Radhanagar among 13 Indian beaches in Asia’s first selected for global certification

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
8 Jun 2018

In a proud moment for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has selected Radhanagar in Havelock, one of the top rated beaches in the world, for development as per global standards. Altogether, 13 pilot beaches from Coastal States and Union Territories have been selected for Blue Flag certification, which will be the first in not just India, but in Asia. EOI in December last year reported that the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) was awaiting formal nomination from the Andaman and Nicobar Administration for the pilot project to enhance standards of cleanliness on beaches -“Blue Flag’ Certification following which the UT Administration nominated Radhanagar beach.
The project aims to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches and development for the “Blue Flag’ Certification. Under the pilot programme, each of the coastal State/UT were requested to identify/nominate a beach, to be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme. The 'Blue Flag' is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator, meets its stringent standards.
As per reports, the Society of Integrated Coastal Management executing the pilot project has floated tenders for development of infrastructure facilities, pollution abatement and safety surveillance services for 08 out of the 13 selected pilot beaches in India which include Shivrajpur – Distt. Dwarka, Gujarat, Bhogve- Distt. Sindhudurg, Maharashtra, Ghoghla- Diu, (UT of Daman & Diu), Emerald, Karaikal, Puducherry, Padubidri, Udupi District, Karnataka, Kappad, Kozhikode District, Kerala, Chandrabhaga, Puri District, Odisha and Rushikonda, Vishakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh. Chandrabhaga beach of Odisha’s Konark coast was the first to complete the tag certification process and was awarded the honour on the World Environment Day this year.
As per the tender document, to plan sustainable tourism and healthy coastal management, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India conceived an integrated coastal management scheme viz. BEAMS to reduce existing pollutants on beaches and to aspire and achieve such high international standards in India. The main objective of setting up 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 viz environmental management including cleanliness, solid waste management in beaches, environmental education, safety and security of beachgoers and bathing water quality standards. The project primarily focuses on Beach Rejuvenation Plan‖ that also means development of beach facilities, reduction and regulations of beach littering and undertaking day to day cleaning operations in beaches. It will also ensure and control various types of pollutions in beaches by effective solid waste management, utilization and bring significant awareness on environment protection & sensitize beachgoers of ecosystems and biodiversity.
The Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) was established under the aegis of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change, Government of India. The main objectives of SICOM are to support implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) activities in India, implement the World Bank assisted India ICZM Project, to provide Research Development (R&D) and stakeholders participation in management of the Coastal areas in India and undertake any additional work or function as may be assigned by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change from time to time in the area of Coastal Management and other related activities. The Ministry of Environment and Forests initiated the World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project with a budget outlay of Rs.1580.10crores (US$262 million).
The Blue Flag beach standards were established by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), in 1985, as per which a beach must strictly comply with 33 environment and tourist-related conditions. The initiative began in Paris, and quickly spread through Europe and even to South Africa. Asia remained untouched, till the selection of 13 beaches from India.