At a glance
Belize’s economy, like that of all Caribbean low-lying coastal countries, is based on agriculture, fishing, timber, and tourism industries. Belize has been prone to cyclical hurricane damage, tidal wave, floods and wind damage, which have affected agriculture, property and infrastructure, and devastated the economy. During the last 75 years, 21 tropical storms have been recorded in Belize. One out of every three storms has been a hurricane of category 3 severity, and the incidence of those extreme events has increased in recent years.
A rise in sea level threatens potential consequences such as coastal erosion and land loss, flooding, soil salinisation, and intrusion of saltwater into groundwater aquifers. The quantity and quality of available water supplies can affect agricultural production and human health. Similarly, changes in sea surface temperature and ocean circulation could affect marine organisms including corals, sea grasses, and fish stocks.
In 2009, the Government of Belize adopted a National Integrated Water Management Policy and a National Adaptation Strategy to address climate change in the water sector. The strategy provides a solid foundation for mainstreaming climate change into the sector.