Eight Indian beaches get Blue Flag Certification
In a first, eight Indian beaches have been awarded Blue Flag Certification by an eminent international jury. The government has hailed it as a big moment for environmentalists and the Swachh Bharat programme.
What does it mean?
The eight beaches selected for the certification are Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands). This definitely means good news for Indian tourism where the certification manifests that beaches are clean, environmentally viable and promote safety and education about sea life.
The jury comprises members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 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. The Blue Flag programme was started in France in 1985 and in areas out of Europe in 2001. The programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas through four main criteria: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.