From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Blue Flag Certification
Mains level : Coastal conservation in India
The MoEFCC has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country.
Blue Flag Certification
- This Certification is accorded by an international agency “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads i.e.
- Environmental Education and Information,
- Bathing Water Quality,
- Environment Management and Conservation and
- Safety and Services in the beaches.
- 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.
- Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
- Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.
Beaches identified in India
- 13 pilot beaches that have been identified for the certification, in consultation with concerned coastal States/UTs, are Ghoghala Beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod (Karnagaka), Kappad beach (Kerala), Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu), Eden beach (Puducherry), Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh), Miramar beach (Goa), Golden beach (Odisha), Radhanagar beach (Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Bangaram beach (Lakshadweep).
- Rushikonda beach in Andhra Pradesh also features in the list of 13 pilot beaches, for development of facilities and infrastructure accordingly.
- The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha is the first in India to get the Blue Flag certification.