Belize, Costa Rica, Thailand, Madagascar
(clockwise from top left)
Compare the forest cover of these countries.
Madagascar at bottom left represents perhaps the
world's greatest ecological disaster. A wealth of
endemic species of animals and plants have already
gone extinct, with many more expected to be lost.
On the positive side, Belize is blessed. With its abundant
flora and fauna, its magnificent reefs, a cultural heritage of Garifuna and Maya
(past and present), Belize has become a
haven for eco-tourism. If one examines listings on the
of rainforest lodges, tiny Belize has a disproportionately high
number. But, beware of complacency. Many reefs around
the world are dying. Belize cannot control global warming. As
tourism is now Belize's leading industry, it must protect its
forests - it may be unable to protect its reefs!