The series of coral reefs that straddles the coast of Belize is called as the Belize Barrier Reef. It is a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which is the second largest reef system after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. This is one of the seven underwater wonders of the world.
This barrier reef has one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world which has a large diversity of plants and animals. There are 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish and hundreds of invertebrate species that are found here. With this great number, it is being said that only ten percent of the reef has been studied till now. The rest ninety percent still remains undiscovered.
This place is also one of the World Heritage Sites since 1996. This place has exceptional beauty and a significant natural treasure to it so it needs to be protected and conserved. This is also a place where in-situ conservation of biological diversity takes place naturally. Also this place has been exposed to threats like oceanic pollution, uncontrolled tourism, shipping, fishing etc. Coral bleaching is another danger which is affecting the corals due to global warming and rise in ocean temperatures.