Eight Indian beaches recommended for Blue Flag international eco-label

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on September 19, 2020 that eight beaches of the country have been recommended for the ‘Blue Flag’ international eco-label. The minister said this on the eve of ‘International Coastal Clean-Up Day’ that is being celebrated across 100 countries since 1986.

Recommended Beaches

  • Mr Javadekar also announced India’s own eco-label ‘Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services’ (BEAMS) under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project.
  • The eight beaches that have been recommended  Under the BEAMS includes- Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman and Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden in Odisha and Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Beach Environment & Aesthetic Management System (BEAMS)

The BEAMS which is also referred as the Beach Management Services has been started under the integrated coastal zone management project of India. It has been started to plan a sustainable tourism and healthy coastal management in India by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). BEAMS will work to reduce pollutants on the beaches. The main objective of  BEAMS programme is to promote sustainable development in coastal regions of India. It also strives to achieve high international standards in four categories-

  1. Environmental Management that includes cleanliness and  solid waste management on beaches.
  2. Environmental Education.
  3. Safety & Security at beaches.
  4. Bathing Water Quality Standards.

Blue Flag certification

The Blue Flag Certification is awarded by a  Denmark based non-profit organization called the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). For the Blue Flag certificate, beaches needs to certify certain criteria related to environmental, educational, access and safety. There are 33 criteria in total. The certificate is awarded only to the local authorities or private operators of the member countries.

Key Facts about the Programme

  • The Blue Flag Programme was started in France in 1985, originally.
  • In 1987, it was presented to the  Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE ).
  • After that, it  became the European Blue Flag.
  • South Africa became the first country from outside Europe to join the programme, In 2001.
  • Then, the initiative changed its name to  “International Blue Flag”.
  • Currently, there are more than 4000 blue flag beaches worldwide.
  •  Spain have the largest number of blue flag certified beaches.

What all ” Blue Flag Certified” beaches does?

  • The Blue Flag is an eco-label. It is mandatory for the Blue flag beaches to  provide clean and hygienic bathing water to the tourists, besides the basic infrastructure.
  • Operators of beaches or boating tourism are also allowed to display the blue flag logo they have won.
  • It also check against the inequality, depletion of natural resources, disparity, unemployment, Pollution, health and environmental threats and other environmental degradation problems.

Blue Flag Mission

The mission have following objectives-

  • To Promote and participate in environmental educational programmes for the users of marinas, beaches and boating operators.
  • To Implement efficient safety and environmental management systems.
  • To take collaborative action and partnerships to promote sustainable tourism development.
  • To monitoring environmental conditions  to mitigate the impact of human activity.

Blue Flag Beaches in India

  • Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha is India’s first beach to get the blue flag certification.
  • It is also Asia’s first beach to get the Blue Flag certification.
  • In 2019, the Indian Government had identified following beaches under the blue flag certification:
  1. Ghoghala beach (Diu)
  2. Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat)
  3. Bhogave (Maharashtra)
  4. Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh)
  5. Bangaram beach (Lakshadweep)
  6. Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu)
  7. Padubidri and Kasarkod (Karnataka)
  8. Kappad beach (Kerala)
  9. Eden beach (Puducherry)
  10. Miramar beach (Goa)
  11. Golden beach (Odisha)
  12. Radhanagar beach (Andaman & Nicobar Islands)

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

It has been headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in 1981. It has 77 member countries, currently.

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