Weeks after Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests recommended the names of 8 beaches for International Blue Flag certification, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar informed on Sunday that all of them have been awarded the coveted certification. It is the first time that Indian beaches have been recognised for International Blueflag certification.
As per reports, the coveted certification is an ‘eco-label’ awarded to clean and hygienic beaches by the ‘Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark’. The agency takes into account 33 criteria, ranging from safety and services in beaches to conservation and bathing water quality. The Blue Flag certification helps promote tourism and provide information to beachgoers and tourists about the safety and water quality of a beach.
India had launched its own eco-label titled ‘Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services’ (BEAMS), which recommended a total of 8 beaches, for the Blue Flag certification. The beaches included Radhanagar beach (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Golden beach (Odisha), Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh), Kappad beach (Kerala), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Ghoghla beach (Daman and Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri beach (Karnataka).
An international jury from Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark upheld a recommendation made last month by a national jury composed of scientists, environmentalists that had recommended India’s eight beaches for consideration for the coveted International eco-label.
India has also been awarded a 3rd Prize by the International Jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions.
India’s efforts praised by World Bank country director
India’s efforts to clean up its beaches found praise from World Bank’s country director Zunaid Khan. He said that the country’s efforts can work as a lighthouse for other countries to ensure sustainable coastal zone management.
“We, today, are taking a vow to clean up our beaches and I am very proud that we have started our highly acclaimed programme BEAMS. So we are cleaning the beaches and today our beaches are much cleaner and many are among the best in the world. Therefore, we all must vow to clean up our beaches,” Union Environment Minister Javadekar said in a video message on International Coastal Clean-Up Day.
India is also the first country in the Asia-Pacific region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time. Japan, South Korea and UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, they received it in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years.
Odisha’s Chandrabhaga beach was the first beach in Asia to get the Blue Flag Certification in 2018. 12 more beaches were being developed by Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the Environment Ministry for getting the certification.