News: Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has virtually hoisted the international blue flags in 8 beaches across the country.
- During October 2020; Eight beaches of India spread across five states and two union territories have been awarded the Blue Flag Certification. These eight beaches are:
- Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat)
- Ghoghla (Diu)
- Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka)
- Kappad (Kerala)
- Rushikonda (AP)
- Golden (Puri-Odisha) and
- Radhanagar (A&N Islands).
- India has also set up an ambitious target of getting the Blue Certification tag for 100 more beaches in the next 3 years.
- Blue flag certification: It is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.
- The certification programme is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
- Criteria: The certification is based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads (i) Environmental Education and Information (ii) Bathing Water Quality, (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services in the beaches.
- Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Receiving Blue Flag Certification is an indication of high environmental and quality standards and certified beaches are considered the world’s cleanest beaches. Certification will promote tourism to the listed beaches in India.
- India is now the first country in the “Asia-Pacific” region which has now in the league of 50 “BLUE FLAG” countries that too in just about 2 years’ time.
India’s initiative to get Blue Flags: BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) ZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project in order to undertake the sustainable development of coastal regions and to achieve the goal of having Blue Flags for 100 beaches in India.
- Objectives: The objectives of BEAMS program is to:
- Abate pollution in coastal waters,
- Promote sustainable development of beach facilities,
- Protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources,
- Strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness,
- Hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.