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Belize celebrates its barrier reef’s 10,000th birthday

HighlightsBelize celebrates its barrier reef’s 10,000th birthday

World Oceans Day, June 8, falls in the middle of a week-long celebration
of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s 10,000 years of existence

by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 8, 2022
The Ministry of Blue Economy & Civil
Aviation, along with the World Wildlife
Fund (WWF), has been celebrating the
10,000th anniversary of the formation of
the Belize Barrier Reef with a week of
special programs and events, which
included a World Oceans Day Expo held
on June 8 at the Buttonwood Bay Park in
Belize City.
World Oceans Day is celebrated
annually on June 8. Nadia Bood, Senior
Program Officer at the WWF
Mesoamerica, spoke with AMANDALA
about the significance of such a day and
the importance of promoting the
preservation of Belize’s marine
“Today we’re doing this expo to
showcase our marine environment—our
reef system—and the goods and services
that it provides to our country,” she said.
Bood explained that the World Oceans
Day Expo provides an opportunity for the
Government of Belize, conservation
NGOs, and businesses whose livelihoods
are tied to the barrier reef to interact with
members of the public, raising awareness
about the important role that oceans—and
the reef—play in the lives of everyone on
the planet, which is an effort that could
ultimately bring about change.
Oceans, which make up over 70% of
Belize celebrates its barrier reef’s 10,000th birthday
the planet and produce over 50% of the
world’s oxygen, are becoming increasingly
threatened by the effects of climate change,
pollution, acidification, and reduction in
biodiversity. By raising awareness about
all the ways in which humanity is reliant on
the oceans, and promoting the increased
implementation of sustainable practices,
Bood said, we can continue to benefit from
the environment in the long term.
“We want to continue to benefit from
our marine resources, and to be able to do
so, we need to engage the public; we need
to engage the stakeholders that are
dependent on these ecosystems to let them
know that, together, we can make this
happen for the long term,” she stated.
Opening the day’s events was the
Director of Blue Economy, Maxine
Monsanto, who shared the theme for this
year’s World Oceans Day: “Revitalization:
Collective Action for the Ocean”. She also
highlighted some of the goals of this year’s
celebrations, which include gaining a better
understanding of the importance of the
oceans as well as raising awareness about
the importance of Belize’s marine
The expo featured booths from various
conservation and marine protection
organizations such as Oceana Belize, the
Belize Audubon Society, the Coastal Zone
Management Authority & Institute
(CZMAI), the Belize Fisheries Department,
and the Wildlife Conservation Society
(WCS) Belize. Also at the expo
were several small businesses that
utilize marine resources in their
work, including Ale’s Beach
Treasures, which specializes in
creating sea glass jewelry, and
Belioness, a Sarteneja-based
enterprise that sells jewelry made
from invasive lionfish.
Two other events that were a
part of the Belize Barrier Reef’s
10,000th birthday celebrations
was a gala held under the theme “A Night
Under the Sea” on Friday, June 3, and a
Family Fun Day in Placencia on Sunday,
June 5. The final event will be a Sargassum
Community Beach Clean-Up on San
Pedro, Ambergris Caye, this Friday. The
Belize Barrier Reef, approximately 185 miles
long, was made a UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1996 as a result of its
Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals to fill the following
1 Spanish Teacher
1 Electrical/Building Teacher
Temporary Posts (3 Months)
1 English Teacher
1 Agriculture Science Teacher
1 Science Teacher
A Bachelor Degree in the respective subject area is preferred. However,
applicants in possession of an Associate Degree may apply. In addition,
experience in teaching at CXC level would be an asset.
All applicants must be in possession of a valid teaching license.
1 Social Science/Spanish Teacher
A Masters Degree in the respective subject area is preferred. However,
applicants in possession of a Bachelor Degree may apply. Salary is based on
qualification and experience and is in accordance with Government’s pay
scale. Completed application package should be forwarded by Monday, June
13, 2022 to:
Board of Governors
Independence High School
Independence Village
Stann Creek District
Applicants will be interviewed at the high school on Thursday, June
16, 2022 @ 9:00 a.m.
World Oceans Day, June 8, falls in the middle of a week-long celebration
of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s 10,000 years of existence.
physical and cultural significance. In 2009,
the reef was at risk of losing its status
after being placed on the UNESCO List
of World Heritage in Danger sites but was
removed from that list almost a decade
later due to a series of conservation
efforts which included an imposed
moratorium on offshore drilling and oil
exploration in Belize.

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