Green Globe certified properties Barceló Occidental Cozumel and Barceló Allegro Cozumel are located on the Mexican island of Cozumel in the Caribbean Sea, home to spectacular coral reefs and marine life.
Guest columnist Ricardo Bravo, Quality Manager at the resorts details the latest environmental and social initiatives undertaken by the two properties that aim to preserve their precious surroundings.
After receiving our Green Globe inaugural certifications at Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel in April, we have focused on renewing our path and vision regarding sustainability, particularly the new challenges and goals that this recognized accreditation represents.
Cozumel Island is currently experiencing significant changes and a transition towards a sustainable lifestyle that is environmentally compatible with the needs and fragility of the different eco-systems. As a company in a developing nation, we recognize that achieving sustainability is a long road to follow but we believe that providing a solid educational foundation and continuous training in sustainability, for our staff members as well as in the community, are necessary steps for the success of any environmental strategy.
Committed to the long-term wellbeing of Cozumel Island’s society and habitat, we have intensified our work in several fields and are proud to be an active part of the actions and efforts being carried out to transform and conserve our natural environment.
Coral Reef Protection
Recently, Cozumel has faced atypical events such as the massive arrival of sargassum seaweed. The disease spread by “white syndrome” has deeply depleted the biodiversity of the reefs, threatening the quality of the wildlife of the Riviera Maya and its surroundings.
Stringent strategies have been introduced to protect areas that are essential for all tourism activity. Federal authorities have decided to temporarily close the healthiest sections of the reef to visits and scuba diving in order to take the pressure off these very popular areas and prevent the further spread of the disease throughout the corals.
Both Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel resorts strongly support these conservation measures that raise environmental awareness amongst guests and staff and encourages responsible behavior when visiting these sites. The importance of these preventative actions needs to be highlighted and a focus placed on long-term benefits as it is through educating people about the fragility of these types of eco-systems that change will occur.
Joint Beach Clean-ups
Our Green Team has intensified our participation and involvement in volunteering work in various joint beach clean-ups (Limpieza Masiva). Recent clean-ups with staff members from both properties have been organized focusing on minimizing impacts on the most critical points of the island. Others aim to clear the beaches in preparation for the arrival of nesting sea turtles. Clean-ups are highly gratifying for us as all our staff and their families eagerly take part in them. They are also fun community experiences that educate and foster an appreciation of the beauty of local natural spots.
Working Together for the Future
We currently have the honor of being part of the Cozumel Water Committee, which aims to be a platform to start dialogue and enhance the exchange of information between stakeholders to facilitate a shared consensus on issues regarding the sustainable management of water bodies.
Finally, as there are no rivals or competitors only allies when working for the conservation of our ecosystems, we have increased collaborations with other companies including other hotels, schools, municipal institutions and NGOs.
Occidental Cozumel | Allegro Cozumel
Carretera Costera Sur km. 16.6
El Cedral, Cozumel, Q. Roo
T +52 987 872 9730