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Huatulco, Fonatur’s Comprehensively Planned Center (CIP), became the first tourist community in the Americas and the third in the world to achieve Green Globe environmental certification.

Bahias de Huatulco – Certified Destination


This World Certification Program recognizes the commitment to operate in the highest environmental standards in the world, since it is a global system that helps the international travel and tourism industry to achieve sustainability. “Green Globe provides a certification system that responds directly to the main environmental problems facing the plant, including the greenhouse effect, the abuse of water resources, the destruction of biodiversity, the production of solid and biological waste, as well as the issues social.

Fonatur announced that, to achieve certification, Huatulco had to overcome key areas of environmental performance, such as the use of water, waste management and the efficient use of energy.

The first certification for Huatulco was achieved in 2005, endorsing it in 2011 for the fifth consecutive year. In 2012 EC3 Global/EarthCheck and the Mexican Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) signed a collaboration agreement from which the federal agency creates the Sustainability Guarantee Badge for all those institutions certified by EarthCheck and not being the exception, Huatulco becomes the first tourist destination in Mexico to obtain the “S” Distinction in May 2013.


Bahías de Huatulco – or Huatulco Bays- is a Comprehensively Planned Center (CIP), implemented by the Government of Mexico through the National Fund for Tourism Development (FONATUR). Being located along the South Pacific Coast of Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca, Huatulco supports a very dynamic economy in tourism.

Huatulco contains 9 bays, 36 beaches and is strung along 35 kilometres of beautiful coastline. ITS population is barely 18,000 people but receives an average of 3,400 tourists daily, providing great pressure to the natural and social environment of the region. The southern Sierra Madre Mountains and the Coyula and Copalita rivers border the 21,000 hectares of this beautiful complex. Additionally, 78% of Huatulco ecological regeneration processes are being developed to preserve the natural balance of the region previously affected by logging, hunting and urban development.

Since 2003, Huatulco has been included in the RAMSAR Initiative for the Future of Wetlands, as site 1321, being categorised as a hydrographic basin and coral coast area. In 1998, the Mexican Government declared 6,375 hectares of lowland jungle along with 5,516 hectares of marine area as Huatulco National Park, later being designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2006.

For the year 2009 Huatulco obtains, for the fifth consecutive year, the certification under the Green Globe brand, achieving with this the Silver standard, under the environmental indicators of Earthcheck; thanks to the monitoring and control of emissions from direct sources (consumption of fossil fuels) and global sources (consumption of electrical energy); as well as the efficient management of water resources, reduction in the generation of garbage and conservation of biodiversity, keeping them within excellent practices (best practice) determined in the «Huatulco Benchmarking Assessment Report 2010».

In 2010, Chahué beach achieved the certification of “Clean Beach” before the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, the first certified beach in the state of Oaxaca; and it is in this year that Huatulco begins the migration to the EarthCheck brand, which commits to greater scopes in environmental control such as incorporating the monitoring of emissions into the atmosphere, to Scope 1 by Fugitive sources (Oxygen demand for sewage treatment); and optionally Scope 3 for Indirect sources (Travel, Supplies and Trash); which has allowed us in that same year to determine the Carbon Footprint (carbon footprint) of all economic activity, tourism, travel and supplies of tourism development based on the figures generated for the years 2009 and 2010 and propose with this,

At the beginning of 2011, Huatulco fully complied with the EarthCheck certification process corresponding to 2010, thus achieving the corresponding EarthCheck Gold certification as the first and only one in the American continent.

FONATUR understands the concept of Sustainability with a vision of respect for the conservation of the natural environment, promoting tourism, helping to strengthen the local economy, promoting its traditions and culture to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.

From 2008 to date, Fonatur has obtained the Socially Responsible Company distinction for 4 consecutive years and with this commitment contributes to the tourist destination with various actions.


The EarthCheck Community Program has helped Huatulco increase awareness of the environment and the preservation of natural resources. This has helped guide tourism growth by reducing the negative impacts of the industry on the area’s biodiversity. The full participation and commitment of both private and governmental organisations is encouraged throughout the three levels of Government, namely: Municipal, State and Federal.


Huatulco has positioned itself as a sustainable community and tourism destination, receiving benefits on both the national and international fronts. The community believes that tourism is a national economic priority, but it must go hand in hand with the conservation of the environment and the improvement of the quality of life of the local community. To achieve this goal, training and collection programs for children and adults are held on the first Saturday of each month. In them, attendees learn about the basic principles of recycling and reuse of materials and objects previously considered waste.

Similarly, more than 1,600 employees of the tourism industry, including large hotels and businesses, have attended the environmental training. Additionally, more than 4,700 students from elementary to university levels have attended training in sustainable tourism.


Some of the initiatives designed to improve Huatulco’s Sustainability performance include the development of a new sanitary landfill, in compliance with international regulations, which will facilitate the separation of recyclable waste from non-recyclable waste. This development is expected to allow a reduction in waste by at least 80%. A recycling centre will also be built for the collection of recyclable products such as newspapers, cardboard, metal and aluminium cans, glass and plastics that will later be transmitted to the companies in charge of recycling them. Each school will have its own waste collection, where the waste will be separated from recyclables and organics. The latter will be used in the composting process. This way, students will learn best waste management practices, along with other topics related to environmental protection through training programs. Finally, with the aim of reducing the use of plastic bags in Huatulco, educational campaigns in self-service stores will train users on the importance of using reusable bags for shopping. This in order to radically reduce the production of solid waste and reduce the potential damage to the already vulnerable marine life in the region. Education campaigns in self-service stores will train users on the importance of using reusable bags for shopping. This in order to radically reduce the production of solid waste and reduce the potential damage to the already vulnerable marine life in the region. Education campaigns in self-service stores will train users on the importance of using reusable bags for shopping. This in order to radically reduce the production of solid waste and reduce the potential damage to the already vulnerable marine life in the region.