UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2021 Important topics: Blue Flag’ Certification

India Becomes First Nation to Get 8 ‘Blue Flag’ Beaches in a Row

The eight beaches are:

  1. Shivrajpur in Gujarat
  2. Ghoghla in Daman & Diu
  3. Kasarkod beach in Karnataka
  4. Padubidri beach in Karnataka
  5. Kappad in Kerala
  6. Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh
  7. Golden beach of Odisha
  8. Radhanagar beach of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Most Important UPSC IAS topics for UPSC Exam 2021

Criteria:

To criteria are slightly different for a beach, marina and sustainable boating tourism operator. It is based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads i.e.

  1. Environmental education and information
  2. Water quality
  3. Environmental management
  4. Safety and services

What is Blue Flag’ Certification?

  • This Certification is accorded by an international agency “Foundation for Environment Education (Denmark)
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.
  • The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label.
  • The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its standards. The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE which is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries.
  • FEE’s Blue Flag criteria include standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. The Blue Flag is sought for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
  • Certificates, which FEE refers to as awards, are issued on an annual basis to beaches and marinas of FEE member countries. The awards are announced yearly on 5 June for Europe, Canada, Morocco, Tunisia, and other countries in a similar geographic location, and on 1 November for the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries in the southern hemisphere.
  • In the European Union, the water quality standards are incorporated in the EC Water Framework Directive.
  • Spain has held the 1st position for nearly three decades since the awards began in 1987.

India’s initiative

  • The government also launched its own eco-label Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS) under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project.
  • India’s initiative to clean up its coastal and marine ecosystem has been applauded by the World Bank, who believes that India’s strategy for sustainable coastal zone management will act as a Beacon of light for other countries in the region.

Why Needed -The issue of marine litter and oil spilling has caused disturbances to aquatic life and the government is committed for the sustainable development of coastal regions.

About BEAMS:

India has launched its own eco-label BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project.

This program promotes beach recreation in absolute harmony with nature.

Objectives:

  • To abate pollution in coastal waters,
  • To promote sustainable development of beach facilities,
  • To Protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources,
  • To Strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness,
  • To Hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.

About Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project:

The concept of ICZM was introduced in 1992 during the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro and most of the coastal countries in the world have been adopting ICZM principles for managing their coastal zones.

It is a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability.

International Coastal Cleanup Day

  • It has been celebrated across 100 countries since 1986.
  • The day is marked each year on the third Saturday of September as an initiative of the Washington-based Ocean Conservancy, a volunteer effort for ocean health.

INDIA’S PAST ACTIONS FOR BLUE FLAG

In a notification by Centre in 2019, the Ministry of Environment had identified 13 beaches across India for the eco-label and had announced a list of activities permissible in their areas for that purpose. These were:

  • Container based toilet blocks, change rooms, shower panels
  • Mini grey water treatment plant enclosed in temporary structures
  • Mini solid waste recycling plant enclosed in temporary structures
  • Off grid solar PV panels
  • Purified drinking water kiosk
  • Beach access pathway to bathing zone made of interlinking paver blocks
  • LED landscape lighting with poles duly grouted
  • Portable bamboo made seating benches and sit-out umbrellas
  • Outdoor children play equipment
  • Container based CCTV control room and First aid station
  • Watch towers
  • Beach Information hoarding boards and beach layout map hoarding boards.

Practice Question

Que. Consider the following statements regarding Blue Flag’ Certification:

1. Blue Flag’ Certification is accorded by an international agency “Foundation for Environment Education

2. It was started in Spain in 1985

3. South Africa was the first country joined outside areas outside Europe

Identify the correct statements?

(a) 1, 2

(b) 1, 3

(c) 2, 3

(d) 1, 2, 3

Answer: b

Explaination: It started in France not Spain in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.

Que. Consider the following statements regarding Blue Flag’ Certification and which one of the following is incorrect?

1. The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its standards.

2. The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE which is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries.

3. The awards are announced yearly on 1 November for Europe, Canada, Morocco, Tunisia, and other countries in a similar geographic location, and on for 5 June the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries in the southern hemisphere.

4. Spain has held the 1st position for nearly three decades since the awards began in 1987.

Answer: 3

Explaination: The awards are announced yearly on 5 June for Europe, Canada, Morocco, Tunisia, and other countries in a similar geographic location, and on 1 November for the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries in the southern hemisphere.

Que. which of the following beaches in India Get Blue Flag’ Certification?

1. Shivrajpur in Gujarat

2. Ghoghla in Daman & Diu

3. Rushikonda in Karnataka

4. Padubidri beach in Karnataka

5. Golden beach of Chennai

(a) 1, 2, 3

(b) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

(c) 1, 2, 4

(d) 1, 3, 5

Answer: c

Blue Flag’ Certification UPSC IAS
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