The Blue Flag Programme is a voluntary certification scheme for beaches and marinas,owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) formerly known as FEEE – Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe. Since 1991 the organisation has become international, now with member organisations from around the World. As of 2006 FEE has member organisations in 44 countries.
Today, the Blue Flag is a widely recognized Eco-label for the public, decision-makers and tour operators. In 2006, more than 3100 beaches and marinas in 36 countries were awarded with the Blue Flag.
- The Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria under four major heads — environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environment management and conservation, and safety and services at the beaches.
- In a statement, the ministry said, Blue Flag certification has been awarded to eight beaches spread across five states and two union territories by an international jury comprising of eminent members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- The beaches which have been awarded the certification are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden in Odisha and Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it said.
- India has also been awarded the third prize by the jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions, it added.
- The government had on September 18 recommended these eight beaches for the coveted international eco-label. India is also the first country in Asia-Pacific region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time.
- Japan, South
Aims and strengths
The Blue Flag Programme works towards stainable development at beaches and marinas through rigorous criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, safety and other services. The main objectives of the Blue Flag Programme are to improve understanding of the coastal environment and to promote the incorporation of environmental issues in the decision-making processes of local authorities and their partners.
• The promotion of criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education, environmental management, safety and services
• Education of beach and marina visitors about good practices in the coastal environments
• Education of those working directly with the management of beaches and marinas
• Education of the whole community in protecting the coastal environment, and
• Encouragement of voluntary involvement in environmental action
There are eight Beaches which are recommended under the blue flag in India:-
- Shivrajpur in Gujarat,
- Ghoghla in Daman & Diu,
- Kasarkod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka,
- Kappad in Kerala,
- Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh,
- Golden beach of Odisha and
- Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.
Blue Flag Certification:
The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label. The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education, 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.
- Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world.
- The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
- In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.