Two Caribbean destinations made ProTraveller’s “list of 20” places set to significantly change due to the current climate crises. The Belize Barrier Reef and the Virgin Islands are identified as being at risk of being lost to the now annual global rise in temperatures.
Designated as a World Heritage Site, the Belize Barrier Reef is the largest in the Caribbean and one of the largest coral reefs in the world second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is one of the biggest tourist’s attractions for Belize and it is already suffering climate related damage despite protections.
“The global climate crises is a reality” stated Roberto Mukaro Borrero, a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People. “Our elders have been noting serious changes in the environment for years but most governments are not taking the wisdom of local people seriously or including them in regional plans to mitigate this crisis.”
Borrero was part of a delegation of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples who spoke out on climate change at the United Nations recently during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Made up of indigenous leaders from Dominica, Barbados, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, the delegation worked together at the UN under the auspices of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the Greater Caribbean. In a special session entitled “Climate Change and Biological Diversity: A Caribbean First Nations Perspective” the group highlighted links between climate change and tourism, as well as human rights issues.
As mandated by international frameworks such as the Barbados Plan of Action, the Caucus called for great inclusion of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples in all processes that affect them especially with regard to the environment and climate change.
Photo: The coastal area of Belize is an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries.