Blue Flag Certificate : In many countries of the world, the beach is a centre of attraction for the people. Every year a large number of people visit such places. Walking in the beach is its own fun.
To make the beaches environmentally friendly, the Blue Flag program was launched from Paris in France and within two years almost all the beaches in Europe were awarded this (Blue Flag Certificate) title. Now many beaches in India have to be awarded the Blue Flag Certificate.
What is Blue Flag Certificate ?
Blue Flag Certificate is a special type of certificate given to any beach, which is given by an international non-governmental organisation called the Foundation for Environmental Education. The aim of this organisation is to promote sustainable development through environmental awareness. The Blue Flag certificate was started in 1985 by this organisation based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Blue Flag certification, the organisation has run four more programs including Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment, Learning for Forest and Green Key International.
What is Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) was established in France in the year 1985 and started its operations in Europe from 1987.
Only Japan and South Korea have received Blue Flag certification in South-East and South Asia.
Spain, Greece and France topped the list with 566, 515, 395 Blue Flag beaches respectively.
To obtain Blue Flag certification, 33 standards have to be met. Such as water quality, waste management facilities, adaptability to the disabled, first aid and restriction on Pets (Domestic Animals) in key areas. Some of these standards are voluntary and some are binding.
What is Blue Flag standards
Under Blue Flag standards, the beach has to meet 33 conditions related to the environment and tourism, but some of them are prominent. The rest of the standards are considered only after meeting these key standards.
This includes standards such as first having some quality of water, having waste disposal facilities, first aid facility and banning pets on shore. Some of these criteria are voluntary and some are mandatory.
These terms of Blue Flag standards are divided into four broad categories, which are as follows :
- Environmental education and information.
- Water quality.
- Environmental management.
- Security and other services.
If a beach gets a Blue Flag certificate, it means that the beach is equipped with facilities like plastic-free, dirt-free and solid waste management. Also, facilities such as the presence of clean water for tourists visiting, tourist facilities as per international standards and knowledge of environmental impacts around the beach are also well-maintained.
India has the most beautiful beaches in Asia for Blue Flag Certificate
Only Japan and South Korea in Asia have Blue Flag certified beaches. Spain tops with 566 Blue Flag certified beaches; Greece and France have 515 and 395 Blue Flag certified beaches respectively. India is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia.
There are 13 such beaches in India with Eco-friendly, clean and international standards-based tourism facilities, all of which were being asked to provide these certificates, but currently 8 of them have been selected. The rest is being prepared for this.
These beaches of Odisha, Maharashtra and other coastal states will be the first beaches to receive Blue Flag beach status not only in India but across Asia. India’s beaches are being developed as per the Blue Flag standards under the supervision of the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICM), an under-working body of the Ministry of Environment, in the field of management of seaside areas.
How will India benefit from getting the Blue Flag Certificate
India started a pilot project in December 2017 to develop its beaches according to Blue Flag standards. Under this project, 13 beaches have been selected for Blue Flag certificate from all coastal states. The project has two basic objectives.
The first is to get rid of the problem of frequent dirt and pollution-prone beaches in India by fixing their habitat and second, to develop Eco-friendly tourism in India by increasing sustainable development and tourism facilities.
The ‘Blue Flag Certificate‘ given to these Indian shores will be the first time not only in India but across Asia. Chandrabhaga Beach on the Konark coast of Odisha is the first beach in India to get the Blue Flag Certificate.
Blue Flag Certificate Beach, Blue Flag Certificate in India
In the year 2018, these 13 beaches of India were recognised for the blue flag certificate by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Their names were sent to the institution, out of which 8 have been selected.
- Golden Beach, Odisha
- Ghoghla Beach, Diu
- Shivrajpur Beach, Gujarat
- Bhogave Beach, Sindhudurg, Maharashtra
- Miramar Beach, Goa
- Padubidri Beach, Karnataka
- Kasarkod Beach, Karnataka
- Kappad Beach, Kerala
- Kovalam Beach, Tamil Nadu
- Eden Beach, Puducherry
- Rushikonda Beach, Andhra Pradesh
- Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Bangaram Beach, Lakshadweep
Blue Flag Certificate is Given by
The Blue Flag certificate is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an organisation based in Copenhagen, Denmark.