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Biodiversity & Environment

Blue Flag Certification

  • 27 Oct 2022
  • 3 min read

For Prelims: UNEP, UNWTO, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), IUCN.

For Mains: Blue Flag certification and its Significance.

Why in News?

Recently, the Blue Flag certification has been accorded to two new beaches - Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat Beach- both in Lakshadweep.

  • This takes the number of beaches certified under the Blue Flag certification to 12.

What is Blue Flag Certification?

  • About:
    • It is an internationally recognised eco-label that is accorded based on 33 criterias. These criterias are divided into 4 major heads namely,
      • Environmental education and information
      • Bathing water quality
      • Environmental management
      • Conservation and safety services in the beaches
    • Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world. It is an eco-tourism model endeavouring to provide the tourists/beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities, a safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area.
    • It is accorded by the international jury composed of eminent members - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    • On the lines of Blue Flag certification, India has also launched its own eco-label BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services).
  • Other 10 Beaches which have Received the Certification:
    • Shivrajpur (Gujarat)
    • Ghoghla (Daman & Diu)
    • Kasarkod (Karnataka)
    • Padubidri beach (Karnataka)
    • Kappad (Kerala)
    • Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh)
    • Golden beach (Odisha)
    • Radhanagar beach (Andaman and Nicobar)
    • Kovalam (Tamil Nadu)
    • Eden (Puducherry)

What is BEAMS?

  • Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services comes under ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project.
  • This was launched by the Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • The objectives of BEAMS program are to:
    • Abate pollution in coastal waters,
    • Promote sustainable development of beach facilities,
    • Protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources,
    • Strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness,
    • Hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.
  • It has helped in saving 1,100 ml/year of municipal water through recycling; educating around 1,25,000 beachgoers about responsible behaviour at the beaches; providing alternate livelihood opportunities to 500 fishermen families through pollution abatement, safety and services and has also increased footfall for recreation activities at the beaches by approximately 80% leading to economic development.

Source: IE

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