As feared, the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Seville, Spain, has decided to place the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System in their list of endangered World Heritage sites. The central problem with the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System concerns mangrove cutting and excessive development in the property which was inscribed in 1996 as the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, with offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. While requesting stricter control of development on the site, the Committee also requested that the moratorium on mangrove cutting on the site, which expired in 2008, be reinstated.
Colombia’s Los Katios National Park was also placed on the World Heritage Danger List at the request of Colombia, who is hoping to mobilize international support for the preservation of the property which is threatened by deforestation in areas inside and around the property due to the illegal extraction of timber. The site is also suffering from illegal fishing and hunting.