What is Blue Flag certification that has been awarded to two more Indian beaches? Explained
Two more beaches in India have been awarded ‘Blue Flag’ certification. Know all about Blue Flag beaches in India.
Blue Flag Beaches in India: Two more beaches, namely Kovalam beach in Tamil Nadu and Eden beach in Puducherry in India have been awarded ‘Blue Flag’ certification, the Environment Ministry informed on September 21, 2021. The total number of beaches in India with the Blue Flag certification has now reached ten, of which eight beaches got the certification on October 6, 2020. These eight beaches have been given re-certification as well. Blue Flag beaches are considered to be the cleanest beaches in the world, as per Environment Ministry.
Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav tweeted to mark this as another milestone in India’s journey towards a Clean and Green India led by PM Narendra Modi.
Happy to announce India now has 10 International Blue Flag beaches with the addition of Kovalam & Eden beaches this year and recertification for 8 beaches which got the tag in 2020. Another milestone in our journey towards a clean and green India led by PM Shri @NarendraModi Ji. pic.twitter.com/UzocIJhyzD— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) September 21, 2021
Which 10 beaches in India have been awarded Blue Flag certification?
Blue flag beaches in India 2021
Two more beaches, namely Kovalam beach in Tamil Nadu and Eden beach in Puducherry in India have been awarded ‘Blue Flag’ certification on September 22, 2021. The total number of beaches in India with the Blue Flag certification has now reached 10, of which 8 beaches got the certification on October 6, 2020. These eight beaches have been re-certified as well.
Blue flag beaches in India 2020
In 2020, eight beaches in India were given the Blue Flag certification. It was an outstanding feat as no nation has ever been awarded Blue Flag for eight beaches in a single attempt. These eight beaches are:
(i) Kappad (Kerala)
(ii) Shivrajpur (Gujarat)
(iii) Ghoghla (Diu)
(iv) Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka)
(v) Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh)
(vi) Golden (Odisha)
(vii) Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands)
What is Blue Flag certification?
The Blue Flag certification is an international eco-level tag that is given by the Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE). FEE Denmark regularly monitors and audits for strict compliance with the 33 criteria at all times. The Certification is given to a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator. It serves as an eco-label. It is awarded annually.
The international jury comprises members are from:
(i) Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE),
(ii) United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO),
(iii) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
(iv) International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),
(v) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
A waving ‘Blue Flag’ indicates 100 per cent compliance with these 33 stringent criteria and showcases the sound health of the beach across four major areas under the Blue Flag programme.
What is Blue Flag programme?
The Blue Flag programme began in France in 1985 and areas outside Europe in 2001. The programme recognizes and promotes sustainable development across freshwater and marine water bodies through four main areas: environmental management, water quality, environmental education, and safety.
Development of beaches to achieve Blue Flag certification - Background
The Environment Ministry achieved the below-mentioned results during the process of environmental management and sustainable development of the 10 beaches with Blue Flag certification.
•Sand dune restoration and nourishment of 95,000 sqm (approx.) with native plantation,
•Reduction in marine plastic by 78 per cent and marine litter by 85 per cent in the past 3 years,
•Responsible and scientific disposal of 750 tonnes of marine litter,
•Improved cleanliness level from ‘C’ (poor) to ‘A’ (outstanding) through scientific measurement system,
•Saved up to 1,100 ml/year of municipal water through recycling,
•Educated around 1,25,000 beachgoers about responsible behavior at the beaches,
•Generated alternate livelihood opportunities to 500 fishermen families through pollution abatement, safety, and services,
•Increase in footfall for recreational activities at the Indian beaches by approximately 80 per cent leading to economic development.
Sustainable development of coastal regions by Environment Ministry
The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change had started the sustainable development of coastal regions on World Environment Day in June 2018 with the launch of a beach cleaning campaign called ‘I am saving my beach’ across 13 coastal states. The Ministry later implemented the program Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS).
BEAMS is a program that focuses on the sustainable development of the coastal regions in India. It is an initiative under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The prime objective of ICZM is to conserve and protect the coastal and marine ecosystems through the holistic management of resources.
Objectives of BEAMS programme:
•Decrease pollution in coastal waters,
•Promote sustainable development of beach facilities,
•Conserve and protect coastal ecosystems and natural resources,
•Challenge local authorities and stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene and safety for beachgoers in compliance with coastal environment and regulations.
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