Eight beaches in India, spread across five States and two union territories have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification on Sunday. Along with the certification, India has also been awarded the 3rd prize by the International Jury under the ‘International Best Practices’ for pollution control in coastal regions.
The news was announced by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar in a tweet.
The #Blueflag certification accorded to India's 8 beaches by an international jury comprising of @IUCN , @UNWTO , @UNEP etc. is also a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) October 11, 2020
A Blue Flag beach is an Eco-tourism model endeavouring to provide the tourists or beach-goers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area. The beaches in India that have been awarded with the Blue tag are Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
It is to be noted that India is also the first country in Asia-Pacific region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time. Japan, South Korea and the 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 five to six years.
The Blue Flag is reportedly a certification given by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). It is given to a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator which meets its standards.The tag is sought as an indication of high environmental standards. It is awarded by an International Jury comprising eminent members like UN Environment Programme, World Tourism Organization, Foundation for Environmental Education and International Union for Conservation of Nature.