About Blue Flag certification
- The tag is given to environment-friendly and clean beaches, equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists.
- To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach had to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions, some of the conditions are given below:
- To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system.
- Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities.
- The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area.
- The Blue Flag programme is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education and the standards for blue tag certification were established by it in 1985.
- The Blue Flag programme first started from Paris.
- Within the next two years, almost all beaches in Europe were accorded the Blue Flag certification.
- This campaign spread outside Europe, to South Africa, in 2001. Asia remains untouched by it till date.
Efforts for Blue tag certification in India
- The Environment Ministry embarked on the Blue Flag project in December 2017.
- This project has two main aims:
- Firstly, to improve the aquatic habitat by cleaning the growing pollution and garbage in the Indian beaches.
- Secondly, to develop ecological tourism with constant progress and development of tourist facilities.
- The Indian beaches are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an environment ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, according to the Blue Flag certification standards.
- There is not a single Blue Flag beach in Asia so far.
- Chandrabhaga beach of Odisha’s Konark coast was the first to complete the tag certification process.
- Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, in accordance with the Blue Flag standards.
- Among them are the Chiwla and Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra and one beach each from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- These beaches are being developed in accordance with the Blue Flag beach standards under a Unified Coastal Areas Management Programme.
About Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
- The FEE is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education.
- It was established in 1981.
- It is headquartered at Copenhagen, Denmark.
- It is active through five programmes; Eco-Schools, Blue Flag, Young Reporters for Environment (YRE),Green Key and Learning about Forests (LEAF).
About society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM)
- It has been established under the aegis of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change, Government of India. The main objectives of SICOM are as follows:-
- To support implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) activities in India.
- To implement the World Bank assisted India ICZM Project.
- To provide Research Development (R&D) and stakeholders participation in management of the Coastal areas in India.
- To undertake any additional work or function as may be assigned by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change from time to time in the area of Coastal Management and other related activities.
Section : Environment & Ecology