Much of the recent history of Belize from the time self government was achieved in 1964 were in the political and social field. Post independence however, the environmental, economic and social fields were the main beneficiaries of development. Passage of the Wildlife Protection Act and the National Parks System Act in 1981 were important laws passed for the protection of the natural environment in the country. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Jaguar reserve were created in 1986 and 1987 respectively.
A number of economic developments also occurred in the country after the country gained independence. One of the new sectors was the shrimp mariculture industry which started in 1982 and peaked around 2000 – 2003.
Tourism which had its origins in the 1950s took off significantly between 1984 and 2003. The most lucrative period occurred between 2000 and 2003 when cruise tourism took off in Belize.
Developments in the social field also occurred with the gaining of independence. Social Security was launched in June of 1981. Since the initial days of Social Security, changes at the fund have encompassed a combination of extension of social protection, strengthening of the scheme’s administration and implementation of strategies to ensure sustainability of the fund. Other advancements in the social arena have included the development of BELCAST in 1981, the University College of Belize in 1984 and the University of Belize in 2000.