practices and environmental conservation and is proud to employ locals on its staff and encourages guests to spend money at the nearby Placencia Village in order to sustainably develop the region.
Chabil Mar offers guests a number of Belize vacation packages that include guided tours to pristine areas like the Monkey River, the Belize Barrier Reef, and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary as part of its commitment to sustainable tourism practices.
Chabil Mar also offers jungle and sea packages so that travelers can have the opportunity to explore the unique, natural beauty of Belize and learn more about the vital role that the animals and plants in the region play in maintaining the country’s thriving ecosystem.