12 Indian beaches in the race to crest the ‘Blue Flag’ challenge

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  1. The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to compete for the ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
  2. The 12 beaches include: Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
  3. The Blue Flag certification is given to environmental- friendly, clean beaches, marinas which are equipped with amenities of international standards for tourist.
  4. There are 33 environment and tourism-related conditions for Blue Flag Certification. Few of them include, having proper waste disposal system, availability of clean water for tourists, disabled friendly etc.
  5. The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) – a Copenhagen based international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation. The programme was first started in France in 1985.
  6. Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches, followed by, Greece and France. Japan and South Korea are the only countries in Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  7. Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the Union Environment Ministry had conceived an integrated coastal management scheme named BEAMS (Beach Management Services).
  8. The main objective of BEAMS programme is to reduce pollutants, promote sustainable development and strive for high standards in the areas of a) environmental management b) environmental education c) bathing water quality and d) safety & security services scientifically.