Blue Flag Certification
#GS3 #Environment #Conservation #Wildlife #Biodiversity
It is a proud moment for India as 8 beaches of India, spread across five states and two union territories, have been awarded the “BLUE FLAG” by an International Jury comprising of eminent members viz UNEP, UNWTO, FEE, IUCN.
- The beaches that have been awarded the ‘BLUE FLAG” are Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod, and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (AP), Golden (Puri-Odisha), and Radhanagar (A&N Islands).
- India has also been awarded the 3rd Prize by the International Jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions.
- It is an outstanding feat considering that no ‘Blue Flag’ nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt.
- India is also the first country in the “Asia-Pacific” region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time. Japan, South Korea, and UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years.
- Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), MoEFCC in pursuit of promoting its policies for sustainable development in coastal regions has embarked upon a highly acclaimed program “BEAMS” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project.
- This is one of the several other projects of Integrated Coastal Zone Management that the Government of India is undertaking for the sustainable development of coastal regions, striving for globally recognized and the coveted eco-label ‘Blue flag”.
- The objective of the BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters, promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources, and seriously challenge local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations. This program promotes beach recreation in absolute harmony with nature.
- It is India’s own eco-label.
About ‘Blue Flag’ certification
- The ‘Blue Flag’ beach is an ‘eco-tourism model’ and marks out beaches as providing tourists and beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, a safe and healthy environment, and sustainable development of the area.
- The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organization FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
- The Blue Flag Programme started in France (by the Foundation for Environmental Education) in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.
- Forty-seven countries currently participate in the program, and 4,573 beaches, marinas, and boats have this certification.
- Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.