What is Blue Flag Certification?
- The Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded to environmental- friendly, clean beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators. The programme was started in France in 1985 and in areas out of Europe in 2001.
- The programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas through four main criteria: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.
- There are 33 environment and tourism-related conditions for Blue Flag Certification. Few of them include, having proper waste disposal systems, availability of clean water for tourists, disabled friendly etc.
- The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which sets stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria that applicants must meet and maintain.
- It is awarded annually to beaches and marinas in FEE member countries.
- Around fifty countries currently participate in the program, and over 4,000 beaches and marinas have this certification.
Why in News?
- In yet another recognition of India’s commitment to protect and conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through holistic management of the resources, the globally recognized and the coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag”, 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 twelve (12).
- The other Indian beaches in the blue list are Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha, Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry beaches.