Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), launched a dedicated website (www.swachhsagar.org) to support the ongoing “Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar/Clean Coast Safe Sea” Campaign 2022—a 75-day citizen-led campaign to improve ocean health through collaborative action.
- With the greatest number of participants, it is the first-of-its-kind and longest-running coastal clean-up campaign in the world.
- This campaign aims to create a mass behavioural change among the general public by raising awareness about how plastic usage is killing our marine life.
He has also launched the Campaign Logo “Vasuki”, which is dedicated to the youth of India, as they, like school students, are interested in participating in coastal and beach cleaning activities.
“Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar/Clean Coast Safe Sea” Campaign 2022
i.Under the “Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar/Clean Coast Safe Sea” Campaign 2022, the MoES has begun a coastal clean-up drive with a goal of cleaning75 beaches across India in 75 days.
ii.The initiative commenced on July 03, 2022, and will conclude with the largest beach cleaning event on September 17, 2022, also known as International Coastal Clean-up Day 2022, covering 75 beaches across India’s 7,500+ km (kilometres) of coastline.
- The world observes “International Coastal Clean Up Day ” on the third Saturday in September, every year. In 2022, it falls on September 17.
iii.Objective: To gather scientific data and knowledge on marine debris in a number of matrices, including beaches, sediments, and coastal waters.
iv.It has 3 strategic goals that emphasise changing behaviour in order to reform society and protect the environment. The 3 goals of the campaign are to
- Consume Responsibly
- Segregate Waste at Home
- Dispose Responsibly
v.In addition to the MoES (the nodal Ministry), other government agencies involved in this campaign are Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, the National Service Scheme (NSS), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Seema Jagran Manch, SFD, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Paryavaran Sanrakshan Gatividhi (PSG).
vi.The “Eco Mitram“ mobile app has been launched to raise awareness about the campaign and to encourage the general public to volunteer for the beach cleaning activities on September 17, 2022.
- In India, September 17, 2022—which also happens to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday—is observed as “Sewa Divas.“
- The Indian Ocean is the only ocean named after a country, i.e., India.
i.The event in 2022 coincides with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, and the coastal clean-up effort will be carried out at 75 beaches across India, with 75 volunteers for every kilometre of coastline.
ii.As a signatory to theU campaign of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),India has adopted this approach to help efforts to curb pollution from both land-based and offshore operations.
- This measure is consistent with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and Target 14.1, which aims to “prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution” by the year 2025.
Key Highlights of The Campaign
i.The ongoing pan-India Coastal Clean-Up campaign is based on a whole-of-government strategy, with active participation from various ministries and departments.
ii.The first 20 days of the campaign witnessed removal of more than 200 tonnes of garbage, primarily single-use plastic, from the seashores.
Union Minister Bhupender Yadav Participates in Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar Campaign at the UT of Puducherry
On August 27, 2022, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, MoEFCC, led the Beach Cleaning and Awareness Campaign alongside Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister (CM) N. Rangaswamy.
- The campaign at the Promenade beach was commemorated by schoolchildren and beach users taking a pledge in English and Tamil titled “I Am Saving My Beach.”
- The dignitaries launched a walkathon with 100 school students, cyclists, and a float titled “Connecting with the Ocean.”
Initiative Of MoEFCC to Certify Indian Beaches
i.The MoEFCC has launched a programme to accredit Indian beaches across the nation with the “Blue Flag“. This certification is awarded by the “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark,” a global organisation, and is based on 33 stringent guidelines subdivided into 4main categories:
- Environmental Education and Information
- Bathing Water Quality
- Environment Management and Conservation &
- Beach Safety and Services
ii.The “Blue Flag” beach is an Eco-Tourism model that strives to give visitors and beachgoers access to amenities, facilities, a safe and healthy environment, a clean and sanitary bathing water and long-term eco-development of the region.
- The Eden Beach in Puducherry has been recognised as a Blue Flag Beach since September 2020 and is one of the first eight beaches in the category.
Recent Related News:
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, attended the “UN Ocean Conference 2022” in Lisbon, Portugal. During the conference, he delivered the keynote address on the theme “Scaling up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for Goal 14 Implementation: Stock Taking, Partnerships, and Solutions.”
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Union Minister – Bhupender Yadav (Rajya Sabha – Rajasthan)
Minister of State (MoS) – Ashwini Kumar Choubey