Saturday, October 16, 2021

India’s commitment towards marine conservation gets global acclaim | Two Indian Beaches get ‘Blue Flag’ Certification

 

In a remarkable feat for India, its tireless efforts & unflinching commitment towards the conservation of pristine marine ecosystems, recently received global ratification.

As two more Indian beaches get the coveted International ‘Blue Flag Certification,’ the country now boasts with pride to have 10 ‘Blue Flag’ beaches.

The two beaches that have been accorded the Blue Flag Certification this year are the Kovalam beach in Tamil Nadu & the Eden beach in Puducherry.

What is a ‘Blue Flag Certification’?

The ‘Blue Flag’ Certification is a globally recognized eco-label accorded by an International Jury comprising of members from IUCN, UNWTO ,UNEP, UNESCO etc.

The Foundation for Environment Education (FEE) Denmark conducts routine audits for the strict compliance of the 33 criterions, based on which the certification is accorded. A waving “Blue Flag” indicates 100% compliance to all these criterions.

The 33 criterions are divided into 4 major heads, namely:

1.) Environmental education & information
2.) Bathing water quality
3.) Environmental management
4.) Conservation & safety services in the beaches

About the beaches:

Kovalam beach, Tamil Nadu:

The Kovalam beach is an internationally recognized beach with three adjacent crescent beaches.
The beach is known for its cleanliness & serenity apart from the leisure activities organized by the tourism department of Kerala like sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massage, special cultural programmes & the catamaran cruising.

Eden beach, Puducherry:

The Eden beach, located in Puducherry is one of the 13 beaches that were recommended by the Government of India to be promoted for Blue Flag Certification.

The beach boasts of being pollution free and responsibly manages solid waste & marine litter. It is one of the most happening places in Puducherry, round the year.

Other Indian beaches that received the Blue Flag certification:

The FEE also accorded the internationally ratified eco-label – ‘Blue Flag’ certification to eight Indian beaches, namely- Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, last year.

About the BEAMS flagship program:

The Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS) flagship program is one of the key initiatives under the ICZM approach undertaken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change for the sustainable development of coastal regions of India.

Objective:

The prime objective of BEAMS is to protect & conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through a holistic management of resources.

Further, the objective of BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters and promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources, and to challenge local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.

Twin Benefits: Ecology & Economy go hand in hand

Meeting these sustainability goals, with the objective to make beaches clean, green, safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable is a viable option not just for the environment, but more so for us humans.

It expands horizons for national & international tourism and also for exploring renewable alternatives of energy generation. On these lines, the Ministry is committed to develop & deliver 100 more beaches under its ICZM initiative in the ensuing 5 years of the Ministry’s vision agenda.

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