Splash 247

Belize bans offshore oil drilling to protect reef

Belize bans offshore oil drilling to protect reef

Array
(
    [0] => WP_Term Object
        (
            [term_id] => 71
            [name] => Americas
            [slug] => americas
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 71
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => This is the Splash 24/7 news archive related to the Americas. News are sorted by release date, from the latest to the oldest.

Get the updated list of the latest news about the Americas. Browse Splash 24/7 for more maritime and shipping news.

            [parent] => 55
            [count] => 3114
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 71
            [category_count] => 3114
            [category_description] => This is the Splash 24/7 news archive related to the Americas. News are sorted by release date, from the latest to the oldest.

Get the updated list of the latest news about the Americas. Browse Splash 24/7 for more maritime and shipping news.

            [cat_name] => Americas
            [category_nicename] => americas
            [category_parent] => 55
        )

    [1] => WP_Term Object
        (
            [term_id] => 62
            [name] => Environment
            [slug] => environment
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 62
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => Stay updated on what's going on in the maritime environment by browsing the environment news archive. Find the latest maritime and shipping news on Splash 24/7.

Get the updated list of the latest maritime environment related news. Browse Splash 24/7 for more maritime and shipping news.

            [parent] => 54
            [count] => 559
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 62
            [category_count] => 559
            [category_description] => Stay updated on what's going on in the maritime environment by browsing the environment news archive. Find the latest maritime and shipping news on Splash 24/7.

Get the updated list of the latest maritime environment related news. Browse Splash 24/7 for more maritime and shipping news.

            [cat_name] => Environment
            [category_nicename] => environment
            [category_parent] => 54
        )

    [2] => WP_Term Object
        (
            [term_id] => 60
            [name] => Offshore
            [slug] => offshore
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 60
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => Stay updated on what's going on in the offshore industry by browsing the offshore news archive. Find the latest maritime and shipping news on Splash 24/7.

Read the latest news about offshore. Browse Splash 24/7 for more maritime and shipping news.

            [parent] => 54
            [count] => 3848
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 60
            [category_count] => 3848
            [category_description] => Stay updated on what's going on in the offshore industry by browsing the offshore news archive. Find the latest maritime and shipping news on Splash 24/7.

Read the latest news about offshore. Browse Splash 24/7 for more maritime and shipping news.

            [cat_name] => Offshore
            [category_nicename] => offshore
            [category_parent] => 54
        )

)

Just days after the US declared its intent to unshackle energy producers by opening up huge offshore swathes for oil drilling, the small Central American nation of Belize did the opposite – imposing a total moratorium on such drilling in its waters.

Belize, formerly British Honduras, voted unanimously for the ban in its legislature.

Officials say the country is introducing the ban in order to protect its barrier reef, the biggest in the Americas, and a big tourist attraction.

Although Belize produces a relatively small 3,000 barrels of oil per day, oil still constitutes a quarter of the nation’s exports.

But the politicians and popular opinion said the potential damage of a drilling mishap could do incalculable damage to tourism and the fishing economy.

Belize’s Barrier Reef Reserve System, the world’s second biggest, has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and not surprisingly, a spokesman for UNESCO congratulated the Belize authorities for their ban.

The country has instituted offshore bans before. In 2013 the Belize Supreme Court banned offshore drilling over environmental concerns but that injunction was suspended and then, in 2015, the government moved towards opening up mots of its territorial waters.

Share this article

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

Related Posts