From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Blue Flag Certification
Mains level : Not Much
The globally recognised and coveted international eco-label ‘Blue Flag’ has been accorded to two new Indian beaches — Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat Beach, both in Lakshadweep.
What is Blue Flag?
- The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label or certification that is given to coastal locations around the world as a badge of environmental honour.
- The programme is run by the Copenhagen, Denmark-headquartered Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-profit organization.
- It seeks to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
- It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.
- Certification is awarded annually. A total 5,042 beaches, marinas, and tourism boats in 48 countries have been awarded the label so far.
Criteria for certification
It has 33 stringent criteria under four major heads for the beaches, that is-
- Environmental Education and Information
- Bathing Water Quality
- Environment Management and Conservation and
- Safety and Services
Total blue beaches in India
India now has 12 blue beaches. The other 10 Indian beaches on the list, according to the FEE site, are-
- Shivrajpur in Gujarat’s Devbhumi Dwarka district
- Ghogla beach in Diu
- Kasarkod (Uttara Kannada) and
- Padubidri (Udupi) in Karnataka;
- Kappad (Kozhikode) in Kerala
- Eden beach in Puducherry
- Kovalam (Chennai) in Tamil Nadu
- Rushikonda (Visakhapatnam) in Andhra Pradesh
- Golden beach in Puri, Odisha; and
- Radhanagar Swarajdeep in Andaman and Nicobar
About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
- The FEE is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- It was founded in 1981 as the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE).
- Currently, it has 77 member countries.
Its other programmes include:
- Green Key
- Eco Schools
- Young Reporters for the Environment
- Learning about Forests
- Global Forest Fund
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