The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC) announced on Sunday, October 11, that the eight Indian beaches it had recommended earlier in the year have received the Blue Flag ecolabel certification. Awarded by the Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark, the jury uses 33 parameters, categorised under four broad categories: environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environment management and conservation, and safety and services at the beaches.
The jury consists of the world’s most prominent environment and tourism organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization. India is now one of fifty nations with Blue Flag certified beaches, and the first to be awarded the ecolabel for eight beaches at once. India also has the distinction of being the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to get the certification in just two years.
The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden Beach in Odisha, Radhanagar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Ghoghla in Diu. The jury also awarded India the third prize for International Best Practices for Pollution Control in Coastal Areas. The MOEFCC announced that it will endeavour to receive the Blue Flag ecolabel for hundred Indian beaches over the next five years.
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