The International Coastal Clean-Up Day has been celebrated across 100 countries since 1986 on September 19. On this day, volunteers clean beaches, waterways and oceans to protect them from impacts of plastic and trash. The movement was started by Linda Maraniss & Kathy O’Hara of the United States.
i.Linda met O’Harra while working for Ocean Conservancy, when O’Hara completed the report “Plastics in the Ocean: More Than a Litter Problem”.
ii.They conducted their first cleanup by reaching out to ocean-lovers and organized a Cleanup for Ocean Conservancy.
Initiatives by Government of India:
On the eve of International Coastal Clean-Up Day 2020 (i.e on 18th September, 2020), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) organized a virtual event and launched initiatives for Coastal Clean-Up.
Eight Beaches of India recommended for International eco-label “Blue Flag”:
i.During the virtual event, MoEFCC announced that for the first time eight beaches of India have been recommended for the prestigious International eco-label, the Blue Flag certification.
ii.The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman & Diu, Kasargod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.
iii.The recommendations have been done by an Independent National Jury which consists of eminent environmentalists and scientists.
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.
India Launches its own eco-label BEAMS:
i.During the virtual event, 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.
Flag Hoisting Program:
The Flag Hoisting Program (#IAMSAVINGMYBEACH) was conducted simultaneously at these 8 beaches virtually from MOEFCC and physically at the beach by their respective Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Chairman of Beach Management Committees (BMCs).
World Bank appreciates India’s efforts towards clean beaches:
World Bank’s India Director Mr. Zunaid Khan appreciated India’s efforts in cleaning up its beach and called India’s policies for sustainable coastal zone management as “Lighthouse” for other countries.
Recent Related News:
i.On August 7, 2020 UNESCO recognised Venkatraipur and Noliasahi, villages of Odisha as ‘Tsunami Ready’ for their overall preparedness to face the tsunami. Odisha became the first state in India and India became the 1st Country in the Indian Ocean region to achieve the honour.
ii.On July 28, 2020, the government appointed the former chairman of Coal India Ltd. (CIL), Anil Kumar Jha, as a member of Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) that deals with violation of environment rules.
About Foundation for Environment Education:
President – Lesley Jones
Headquarters – Copenhagen, Denmark
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Union Minister – Prakash Javadekar
Minister of State (MoS) – Babul Supriyo