Recently, Minicoy Thundi beach and Kadmat beach, located in Lakshadweep, have received the International eco-label ‘Blue Flag’.
- Golden Beach in Puri was the first in Asia to receive a Blue Flag certificate.
- In 2021, Kovalam beach in TamilNadu and Eden beach in Puducherry received the blue flag tag.
- A 30-km stretch of the Marina Beach in Chennai is currently being developed for receiving Blue Flag Beach certification.
- The government has allocated Rs.100 crore for the implementation of this project.
- The Thundi Beach: It is one of the most pristine and picturesque beaches in the Lakshadweep archipelago.
- The white sand beach is lined by turquoise blue water of the lagoon.
- It is a paradise for swimmers and tourists.
- The Kadmat Beach: Kadmat Island, also known as Cardamom Island, is located in the Amindivi group of Islands.
- The Kadmat Beach is popular with cruise tourists who visit the island for water sports.
- It is a paradise for nature lovers with its pearl white sand, blue lagoon waters, its moderate climate and friendly locals.
- Both the beaches have designated staff for beach cleanliness and maintenance and for safety and security of swimmers.
- Both the beaches comply with all the 33 criteria as mandated by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE).
- With the new additions, the number of beaches certified under the Blue Flag Certification is twelve.
- The other Indian beaches in the blue list are Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha, Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry beaches.
About Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
- The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a non-governmental organization based in Denmark.
- Its objective is to promote sustainable development through environmental education.
- It is implementing five programmes –
- Blue Flag
- Young Reporters for Environment
- Learning About Forests (LEAF)
- Green Key International
- It currently has 77 member countries.
About Blue Flag’ certification
- The Blue Flag programme was started in France in 1985 and in areas outside of Europe in 2001.
- Globally recognised eco-label accorded on the basis of 33 stringent criteria in four major heads which are-
- Environmental education and information
- Bathing water quality
- Environmental management
- Conservation and safety and services in the beaches
- It can be obtained by a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label.
- The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
- It is awarded annually to beaches and marinas in FEE member countries.
- It is accorded by the international jury composed of eminent members -
- United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP)
- United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
- Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- Forty-eight countries currently participate in the program, and 5042 beaches, marinas, and boats have this certification.