Blue Flag: two more beaches in India get the eco-friendly tag

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admin November 8, 2021
Updated 2021/11/08 at 3:16 PM

The Environment Ministry said on Tuesday that two additional beaches in India have been granted “Blue Flag” accreditation, a worldwide eco-level designation, bringing the total number of such beaches in the country to ten.

Kovalam in Kerala and Eden in Puducherry are the two beaches to get accreditation this year, according to the report.

The Danish Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), which awards the Blue Flag certificate, has also re-certified eight nominated beaches: Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden in Odisha, and Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar, according to the ministry. On October 6, 2020, these eight beaches received the Blue Flag designation.

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav expressed delight at the news, calling it “another milestone” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to make India “clean and green.”

Blue Flag accreditation is an internationally recognised eco-label that is awarded based on 33 rigorous criteria divided into four categories: environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environmental management and conservation, and beach safety and services.

The Blue Flag beach is an eco-tourism concept that aims to offer clean and sanitary bathing water, amenities, a safe and healthy environment, and long-term development of the region for visitors and beachgoers.

An impartial national panel of renowned environmentalists and scientists makes the recommendations. According to the government, Blue Flag beaches are the cleanest beaches in the world.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Danish NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) award the Blue Flag designation (IUCN).

The government previously said that a waving Blue Flag signifies complete compliance with the 33 rigorous requirements as well as the beach’s good health. On World Environment Day in June 2018, India began its journey toward sustainable coastal development by launching its beach cleaning campaign, I-AM-SAVING-MY-BEACH, in 13 coastal states at the same time, and then implementing the ministry’s coveted Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS).

“In its pursuit of sustainable development of India’s coastal regions, the Ministry of Environment launched BEAMS, a highly acclaimed and flagship programme that is one of the initiatives under its integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) approach that the ministry has undertaken for the sustainable development of India’s coastal regions, with a primary goal of protecting and conserving the environment.

The BEAMS program’s goal is to reduce pollution in coastal waters, promote sustainable beach development, protect and conserve coastal ecosystems and natural resources, and seriously challenge local governments and stakeholders to strive for high standards of cleanliness, hygiene, and safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment and regulations.

“In the last three years or so, our ministry has achieved commendable results in the environmental management of these 10 beaches, including sand dune restoration and nourishment of 95,000 sqm (approx.) with native plantation; reduction in marine litter by 85% and marine plastic by 78% in the last three years; scientific and responsible disposal of 750 tonnes of marine litter; and I

According to the Environment Ministry, it has also saved 1,100 ml of municipal water per year through recycling, educated around 1,25,000 beachgoers about responsible beach behaviour, provided alternate livelihood opportunities to 500 fishermen families through pollution abatement, safety, and services, and increased footfall for beach recreation activities by about 80%.

In the next five years, the ministry plans to build and deploy 100 additional beaches as part of its ICZM programme, according to the government. The ministry practically hoisted the international Blue Flags at eight beaches throughout the country in December of last year. State ministers and senior officials from the various states and union territories also raised flags on these beaches at the same time.

 

Source: Hindustan Times

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