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The State of Quintana Roo

The State of Quintana Roo
1.3 million (2011)
Mex$163 billion
The State of Quintana Roo


Situated on the Yucatán Peninsula in South-eastern Mexico, Quintana Roo is also home to the city of Cancún, which lies north of the state capital, Chetumal. Despite being one of the smallest of Mexico’s 31 states by population and land area, it contains some of the most densely forested regions in the world as well as a number of UNESCO world heritage sites including ancient Mayan ruins.

The region’s main economic activity is tourism. Last year the region saw nearly three million visitors, and the state population is expanding rapidly due to the construction of hotels and the demand for workers. As a result of the high demand for tourism, the local environment is under stress.

In May 2011, the Plan “Green Quintana” was approved, containing four main projects on climate change, air quality, solid waste management and the treatment of the Bojorquez marsh.

In August 2010, the governor presided over the creation of the State Commission on Climate Change which generated a number of environmental policies. With the support of the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) and The Nature Conservancy, it committed to the Yucatan Peninsula Regional Strategy for the Reduction of Emissions due to Deforestation and Degradation of Forest Lands (“REDD+”). This strategy uses regulated and voluntary markets and free-market principles to mitigate climate change.

In 2009, SEDUMA (the Ministry of Urban Development and the Environment), with the participation of PRONATURA, a conservation organization, implemented a project to neutralize emissions of greenhouse gases in the Ministry’s operations.

At the end of 2009, the State Government, through SEDUMA, put together a working group comprised of three levels of government to review and propose a plan of actions focused on the clean-up recovery, conservation and sustainable use of the Nichupté Lagoon System.

Current Activities

Energy efficiency

Nearly 40% of Cancún’s restaurants have participated in the Energy Saving Trust (“FIDE”) programs and have changed their refrigeration and fighting equipment to more efficient models.

A change of street lighting technology will result in a 51% reduction in energy use. The state’s carbon trading framework has prompted a project to change 25,500 LED lamps in the state capital and rural communities. 

Renewable energy  

The island of Cozumel, a popular tourist destination, will be home to an 85 megawatts wind farm on State-owned land with the first turbines in operation in early 2012. The project is being run by Power Group Mexico, with a total investment of Mex$2.5 billion, along with others in Baja California and Zacatecas.

Clean transport

A proposal to purchase of hybrid-electric vehicles for government fleets is being considered.

Sustainable land use

60% of the state’s area is regulated by ecological ordinance programs.

A reforestation program is in progress – to date over 891,000 native plants have been planted.

Waste management

The “Recyclethon” program collects paper, cardboard, glass, metal and household appliances for recycling. This reduces waste to landfill.


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