Arvind Nautiyal, national project director, Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) conveyed news of the jury’s decision to members of the Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS) Family. “SICOM is planning a formal “Blue flag hoisting ceremony” on the lines of I#AM#SAVING#MY#BEACH campaign held recently. Details of this event would be intimated in due course of time,” Nautiyal said.
Thus far, the international jury has awarded the Blue Flag certification to 4664 beaches, marinas and boats from 46 countries have got the Blue Flag certification. Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag tagged sites. India had none until October 10. India launched its own eco-label – BEAMS under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project. Blue Flag certification was one of the projects India lined up under the ICZM project.
Nautiyal said, in addition, India has also bagged third prize under the “International Best Practices” in pollution abatement in coastal regions. Describing this development as stupendous, Nautiyal said having all the eight applications conferred with Blue flag certification which perhaps is first of its kind and the best in Asia Pacific region. He thanks the state governments and UT for their committed participation in the BEAMS program.
Sanjai Jalla, mission leader, Blue flag beaches of India, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to inform you of the most awaited news. Many congratulations – You did it!! Your beach is on a global map now.” This 100% performance in its maiden attempt is an outstanding feat as no Blue flag nation has ever achieved this feat. This has been possible only because of your sheer commitment towards this goal, Jalla said in the congratulatory message.
The beaches to receive the certification are Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (both in Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (Andhra), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman). India is now among 50 Blue flag nations in the world. Foundation for Environmental Education, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark operates the Blue Flag programme. It is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels.