Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

The largest coral reef in the Northern Hemisphere is no longer endangered

The largest coral reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, the Belize Barrier Reef, was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage in Danger in 2009 over fears of "mangrove cutting and excessive development in the property." The Belizean government responded to the threat by making a "transformational shift," UNESCO's marine program coordinator, Fanny Douvere, told The New York Times, and its hard work paid off — this week the reef was removed from UNESCO's list of endangered sites.

Conservationists credit the Belizean government for suspending offshore drilling and implementing new protections for the mangrove forests. "Today’s outcome shows the power of collective action … and sets an example for the rest of the world," said the UNESCO World Heritage Center director, Dr. Mechtild Rossler.