Eight beaches that earned Blue Flag certification last year were also re-certified by the Danish Foundation for Environment Education
With the addition of two additional Indian beaches to the coveted International ‘Blue Flag Certification,’ India now has a total of ten ‘Blue Flag’ beaches. The Kovalam beach in Tamil Nadu and the Eden beach in Puducherry are the two beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag Certification this year. The ‘Blue Flag’ Certification is a worldwide recognised eco-label bestowed by an International Jury made up of representatives from the IUCN, UNWTO, UNEP, UNESCO, and other organisations. The Danish Foundation for Environment Education (FEE) conducts routine audits to ensure strict adherence to the 33 criteria that determine certification. A waving “Blue Flag” denotes complete compliance with all of these requirements.
The 33 criteria are grouped into four primary categories:
1.) Environmental education and awareness
2.) The quality of the bathing water
3.) Environmental protection
4.) Beach conservation and safety services
The Kovalam beach is a world-famous beach with three crescent beaches adjacent to it. Apart from the recreational activities arranged by Kerala’s tourism department, such as sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massage, special cultural programmes, and catamaran cruising, the beach is recognised for its cleanliness and tranquillity. The Eden beach in Puducherry is one of 13 beaches proposed by the Indian government for certification. The beach is pollution-free and manages solid waste and marine litter properly. Throughout the year, it is one of Puducherry’s most popular destinations.
Last year, the FEE awarded eight Indian beaches, namely 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, the internationally recognised eco-label – ‘Blue Flag’ certification. The Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS) flagship programme is one of the important efforts of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change’s ICZM approach to the sustainable development of India’s coastal regions.