Splash, slosh, diving into the great Blue Hole, dripping droplets of water into our fertile land of the free, making a mark on the majestic Victoria Peak and ending with our ear canals being melodiously filled by the cawing of the colorful Scarlet Macaws and our national bird; the Toucan; we are entering Belize, by the Caribbean sea. I invite you to embark on this educational and fact-based journey with me, while also making an important plea to all of us; Belize’s caretakers.
“The greatest threat to our planet, is the belief that someone else will save it. “(Green, 2016) Let these words resonate on our minds always. Belize, apart from being such a lovely gem as described above, is also considered a melting pot of races, and with so much diversity, we all have the purpose and the responsibility to contribute into creating an eco-friendly country.
From the Belize Barrier Reef (2nd largest barrier reef), home to indefinite fish species, to our very own Chiquibul National Park, protecting one of our Maya Sites (Caracol), and our pristine cayes (Laughing Bird, Sapodilla Caye, etc.) , Belize is the home of endless nature sightings. All of these treasures depict our rich cultures. “Bienvenidos, Akeyi (Kriol Dialect), Welcome, and Kiimak’oolal (Maya), are just some of the many languages you will encounter in Belize. The afore mentioned are complemented by unique types of wildlife. Our national animal; the mountain cow inhabits the rainforests on the low while high on trees you will encounter ocelots and pumas. Even while swimming you can feast your eyes on our mangrove trees, which mitigate erosion and maintain our waters clean while safeguarding the Belizean people from punitive weather. So as you can realize, an efficient way to protect and preserve all our areas, ecosystems and cultures is through green investments.
As we have transitioned into a post-pandemic world, travelers have been exploring more sustainable vacation choices than before, therefore, they are more conscious of their environmental impact due to traveling. Just this year, 2023 the United Nations highlighted green investments in tourism. These include: an emphasis on female leadership, ease of doing business (career development), and because women comprise 54% of workers and employees, they have begun closing the gender gap. Furthermore, responsible tourism is making visitors feel connected to the place they are visiting and cause minimum damage to the environment when traveling. Local community members must be involved in decision-making processes which was done from 2017-2018; “the climate-smart islands project” focusing on Belize by inviting locals for their knowledge on how climate mitigation can be achieved, linking to financially-sound securities. Thus, as you can understand, everything is inter-related. Finally, our jewel is the gate-way to security and a safe haven to many travelers, making it their number one option to venture to.
As the theme rightly suggests; it’s in our nature to be green, indeed Belize can continue being an innovative and one-of- a kind beauty if we all contribute in making it our personal responsibility to safe-guard our resources and our vast treasures; and I am not referring to monetary treasure, but nature-bound treasures. We can continue being a nation blessed with mountains and valleys, and blue lagoons in our land of the free; if we take action and work in fostering a green eco-friendly environment which will ultimately transform into a preserved and protected land for our melting pot of races. Let us build the Belize we dream of, make it a reality, not only for us, but for our people to come, because one at a time we can make a difference. Be the difference today!