The Taj Mahal opened again on Monday, but social distancing rules remain in place at all times
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For the first time, eight beaches of India have been recommended for the prestigious international eco-label, Blue Flag. It is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
Blue Flag beaches are considered to be the cleanest beaches in the world.
Blue Flag winners not only have to meet a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria but also maintain them.
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.
The announcement was made by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on September 19.
According to Blue Flag’s global website, the main aim of the programme is to connect the public with their surroundings and encourage them to learn more about their environment.
The eco-label also requires that Blue Flag certified beaches and marinas ‘must offer environmental education activities and promote a permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental phenomena’.
On the same day, India launched its own eco-label BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project.
The BEAMS programme will focus on halting pollution of coastal waters, promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect and conserve coastal ecosystems and natural resources, and ensure local authorities and stakeholders maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations.
The Indian coastline is dotted with many beautiful beaches, some popular, some lesser known. But in our bid to enjoy them, we often leave them sullied. Hopefully, the Blue Flag certified beaches will now act as a reference for other beaches to put their acts together, aligning beach recreation with environmentally sustainable practices.
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