Eight beaches in India have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification.The eight beaches that have received the international ‘Blue Flag’ certification are
- Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat),
- Ghoghla (Diu),
- Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka),
- Kappad (Kerala),
- Rushikonda (AP),
- Golden (Puri-Odisha)
- and Radhanagar (A&N Islands).
8 beaches of India, spread across five states and two union territories, have been awarded the “BLUE FLAG” 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.
What is Blue Flag Certification?
The Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label. Blue Flag is accorded by Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark.
Blue Flag certification is granted based on 33 criteria under four heads — (i) environmental education and information, (ii) bathing water quality, (iii) environment management and conservation, and (iv) safety and services at the beaches.
The Blue Flag certification is granted to beaches, marinas, or sustainable boating tourism operators that meet FEE’s set standards on the environment. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
India is the only country that has received the Blue Flag certification in 2 years’ time.India is now in the league of 50 “BLUE FLAG” countries.
India began its humble journey in 2018 for development of pilot beaches (one each in coastal states/UTs) and presented the first set of 08 beaches for the certification for the ensuing tourist season 2020.
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.
About BEAMS Program:
Beach Environment & Aesthetic Management System (BEAMS)
Infrastructure Facilities, Pollution Abatement & Safety/Surveillance Services for Pilot Beaches of India
A “Clean” Beach is the primary indicator of the Coastal environmental quality & management. However, the coastal region in India is highly susceptible to litter accumulation. The presence of such debris not only affects the aesthetic appeal of beaches negatively but also reduces their recreational (tourism) value drastically.
To plan sustainable tourism and healthy coastal management, MoEF&CC has conceived an integrated coastal management scheme viz. BEAMS (also referred to as Beach Management Services) to reduce existing pollutants on beaches and to aspire & achieve such high International Standards in India.
The main objective of setting up of BEAMS programme is to promote sustainable development in coastal regions of India for the beach management authorities to strive to achieve high international standards in four categories of:
- Environmental Management including cleanliness, solid waste management in beaches.
- Environment Education.
- Safety & Security of Beachgoers.
- Bathing Water Quality Standards.
SICOM has initiated the process for clean beaches in 13 pilot beaches (one pilot beach in every Coastal States/UTs) under this programme and inline with Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.