Protected Areas of Belize

Protected Areas Of Belize

Since declaring independence in 1981, Belize has enacted many environmental protection laws aimed at the preservation of the country's natural and cultural heritage, as well as its wealth of natural resources. These acts have established a number of different types of protected areas, with each category having its own set of regulations dictating public access, resource extraction, land use and ownership.

Roughly 26% (2.6 million acres, or 1.22 million hectares) of Belizean land and sea is preserved within a total of 95 reserves, which vary in their purpose and level of protection. This network of protected areas exists under a variety of management structures:

  • 1,900,469 acres (769,093 ha) of terrestrial reserves,
  • 392,970 acres (159,030 ha) of marine reserves,
  • 317,615 acres (128,534 ha) protected through officially recognised private conservation initiatives.

However, most of these protected areas are actually for the management of resource use and extraction, rather than for the preservation of the environment.

Read more about Protected Areas Of Belize:  Critical Species, Vegetation, See Also

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    Guns have metamorphosed into cameras in this earnest comedy, the ecology safari, because nature has ceased to be what it always had been—what people needed protection from. Now nature tamed, endangered, mortal—needs to be protected from people.
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    If a walker is indeed an individualist there is nowhere he can’t go at dawn and not many places he can’t go at noon. But just as it demeans life to live alongside a great river you can no longer swim in or drink from, to be crowded into safer areas and hours takes much of the gloss off walking—one sport you shouldn’t have to reserve a time and a court for.
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