An international jury from Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark has upheld a recommendation made last month by a national jury composed of scientists, environmentalists that had recommended India’s eight beaches for consideration for coveted International eco-label – the Blue Flag certification. India’s eight beaches spread across five states and two union territories, have been awarded the “BLUE FLAG” tag.
The beaches that have been awarded the ‘BLUE FLAG” 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 been awarded a 3rd Prize by the International Jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions.
“It is an outstanding feat considering that no ‘BLUE FLAG’ nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt,” Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said adding “this is also a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts”.
The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. India till now had none of its beaches tagged as “Blue Flag”. India launched its own eco-label – BEAMS under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project. Blue Flag certification was one of the projects India lined up under the ICZM project.
Spain, so far, has the highest number of Blue Flag certified sites by the international jury. India is also the first country in “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, in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years.
Tapas Bhattacharya’s report