Beaches indicator of health of coastal environment; cleaning beaches needs to be made into a public movement: Shri Prakash Javadekar
India sets up an ambitious target of getting the coveted tag for 100 more beaches in next 3 years
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar today virtually hoisted the international blue flags in 8 beaches across the country.India secured the International Blue Flag Certification for these beaches on 6th October 2020, when an International Jury comprising of member organizations UNEP, UNWTO, UNESCO, IUCN, ILS, FEE etc. announced the award at Copenhagen, Denmark. Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by “Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria.
While congratulating and lauding the efforts of the State and central government as well as the people, ShriJavadekar said that neat and clean beaches are an indicator that the coastal environment is in good health and the Blue Flagcertification is a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts.
The Environment Minister further informed that hundred more such beaches will be made Blue Flag in coming 3-4 years and highlighted that cleaning beaches needs to be a made a “Jan Andolan”not only for its aesthetic value and tourism prospects, but more importantly towards reducing the menace of marine litter and making coastal environment sustainable.
The beaches where the International Blue Flags were hoisted are: Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).The Flags were also simultaneously hoisted on these beaches physically by state ministers and senior officials of the respective state and Union territories.
India started its journey of sustainable development of coastal regions on World Environment Day in June’ 2018 by launching its beach cleaning campaign – I-AM- SAVING-MY-BEACH simultaneously at 13 coastal states and thereafter implementing ministry’s coveted program BEAMS(Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services).
Today, the introduction of BEAMSprogram in 10 coastal states have resulted into international level of cleanliness at beaches with over 500 tonnes of solid waste collected, recycled and scientifically disposed at these beaches reducing the menace of marine litter by over 78% and marine plastic by over 83%. Approximately 11000 KL of water was saved by recycling & reuse with BEAMS program, which has resulted into an increase in footfall at these beaches by over 85% cumulative.