Two more beaches in India have been awarded 'Blue Flag' certification, an international eco-level tag, taking the total number of such beaches in the country to 10, the Environment Ministry said on 21 September 2021. The two beaches to receive the certification this year are Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry.

What

  1. This was aimed at achieving the globally recognized and coveted International eco-label "Blue Flag", accorded by the International Jury comprising of members from IUCN, UNWTO, UNEP and UNESCO.
  2. FEE Denmark conducts regular monitoring and audits for strict compliance with the 33 criteria at all times.
  3. A waving "Blue Flag" is an indication of 100 per cent compliance to these 33 stringent criteria and sound health of the beach.
  4. The Ministry is further committed to develop and deliver 100 more beaches under its ICZM initiative in the ensuing 5 years of the Ministry's vision agenda.

What is the ‘Blue Flag’ certification?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. It is awarded annually to beaches and marinas in FEE member countries. The Blue Flag programme was started in France in 1985 and in areas outside of Europe in 2001.
  4. The programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas through four main criteria: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.
  5. Forty-seven countries currently participate in the program, and 4,573 beaches, marinas, and boats have this certification.