New Delhi (NVI): In a proud moment for India, eight beaches of the country, spread across five states and two union territories, have been awarded the “BLUE FLAG” by an International Jury comprising of eminent members viz UNEP, UNWTO, FEE, IUCN, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said today.
The beaches that have been awarded the ‘BLUE FLAG” are Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (AP), Golden (Puri-Odisha) and Radhanagar (A&N Islands).
India has also been awarded a 3rd Prize by the International Jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions, the Ministry said in a statement.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) October 11, 2020
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted: “It is an outstanding feat considering that no ‘BLUE FLAG’ nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt.”
“This is also a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts,” he added.
“India is also the first country in “Asia-Pacific” region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time,” Shri Javadekar further stated in another tweet.
Japan, South Korea and UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years.
India is now in the league of 50 “BLUE FLAG” countries and we take pride in this honour to our Nation, planning to taking this journey forward to 100 such beaches in the country in the next five years, the Ministry said.
India began its humble journey in 2018 for development of pilot beaches (one each in coastal states/UTs) and presented the first set of 08 beaches for the certification for the ensuing tourist season 2020.
SICOM, MoEFCC, in its pursuit of “Sustainable Development” of the coastal regions of India embarked upon a highly acclaimed & flagship program “BEAMS” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project. This was aimed at striving for the coveted International eco-label “Blue flag”, accorded by The Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark.
The objective of the BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters & beaches, promote sustainable development of beach amenities/ facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources and encourage local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment norms & regulations, the Ministry said.
This program promotes beach tourism and recreation in absolute harmony with nature, and is unique in that sense.