Blue Flag Certification
- The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certificate given to any seashore by an international non-governmental organization named ‘Foundation for Environmental Education’.
- This Certificate is given by an international jury, which includes members of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- The Blue Flag was created in France in 1985, as a pilot scheme from the Office of the Foundation for Environmental Education where French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of criteria covering sewage treatment and bathing water quality. 11 French municipalities got the award in 1985.
- The ‘Blue Flag Sea Beach’ is considered to be the cleanest beach in the world.
- If a beach gets the Blue Flag certificate, it means that the beach is plastic free, dirt free and equipped with facilities like solid waste management.
- Under Blue Flag standards, a beach has to meet 33 environmental and tourism conditions. These terms are divided into four broad categories. Services including environmental education and information, quality of bathing water, environmental management and safety.
Blue Flag Beaches in india
The Foundation for Environmental Education, Denmark has awarded Blue Flag certification to –
Minicoy Thundi Beach, Lakshadweep
Kadmat Beach, Lakshadweep
Now the total blue flag beach in India is 12.
Ten other beaches that have received this certification:
1. Shivrajpur, Gujarat
2. Ghoghla, Daman and Diu
3. Kasarkode, Karnataka
4. Padubidri beach, Karnataka
5. Kappad, Kerala
6. Rushikonda, Andhra Pradesh
7. Golden Beach, Odisha
8. Radhanagar Coast, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
9. Kovalam Beach of Tamil Nadu
10. Eden beach of Puducherry
Government of India’s efforts to develop beaches
- India has launched its eco-label “Beam” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under Integrated Coastal Zone Management. This project is one of the many other projects of ICZM which is being implemented by the Government of India for sustainable development of coastal areas to achieve the globally recognized coveted eco label Blue Flag.
- The objective of BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters, promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources, and seriously challenge local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.
Beam has achieved commendable results in environmental management of these 10 beaches like :
- Saving of 1100 ML/year of municipal water through recycling,
- Improvement in cleanliness level from “C” (poor) to “A++(outstanding) through scientific measurement system,
- Reduction in marine litter by 85 % and 78% in marine plastic in last 3 years and others.