Earth Check is the organization responsible for setting the high standards of environmental mandates of which Huatulco adheres to.
Huatulco is truly a beautiful place, and it is great to see that the same standards that earned Huatulco the first Green Globe award in 2005, will continue into the future.
The Minister of Tourism and Economic Development, Jose Zorrilla de San Martín Diego, said that protecting the environment requires attention, responsibility and commitment to society and government to ensure the future of new generations.
He stressed that Oaxaca is renowned for its biodiversity, which ranks first nationally for its concentration of species. As well, Oaxaca contains 23 of the 30 types of vegetation zones.
Mr. San Martin Diego said the Clean Beaches Committee, is also launching an Adopt a Beach Program, which aims to create a culture of prevention and correction of pollution, with the responsible participation of the sectors of society. There is a real need to continue to work together to ensure the tourist destinations of Oaxaca support "clean beach" initiatives, and are credited as clean and safe destinations.
There is still work required to implement water monitoring campaigns, construction of toilets and ramps for the disabled, placing information signs and environmental recommendations, and location of containers for solid waste collection along the beach, among other tasks. However, there have been numerous strides made already and there are great things to come.
For example, in 2010 Chahué Beach was awarded with the "Clean Beach" award by the Federal Attorney for the Protection of the Environment (PROFEPA). This was the first beach certified with such an honor in the State of Oaxaca.
Also, the "environmental footprint" of Huatulco was determined, which takes into account all economic, tourist, travel, and supply activities related to the area. From here, a proposal was drafted and presented to neutralize carbon emissions, applying a voluntary green bonus program with the United Nations, and aiming to become the first tourism destination on the American continent, and possibly the world to become carbon neutral.
Finally, this year, for the seventh straight year, Huatulco received the Earth Check Gold Certification for complying to, and exceeding the highest levels in environmental stewardship. This year marks an increase from the Silver status of 2009.
Tomorrow, I will follow up with more compelling news on the environmental front lines of Huatulco.