Sunday 11 October 2020 8:41 PM UTC
NEW DELHI Oct 12: Eight beaches in India have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification, the environment ministry said on Sunday. Terming it a “proud moment” for the country, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the certification is a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts.
The Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria under four major heads — environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environment management and conservation, and safety and services at the beaches.
In a statement, the ministry said, Blue Flag certification has been awarded to eight beaches spread across five states and two union territories by an international jury comprising of eminent members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The beaches which have been awarded the certification are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden in Odisha and Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it said.
India has also been awarded the third prize by the jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions, it added.
“Proud moment for India; all 8 beaches recommended by government get coveted International #Blueflag Certification,” Javadekar said in a series of tweets.
The government had on September 18 recommended these eight beaches for the coveted international eco-label.
“An outstanding feat, as no #BLUEFLAG nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt,” the minister said.
“India is also the first country in Asia-Pacific region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time,” he added.
Japan, South Korea and the UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, in a time frame of about five to six years, the statement said.
A Blue Flag beach is an eco-tourism model endeavouring to provide the tourists or beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area.
The recommendations are made by an independent national jury composed of eminent environmentalists and scientists.
Kappad Beach has historically played an important role in the history of Kerala. On these shores, over 500 years ago in 1498, 170 men led by Vasco- da-Gama first stepped onto Kerala. The entire State, especially the Malabar Coast, would never be the same again.
A visit to Kozhikode is incomplete without a visit to this legendary site. The spice route flourished through this Beach. A walk in and around the place gives one an idea of its historical relevance. The rocks and small hills add to its charm. The nearby shacks are always stocked with excellent local delicacies and tea. Migratory birds can be spotted occasionally as well. Kappad Beach is a truly majestic destination, which will always hold an important place in our history.
Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 35 km, via NH 17
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 45 km, via NH 17
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