Eight Beaches of India have been awarded “BLUE FLAG” certification by Denmark based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). India became the First Country to be awarded the Coveted International Blue Flag certification for 8 beaches in one attempt.
It was selected by an International Jury consisting of eminent members from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), FEE & International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
List of 8 beaches:
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
i.Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the only other Asian nations to be conferred with Blue Flag Certification.
ii.India joins the list of 50 countries with “Blue Flag” certifications.
iii.The Government of India is planning to bring 100 beaches for “Blue Flag” certification in the next five years.
Criteria for Blue Flag Certification:
No industrial wastage should affect the beach area; health of the coral reefs must be ensured.
Environmental Education and Information:
Information relating to coastal zone ecosystems and natural, sensitive areas in the coastal zone should be displayed.
Facilities for receiving recyclable waste materials to be made available in the beach. Also adequate facilities for clean sanitary facilities and controlled sewage disposal should also be available.
Safety and Services:
Adequate number of lifeguards, lifesaving equipment and First aid equipment must be available.
Blue Flag Programme:
i.The Blue Flag is given by Copenhagen (Denmark) based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). FEE is the World’s Largest Environmental Education Organisation.
ii.In order to qualify for the prestigious label, the beaches have to meet a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria.
International Best Practices:
India bagged the 3rd Prize under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions.
India eco-label BEAMS:
i.On the occasion of International Coastal Cleanup Day 2020 (September 19, 2020) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched India’s own eco-label BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) with an aim to reduce pollution and to maintain high standards of cleanliness, safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment and regulations.
ii.Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), MoEFCC launched the BEAMS program under ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) for promoting policies for Sustainable development in coastal regions.
Recent Related News:
i.On occasion of International Coastal Clean-Up Day (September 19, 2020), MoEFCC announced that Eight Beaches of India have been recommended for International eco-label “Blue Flag”.
ii.On 11th August 2020, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment Forest &Climate Change(MoEFCC) launched a booklet on “Best practices of Human-Elephant Conflict Management in India” to strengthen coexistence of the human-elephant, along with the Beta Version of “Surakhsya”.
About Foundation for Environment Education (FEE):
President – Lesley Jones
Headquarters – Copenhagen, Denmark