Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Blue Flag Programme)

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Topic: Blue Flag Programme

Blue Flag Programme

Why in News?

  • On the eve of International Coastal Clean-Up Day, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that eight beaches of the country have been recommended for the coveted 'Blue Flag' international eco-label.
  • He also announced India's own eco-label 'Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services' (BEAMS) under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project.

What is Blue Flag Label?

  • Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by an international agency 'Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark' based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads--environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environment management and conservation and safety and services in the beaches.
  • The 'Blue Flag' beach is an eco-tourism model endeavouring to provide the tourists/ beach-goers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area.
  • The Indian beaches, selected by an independent national jury, are the Golden Beach (Puri) of Odisha, Radhanagar Beach in the Andaman island, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Kappad in Kerala, Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka, Ghogla in Diu, and Shivrajpur in Gujarat.


  • Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC ) in pursuit of promoting its policies for sustainable development in coastal regions have embarked upon a highly acclaimed program Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS) under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project.
  • This is one of the several other projects of ICZM that Government of India is undertaking for the sustainable development of coastal regions, striving for globally recognized and the coveted eco-label ‘Blue flag’.
  • The main objective of setting up of BEAMS programme is to promote sustainable development in coastal regions of India for the beach management authorities to strive to achieve high international standards in four categories of:
  • Environmental management including cleanliness, solid waste management in beaches;
  • Environment education;
  • Safety and security of beachgoers; and
  • Bathing water quality standards.
  • This program promotes beach recreation in absolute harmony with nature.
  • SICOM has initiated the process for clean beaches in 13 pilot beaches (one pilot beach in every Coastal States/UTs) under this programme and in line with ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’.

Tweaking CRZ Regulations

  • The Environment Ministry has relaxed Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules that restrict construction near beaches to help States construct infrastructure and enable them to receive ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
  • The Blue Flag certification, however, requires beaches to create certain infrastructure — portable toilet blocks, grey water treatment plants, a solar power plant, seating facilities, CCTV surveillance and the like. However, India’s CRZ laws don’t allow the construction of such infrastructure on beaches and islands. Via an order on January 9 2020, the Environment Ministry eased these restrictions for the “purposes of Blue Flag certification”.
  • Last year, the Ministry selected 13 beaches in India to vie for the certificate. This is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.
  • The earmarked beaches are — Ghoghala beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave beach (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod beaches (Karnataka), Kappad beach (Kerala), Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu), Eden beach (Puducherry), Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh), Miramar beach (Goa), Golden beach (Odisha), Radhanagar beach (Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Bangaram beach (Lakshadweep).