International Blue Flag hoisted at 8 beaches across India
India sets up an ambitious target of getting the coveted tag for 100 more beaches in next 3 years
India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday virtually hoisted the international blue flags in 8 beaches across the country. Flags were simultaneously hoisted on these beaches physically by ministers and senior officials of the respective state and Union territories of Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasargod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Hoisted the International <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueFlag?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlueFlag</a> at 8 beaches virtually. It is a proud moment for India that all the 8 beaches which were showcased have been awarded the coveted blue flag. I compliment and congratulate the State Governments, officials and people for this feat.<a href=”https://twitter.com/moefcc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@moefcc</a> <a href=”https://t.co/xKXRjbKt2N">pic.twitter.com/xKXRjbKt2N</a></p>— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) <a href=”https://twitter.com/PrakashJavdekar/status/1343482746539188225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 28, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset=”utf-8"></script>
Earlier, India had secured the ‘International Blue Flag Certification’ for these beaches on October 6, 2020, when an International Jury comprising member organizations UNEP, UNWTO, UNESCO, IUCN, ILS, FEE etc. announced the award at Copenhagen, Denmark. Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by “Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria.
While congratulating and lauding the efforts of the State and central government as well as the people, Javadekar said that neat and clean beaches are an indicator that the coastal environment is in good health and the Blue Flag certification is a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts.
The Environment Minister further informed that “hundred more such beaches will be made Blue Flag in coming 3–4 years” and highlighted that cleaning beaches needs to be a made a “Jan Andolan” (people’s movement) not only for its aesthetic value and tourism prospects, but more importantly towards reducing the menace of marine litter and making coastal environment sustainable.
India started its journey of sustainable development of coastal regions on World Environment Day in June 2018 by launching its beach cleaning campaign — I-AM- SAVING-MY-BEACH simultaneously at 13 coastal states and thereafter implementing ministry’s coveted program BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services).
Today, the introduction of BEAMS program in 10 coastal states have resulted into international level of cleanliness at beaches with over 500 tonnes of solid waste collected, recycled and scientifically disposed at these beaches reducing the menace of marine litter by over 78% and marine plastic by over 83%. Approximately 11,000 KL of water was saved by recycling & reuse with BEAMS program, which has resulted into an increase in footfall at these beaches by over 85% cumulative, a government release claimed.