‘Eight Beaches awarded the Blue Flag Certification’

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    21st Oct, 2020

Context

Eight beaches in India have been awarded the coveted ‘Blue Flag’ certification by an eminent international jury, which comprises members of the-

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
  • Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

About

What is the ‘Blue Flag’ certification?

  • The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label.
  • The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education, which sets stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria that applicants must meet and maintain.
  • It is awarded annually to beaches and marinas in FEE member countries.

Criteria for certification

  • Blue Flag certification is granted based on 33 criteria under four heads –
    • environmental education and information
    • bathing water quality
    • environment management and conservation
    • safety and services at the beaches

Which beaches are selected for certification?

  • The beaches selected for the certificationare:
    • Kappad (Kerala)
    • Shivrajpur (Gujarat)
    • Ghoghla (Diu)
    • Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka)
    • Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh)
    • Golden (Odisha)
    • Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands)

Item for Box

  • India is the only country that has received the Blue Flag certification in 2 years' time.
  • apan, South Korea and UAE are the only other Asian nations that have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years.
  • With the feat, India is now in the league of 50 'Blue Flag' countries.
  • Spain tops the list with more than 560 such beaches; Greece and France follow.

Background

  • The Blue Flag programme was started in France in 1985 and in areas out of Europe in 2001.
  • Forty-seven countries currently participate in the program, and 4,573 beaches, marinas, and boats have this certification.
  • In its July 2019 notification, the Environment Ministry identified the following beaches in India for Blue Flag certification: Shivrajpur (Devbhumi Dwarka, Gujarat), Bhogave (Sindhudurg, Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu, Daman and Diu), Miramar (Panjim, Goa), Kasarkod (Karwar, Karnataka), Padubidri (Udupi, Karnataka), Kappad (Kozhikode, Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Puri, Odisha), and Radhanagar (Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar).

What activities are permitted in the CRZ of certain beaches?

  • According to the notification issued in January, the following activities and facilities would be permitted in the CRZ of the beaches, including islands, subject to maintaining a minimum distance of 10 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL):
    • Portable toilet blocks, change rooms and shower panels;
    • Grey water treatment plant;
    • Solid waste management plant;
    • Solar power plant;
    • Purified drinking water facility;
    • Beach access pathways;
    • Landscaping lighting;
    • Seating benches and sit-out umbrellas;
    • Outdoor play / fitness equipment;
    • CCTV surveillance and control room;
    • First aid station;
    • Cloak room facility;
    • Safety watch towers and beach safety equipment;
    • Beach layout, environment information boards and other signages;
    • Fencing, preferably vegetative;
    • Parking facilities;
    • Entry gate, tourist facilitation centre; and
    • Other associated facilities or infrastructure, as per requirements of Blue Flag Certification.
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