Yesterday, while the country was enjoying the end of their holiday weekend, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center was busy on Southwater Caye. They were handing over a new state-of-the-art piece of equipment.

This one is designed specifically to monitor the changes in climate, and how it negatively affects our coral reef system. As is well known, Belize boasts the second largest Barrier Reef in the World, and the largest in the Americas, and such an equipment is seen as important to maintaining a World Heritage Site.

Our News Team went to Southwater Caye with them, and Daniel Ortiz got to see first hand how it works. Here's his story:

Daniel Ortiz reporting
At a casual glance, you might mistake this for an ordinary buoy. At a closer look, however, you might notice that it is mounted with very sophisticated measuring instruments. They're all there to check changes in climate and weather.

This equipment is called the Coral Reef Early Warning System - or CREWS for short. Each Crews is a station all on its own, and its purpose to measure how climate change affects the different reef systems in the Caribbean.

This is 1 of 6, stationed all around the Caribbean, and it was chosen to be placed off the coast of South Water Caye because it's right on the country's Barrier Reef System.

Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director, CCCC
"The CREWS station that we have in Belize is one of 6 other stations that the center has installed in the Caribbean, so it is a network. In terms of Belize the importance of a CREWS station is so we can monitor not just what is happening above the atmosphere, but also in the sea."

It measures most climatic factors about sea level:

Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director, CCCC
"On the buoy you will notice we have the standard anemometer so we measure the winds, we also measure the pressure, we measure the radiation that is coming in. We measure not only the radiation, but the amount of ultraviolet light that is coming in. So we measure the normal meteorological conditions."

But it also takes a closer look at what's happening in the sea itself, and how that is affecting the country's coral reef systems

Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director, CCCC
"Below the buoy in the water we have sensors as well that will measure the currents, the amount of Co2 that is absorb in the water. We measure the amount of pollution that is in the water. We think in terms of climate change that it is the rising temperatures and so on that are the only problems that we will be faced with, however most of the Co2 that is emitted in the atmosphere ends up in the ocean, it is absorbed and as a result it changes the PH factor and makes the ocean more acidic."

And the more acidic the waters are, the harsher the environment is, reducing the ability of the different coral systems to grow, regenerate or replenish damaged areas.

All of this data is important to scientists both locally and internationally. So, to accommodate everyone studying the effects of climate change on reef systems, the CREWS Station takes measurements and records data continuously throughout the day. It is automated, and monitored closely.

Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director, CCCC
"These stations unlike one that is absorb once every 24 hours and so on, records continuously and that data is transmitted to a central station throughout the day either via internet or by satellite. In the case of Belize it goes to our main office in Belmopan via internet and then from there into the international arena."

At the Ceremony, the Dr. Leslie along with EU Ambassador, Paula Amadei signed over the CREWS System to the Government of Belize, which was represented by Adele Catzim-Sanchez, the CEO of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development.

Channel 7