Protest against Blue Flag Beaches

Protest against Blue Flag Beaches

Why in News?
 Recently Odisha government’s plan to get Blue Flag Certification for five beaches was opposed by the fishermen.
 Odisha planned to develop five more beaches in three districts to meet international standards after receiving the certification for Puri’s Golden Beach in 2020.

Fishermen’s Demands:
 The proposed land for the certification is used by the fishermen to anchor their boats.
 They want a permanent sea mouth to anchor the fishing boats.
 Protection of livelihood should be ensured and protected.
 Reopening of a new fishing jetty.

Blue Flag Certification:
 Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world.
 The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.

Criteria for Certification:
 In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
 There are around 33 criteria that are to be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification,
 Such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, having first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach.
 Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.

 The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
 FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) was established in France in 1985.
 On the lines of Blue Flag certification, India has also launched its own eco-label BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services).

 Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services that comes under ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project.
 This was launched by the Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The objectives of BEAMS program is to:
1. Abate pollution in coastal waters,
2. Promote sustainable development of beach facilities,
3. Protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources,
4. Strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness,
5. Hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.

There are eight beaches in India which have received Blue Flag Certification:
1. Shivrajpur in Gujarat,
2. Ghoghla in Daman & Diu,
3. Kasarkod in Karnataka and,
4. Padubidri beach in Karnataka,
5. Kappad in Kerala,
6. Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh,
7. Golden beach of Odisha,
8. Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.

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