Two beaches from Lakshadweep — Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat Beach — have received the International eco-label ‘Blue Flag’.
The Thundi Beach is one of the most pristine and picturesque beaches in the Lakshadweep archipelago where white sand is lined by turquoise blue water of the lagoon.
Kadmat Beach is especially popular with cruise tourists who visit the island for water sports.
With the new additions, India now has 12 beaches with Blue Flag certification.
What is Blue Flag?
• The ‘Blue Flag’ is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators.
• The programme is operated under the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.
• The Blue Flag programme started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.
• The mission is to promote sustainability in the tourism sector, through environmental education, environmental protection and other sustainable development practices.
• The recommendations are done by an independent national jury composed of eminent environmentalists and scientists.
• The eco-label is accorded 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/beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area.
Indian beaches with Blue Flag certification:
• Shivrajpur in Gujarat
• Ghoghla in Diu
• Kasarkod and Padubidri in Karnataka
• Kappad in Kerala
• Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh
• Golden Beach in Odisha
• Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
• Kovalam in Tamil Nadu
• Eden in Puducherry
• Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat Beach in Lakshadweep.