Target: Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Goal: Stop oil companies from drilling in the Belize Barrier Reef.
Belize’s barrier reef could soon be irrevocably harmed by oil drilling if guidelines proposed by the country’s energy authorities are followed through. This reef is one of the most ecologically unique locations on the planet. Demand that Belize not open it up to oil drilling.
The Belize Barrier Reef is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site. It includes mangrove forests, small islands, the renowned Blue Hole National Monument, and, according to the UN, “one of the most pristine reef ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere.” For all these reasons, in 2013, the Belize Supreme Court decided to bar offshore oil exploration in the area for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, oil companies will not let that decision stand, and the government’s energy authorities are now proposing new oil exploration guidelines that would once again put the reef in jeopardy. While some areas of the reef would be off limits according to these guidelines, the vast majority of it would be open for drilling and oil extraction.
Oil companies should not be allowed to run roughshod over one of the Earth’s most precious natural sites for nothing but profit. Sign the petition below to demand that Belize’s Prime Minister prevent these guidelines from becoming law.
Dear Prime Minister Barrow,
I am writing you today regarding new proposed oil exploration guidelines that the Ministry of Energy has introduced. These guidelines would put the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System at incredible risk of degradation and destruction, something that should be avoided at all costs.
Your country’s barrier reef is one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet. Besides that, it brings in hundreds of millions of dollars of international tourism every single year. No matter how much money oil companies say that Belize could rake in if it opened up the reef for oil drilling, potential profit in the future is no sure thing. Why trade the economic boon the Belize Barrier Reef provides year in and year out for, in the long run, completely temporary energy profits that will leave the reef permanently scarred?
The Belize Barrier Reef is valued by people the world over and is recognized internationally as a World Heritage Site. I urge you to do everything you can to keep these new guidelines from becoming official and opening up the reef to destruction and deterioration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joseph Thomas