International Blue Flag Certification: The coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag”, has been accorded the Blue Flag Certification for 2 new Indian beaches.
- The beaches are Eden in Puducherry and Kovalam in Tamil Nadu.
Note: The Blue Flag certification is accorded by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark.
- The FEE, Denmark has also given re-certification for eight nominated beaches – Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, which were awarded the Blue Flag certificate in 2020.
- These eight beaches had got the Blue Flag certification on October 6, 2020.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in its pursuit of “Sustainable Development” of the coastal regions of India embarked upon a highly acclaimed & flagship program Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS).
- India had started its journey of sustainable development of coastal regions on World Environment Day in June 2018.
- BEAMS is one of the initiatives under Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) approach that the MoEF&CC has undertaken for the sustainable development of coastal regions of India.
- Its prime objective to protect and conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through holistic management of the resources.
- This was aimed for achieving the globally recognized and the coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag”.
Objectives of BEAM:
- 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.
- The MoEF&CC, in the last three years, have achieved commendable results in environmental management of these 10 beaches and some of them are enumerated below:
- Sand dune restoration and nourishment of 95,000 Sqm (approx.) with native plantation.
- Reduction in marine litter by 85 % and 78% in marine plastic in last 3 years.
- Scientific & responsible disposal of 750 tonnes of marine litter.
- Improvement in cleanliness level from “C” (poor) to “A++(outstanding) through scientific measurement system
- Saving of 1100 ML/year of municipal water through recycling
- 3 years’ database on regular testing of bathing water quality (physical, chemical and biological contamination) and health risk monitoring.
- Approx. 1,25,000 beach goers are educated for responsible behaviour in the beaches
- Increase in footfall for recreation activities by approx. 80% leading to economic development.
- Alternate livelihood opportunities for 500 fishermen families through pollution abatement, safety & services.
- The Ministry is further committed to develop and deliver 100 more beaches under its ICZM initiative in the ensuing 5 years of Ministry’s vision agenda.
About Blue Flag Certification:
- Blue Flag certification is a globally recognized eco-label accorded on the basis of 33 stringent criteria in four major heads which are:
- Environmental education and information
- Bathing water quality
- Environmental management
- Conservation and safety and services in the beaches
- The recommendations are done by an independent national jury composed of eminent environmentalists and scientists.
- Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world.
- The Blue Flag label is accorded by the international jury composed of eminent members –
- United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP)
- United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
- Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)