News: Union Environment Ministry has announced that the Indian Government has recommended eight Indian beaches for the “Blue Flag” certification.
- The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman & Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.
- Blue Flag certification: It is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator and serves as an eco-label.
- Who gives the certification? The certification programme is run by international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Origin: The programme was started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001.
- Criteria: The certification is based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads (i) Environmental Education and Information (ii) Bathing Water Quality, (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services in the beaches.
- Country with highest Blue Flag Certification: Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches followed by Greece and France.