India first nation to get Blue Flag Certification

India has become the first nation in the world to get the Blue Flag Certification for 8 beaches in a single effort. The list of New Blue Flag beaches of India is Andhra Pradesh’s Rushikonda, Kerala’s Kappad, Diu’s Ghoghla, Gujarat’s Shivrajpur, Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Golden beach in Odisha’s Puri, and Karnataka’s Kasarkod and Padubidri beaches. Blue Flag is presented by a Global Jury consisting of well-known members of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), FEE, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and IUCN. The award is presented to the cleanest, safest, and environment-friendly beaches of the world.

Proud moment for India

This is a proud moment as no Blue Flag country has ever been bestowed for 8 beaches in a “single shot”. For India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts, Blue Flag Certification has come as an international recognition. In the Asia-Pacific category, India has also become the first nation to accomplish the feat in about 2 years. When it comes to Asia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and South Korea have received Blue Flag certification for a couple of beaches. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned nations received the recognition in a time period of about 5 to 6 years.

India has now entered the alliance of 50 Blue Flag countries. According to Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Central Government is looking to take this journey forward to 100 such beaches in the country in the next five years. In 2018, India had begun the development of pilot beaches (one each in coastal states/UTs). Afterward, the government of India offered the first set of 8 beaches for the certification for the “tourist season” of 2020.