In a recent announcement by the Environment Ministry, eight beaches in India have received the Blue Flag certification.
Only the cleanest beaches in the world receive the Blue Flag certification
The eight beaches are Ghoghla (Diu), Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), and Golden Beach (Puri-Odisha). It’s the first time that eight Indian beaches have been given the eco-label tag.
Prakash Javadekar, Union Environment Minister said that India is receiving major international recognition. This is not only due to coastal development, but also because it is the first ‘Blue Flag’ nation to be awarded for eight beaches.
He further said, “The government recommended eight beaches for this certification. It is a proud moment for India as all these beaches have received the certification. Furthermore, no #BLUEFLAG nation has ever been awarded for eight beaches in a single attempt. This makes India the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve this feat in just about two years’ time.”
For a beach to qualify for this tag, 33 stringent criteria should be ticked
This includes bathing water quality, environmental, educational, safety, services, accessibility standards, etc.
Granted by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), the headquarters of the centre is in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Back in September, the Union Environment Ministry had sent the list of these beaches to the International Jury. This jury decides which beach gets the Blue flag certification.
It has members from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It also has representatives from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Till now, over 4600 beaches, boats, and marinas from around 50 countries have got the Blue Flag certification. Spain has the highest record of ‘Blue Flag’ tagged sites.
Back in 2018, India had started to put in the work to qualify for the tag. India now plans to develop 100 beaches in the next five years to receive the Blue Flag certification.