Blue Flag Certification: Download Notes on Blue Flag Beaches in India & Programme

By Ritika Pant|Updated : July 5th, 2022

Blue Flag Certification is an internationally recognized eco-label granted to beaches, marinas and sustainable boat tourism operators depending upon the important 33 requirements. 

The term was awarded by an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization, FEE (Foundation for Environment Education). This certificate earned significance over a while as it increased India's number of beaches to 10. 

Blue Flag Programme is known to be 100% authorized by law as it was able to satisfy all 33 rigid criteria. These criteria are broadly split into four major categories, i.e.: 

  • Environmental information and education 
  • Quality of water used in bathing 
  • Management of the environment 
  • Preservation and safety services of the beaches

Read the full article to understand the importance of Blue Flag Certification UPSC and the details about the Blue Flag Programme. 

Table of Content

What is Blue Flag Certification?

Blue flag certification or a blue flag tag is a recognized certification for beaches and boat tour operators depending on the crucial criteria. The term was initiated by FEE (Foundation for Environment Education), a non-profit organization.

The eligibility criteria required for the beaches to come under the Blue Flag category include strict environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility measures that must be met and maintained.

What is Blue Flag Programme & its significance?

The blue flag programme was granted by a non-profit organization, FEE (Foundation for Environment Education). This flag is an internationally recognized eco-label awarded to those beaches that fulfil rigid 33 requirements related to the environment, education, accessibility, and safety. They are regarded as the cleanest beaches in India.

The significance of the blue flag is that it tells us about a beach or marina which is managed sustainably, is more accessible, and follows high-quality standards and safety measures. Blue flag beaches are responsible for monitoring the quality of water.

List Of Blue Flag Beaches in India & Their Location

Blue flag beaches are supposed to be the cleanest beaches in the world. The eco-tourism model was started to improve water quality, offering hygienic bathing water and facilities to tourists or beachgoers.

Blue flag beaches in India are awarded by the international jury consisting of members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Denmark-based NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Mentioned below are the 10 Beaches which have received the blue flag certification:

  1. Kovalam Beach, Tamil Nadu
  2. Kappad in Kerala
  3. Kasarkod beach in Karnataka
  4. Padubidri beach in Karnataka
  5. The golden beach of Odisha
  6. Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh
  7. Ghoghla in Daman & Diu
  8. Eden Beach, Puducherry
  9. Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar
  10. Shivrajpur in Gujarat

Blue Flag Certification Latest Update

Earlier, there were only 8 beaches which were granted blue flag certification tag. But according to the Blue flag certification's latest update, two more Indian beaches got registered in September 2021. Blue flag certification UPSC is an important topic in the environment and ecology segment of the exam.

Neat beaches are an indicator that the seaside area is in good condition and the Blue Flag certification is a measure that depicts the efforts of India to conserve and sustain its water resources.

The recent blue flag beaches in India that are added to the list include:

  • Kovalam Beach, Tamil Nadu
  • Eden Beach, Puducherry

BEAMS Services - Blue Flag Programme

BEAMS stands for Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services, initiated under the "Integrated Coastal Zone Management" project or ICZM. Considering Blue Flag certification, India has also founded its eco-label, Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services, abbreviated as BEAMS.

The blue flag programme has motivated India to develop its BEAM services, started by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM).

The objectives of the BEAMS program are to:

  • Reduced pollution in coastal waters
  • Facilitate sustainable development of beach water facilities
  • Shield & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources
  • Attempt to maintain high benchmarks of cleanliness
  • Offer hygienic & safe water to beachgoers.

Results of BEAMS Services

The mission of the Blue Flag Programme was to participate in environmental education programmes for the beaches and boating operators, execute efficient safety management systems, encourage sustainable tourism development, monitor human activity at the beaches and diminish water pollution caused by them.

Blue flag certification was able to achieve the following results:

  • The program recycled 1,100 ml/year of municipal water.
  • Educated around 1,25,000 beachgoers as to how to behave at the beaches.
  • It reduced the overall pollution, offering alternative livelihood opportunities to 500 anglers.
  • Lead to 80% economic development by increasing recreation activities like beach football.

Blue Flag Certification UPSC

Blue Flag Programme UPSC or Blue Flag Certification is an important topic for the upcoming IAS Exam. The topic is asked in both prelims and mains exam, especially in environment. Candidates can check the detailed UPSC Syllabus to identify all the related topics to be completed before the exam. It is recommended that aspirants choose the right UPSC Books to comprehensively cover the syllabus.

After completing the topic, download the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to revise the practice for the upcoming exam. You can also refer to UPSC Study Material and constantly keep yourself updated with the latest current affairs

Download Blue Flag Certification UPSC Notes PDF

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FAQs on Blue Flag Certification

  • Blue flag certification is a crucial topic that can come in the exam. It is a globally identified eco-label certified by "Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark." The waving flag is given to beaches, marinas and boat operators that fulfil the set conditions per the certification guidelines.

  • India is the 4th Asian country that has a good number of blue flag beaches. As of September 2021, the country has recorded 10 beaches under blue flags. The two new blue flag beaches that have been added to the list are Kovalam Beach and Eden Beach, located in the South of India.

  • Blue flag status has been given to those beaches that fulfil the 13 important criteria under the Blue Flag Programme. Earlier, the aim to start the project in 2017-2018 was to develop model beaches in every coastal state of India. MoEFCC gave blue flag recognition to 13 beaches in India, amongst which 8 were displayed in the list. The first beach in India to receive the blue flag status was Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha in June 2018.

  • The two beaches now among India's blue flag beaches are Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu) and Eden beach (Puducherry). They were given blue flag certification in 2021 mainly because of their cleanliness, serenity, less population, and how they managed solid waste and marine litter in and around the sea.

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