Mexico Leader of Blue Flag Certifications in Latin AmericaBy María Fernanda Barría | Tue, 06/01/2021 - 12:59
Mexico has been awarded first place in Latin America under the Blue Flag certification and earned tenth place out of nearly 47 participant countries signed in the program. The program rewards and recognizes beaches and marinas that achieve outstanding environmental management.
The program, directed by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education FEE, was created in France in 1985 and extended outside the European continent in 2001.
According to the institute's website, some of the program's criteria are the control of environmental supervision, excellent water quality, the safety of services and facilities, and the application of ecological education.
The Ministry of Tourism reported that Mexico had been awarded 94 flags across the country, including three marinas in two states, 29 boats in Quintana Roo, and 62 beaches across nine states. Miguel Torruco Marques, Mexico's Minister of Tourism, recognizes that the efforts will improve tourists' perception of the country. More importantly, the international certification will promote the sustainable development of the seaside environment.
The certification represents high hopes for the Mexican tourism industry, especially now that the country has achieved four more flags than last year. The Minister of Tourism also indicated that "Mexico is ratifying its worldwide position, as it registers a sustained growth in the number of blue flags each season. It also reiterates its commitment to the care and preservation of the environment."
The strict criteria of the Blue Flag program has 33 indications that range from access and facilities provided for the physically disabled to environmental education activities offered and promoted to beach users. This with the objective to maintain community engagement to appropriate laws and regulations displayed. According to the institute's website, the certification is only given for one season and is valid as long as the criteria are achieved.
The Ministry of Tourism emphasized that the trend of growing demand for beaches free of pollutants and, more importantly, beaches operating under ecological schemes will remain and Blue Flags will continue to represent environmental awareness.
As previously reported by MBN, Mexico has struggled with sargassum turning the blue waters into a deep brown color. In a joint effort, researchers will implement a monitoring program through the Satellite Sargassum Monitoring System (SASAMS) project to track the growth and movement of seaweed throughout the coasts of the Mexican Caribbean to improve an environmental concern for the local tourism industry.