8 Indian Beaches accorded the prestigious “Blue Flag” Certification
Certifying beaches to fly the Blue Flag started in Europe first as beach lovers found many beaches littered with dirt and plastics and remains of beach parties. Over 4500 beaches fly the Blue Flag in Europe with Beach Management Systems (BEAMS) in place.
In India it started 2 years ago with a dream to make Indian beaches safe and clean. Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SECOM) under the Ministry of Environment worked on the project, selected the beaches and floated tenders. The winners were given the task to develop the beaches to meet the criteria for certification. Of the 33 criteria only 3 related to safety which is understandable for European countries where safety consciousness is high and safety systems are in place. But not so in India!
The Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India) or RLSS (I), therefore, stepped in to contribute in support of the Beach Management System (BEAMS) in phases like:
- Phase I – Audited and surveyed the beaches.
- Phase II – Trained Beach Lifeguards and Beach Managers in international Beach Management Systems and protocols.
- Phase III – Recommended sourced and supplied Beach Safety Equipment.
- Phase IV – Advised and assisted with rigging of the beach with Beach Flag Systems, safety hoardings and signage with information on the beach and safest place to swim or bathe.
Creating a Safe Swim Haven marked with red & yellow flags was declared an important task for lifeguards to set up every morning, all in support of the Beach Management System. They worked tirelessly mapping, creating approaches, cleaning and marking the safe areas and rigging the beaches to international standards of safety and services.
RLSS (I) congratulates every person, who has been a part of this effort. It was difficult as many hurdles and challenges had to be overcome, but now when we look at these serene beaches, we know that we have done well by the cause of safer and cleaner beaches in India.
We would like to compliment the following organisations which made this possible.
- ICZM- World Bank Funded-Integrated Coastal Zone Management
- MoEFCC-Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
- FEE-Foundation of Environment Education
- SICOM-Society of Integrated Coastal Management
- BEAMS-Beach Management Services &
- RLSS (India) – The Project Team
A Glimpse of these Wonderful Beaches
What is Blue Flag?
The Blue Flag certification is an internationally recognized Eco-label accorded by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark. The status is accorded only after meeting thirty-three criteria under four major heads, namely – environmental education & information; bathing water quality; environmental management & conservation; and safety & services on the beach. The Blue Flag beaches are considered clean, safe and friendly.
India is among the few countries in Asia, which has accepted to designate beaches to fly the Blue Flag fulfilling the criteria that goes with it. This certification is a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts for its beaches.
#BlueFlag #CleanBeaches #SafeBeaches #RLSSIndia