Today, there are eight Blue Flag beaches in India; a global award bestowed upon the cleanest beaches in the world.
Not all’s lost in 2020. India just got another reason in its list of being incredible–the blue flag tag for eight of its beaches. Spread across five states and two union territories, these have joined the group of the most clean, safe and environmentally friendly beaches around the world. Not just that, no other country has had as many beaches certified in one go, so that’s a record in itself; additionally India was also awarded the third prize by the jury under ‘International Best Practices’ for pollution control in coastal regions.
What are the blue flag beaches in India?
If you’re already planning a holiday, here are the names of the cleanest beaches in India: Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
What is the Blue Flag?
An eco-label, Blue Flag is given to those beaches which are cleanest, most environment friendly, and safest in terms of nature’s amenities. Along with beaches even marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators can be considered for this tag. The certification is awarded by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-profit organisation based out of Denmark.
What is the criteria for the Blue Flag?
The beaches have to fulfil 33 different criteria, across categories like environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility, to make the cut. For example, no industrial or sewage-related discharges should affect the water quality, the health of coral reefs must be ensured, waste materials should be recycled efficiently, lifesaving services should not be lacking, and so on.
At the moment 47 countries are a part of this programme. A little under 4,600 beaches, marinas, and boats have this certification across the world, with Spain leading the way with almost 600 Blue Flag beaches. This year the jury comprised of members of the FEE, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).