8 beaches of India, spread across 5 states and 2 union territories, have been awarded the “Blue Flag Certification” by an International Jury comprising of eminent members viz UNEP, UNWTO, FEE, IUCN. India has also been awarded a 3rd Prize by the International Jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions.
India is now in the league of 50 “BLUE FLAG” countries with Japan, South Korea and UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches.
Blue Flag Certification Beaches:
The beaches that have been awarded the ‘BLUE FLAG Certification” are:
- Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat),
- Ghoghla (Diu),
- Kasarkod (Karnataka)
- Padubidri (Karnataka),
- Kappad (Kerala),
- Rushikonda (AP),
- Golden (Puri-Odisha) and
- Radhanagar (A&N Islands).
What is Blue Flag Certification
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its standards. The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE which is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries.
FEE’s Blue Flag criteria include standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. The Blue Flag is sought for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
Spain has held the 1st position for nearly three decades since the awards began in 1987 with about 578 blue flag beaches.
India is planning to taking this journey forward to 100 such beaches in the country in the next five years.
SICOM, MoEFCC, in its pursuit of “Sustainable Development” of the coastal regions of India embarked upon a highly acclaimed & flagship program “BEAMS” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project. This was aimed at striving for the coveted International eco-label “Blue flag”, accorded by The Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark.
The objective of the BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters & beaches, promote sustainable development of beach amenities/ facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources and encourage local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment norms & regulations. This program promotes beach tourism and recreation in absolute harmony with nature; and is unique in that sense.