38 50








% Protected

Most of Belize’s protected areas are for management of resource use, not the preservation of nature. Still, the country has maintained much of its natural terrestrial and marine habitat, giving hope that nature in this lush region will be preserved well into the future.

Caye Caulker, Belize. Photo by Maegan Luckiesh.

Belize's Ecology

Though small in size, Belize is a critical biodiversity hotspot for both terrestrial and marine life. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is the largest coral reef in the Western hemisphere, a natural treasure, and a bank of valuable ecological services. Since gaining independence in 1981, Belize has significantly ramped up its conservation efforts. Still, these are plagued by lack of coordination between conservation groups and competition with priorities that value economic gains over the protection of irreplaceable nature.

Half (Mission Achieved)

Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.

Can Reach Half

Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.

Could Be Restored

Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.


Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.

The Nature Needs Half movement is only as strong as its member organizations. Discover more about the individuals and organizations who have committed to protecting 50% of the planet by 2050.
Become a Member


Belize eco region Barrier Reef Reserve System
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

Belize’s commitment to this World Heritage site resulted in the world’s first complete ban on bottom trawling. Still, the reef is in jeopardy of coral bleaching and pollution.

Belize eco region Bladen Nature Reserve
Bladen Nature Reserve

Bladen is a crown jewel in the Mesoamerican biodiversity corridor. Scarlet macaws, neotropical river otters, ocelot, and tapirs make this area their home.

Belize eco region Paynes Creek National Park
Payne’s Creek National Park

Black howler monkeys dominate the mangrove canopy shading four culturally significant Mayan sites that have been discovered within this protected area.

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