Blue Flag The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 3450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.
BLUE FLAG • The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the independent non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in Europe since 1980. The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services. The Blue Flag Programme includes environmental education and information for the public, decision makers and tourism operators.
BLUE FLAG • The progamme in the Caribbean is managed for (FEE) by a Caribbean Blue Flag Consortium comprising of CAST, Caribbean Tourism Organization and Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA).
Blue Flag • Blue Flag has proven to be an effective environmental tool to enhance safety management and environmental quality of beaches and marinas.
BLUE FLAG • Under the Blue Flag award system, beaches that fulfill a number of exacting criteria regarding factors such a bathing water quality, cleanliness and safety are given the right to fly the Blue Flag. • The Blue Flag has become an European symbol of coastal environment quality and is sought by local authorities for the status it confers upon them and the attraction it has for beach tourists.
Blue Flag • Criteria to follow to become a Blue Flag: • In order to receive a Blue Flag, a beach or marina must meet strict criteria including: • Measuring of water quality • The provision of environmental education and information • Environmental management and environmental safety.
BLUE FLAG • ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION: • Information about bathing water quality must be displayed • Information about the Blue Flag Campaign must be displayed • Code of conduct for the beach area must be displayed and the laws governing beach use must be easily available to the public upon request. • A minimum of 5 environmental education activities must be offered.
Blue Flag • Information relating to coastal zone ecosystem and natural, sensitive areas in the coastal zone must be displayed.
BLUE FLAG • WATER QUALITY: • Compliance with the requirements and standards for excellent bathing water quality • No industrial or sewage related discharges may affect the beach area. Monitoring on the health of coral reefs located in the vicinity of the beach. • Compliance of the community with requirements for sewage treatment and effluent quality.
Blue Flag • Algae or other vegetation should not be left to decay on the beach (costal zone planning and environmental legislation) unless it constitutes a nuisance.
Blue Flag • Environmental Management: • A beach management committee must be established to be in charge of instituting environmental management systems and conduct regular environmental audits of the beach facility. • The beach must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach ( coastal zone planning and environmental legislation )
Blue Flag • The beach must be clean • Waste disposal bins? Receptacles must be available on/by the beach in adequate numbers, regularly maintained and emptied. • Facilities for receiving recyclable waste materials must be available on the beach.
Blue Flag • On the beach there will be no unauthorized camping or driving and no dumping. • Regulation concerning dogs and other domestic animals on the beach must be strictly enforced. • All buildings and equipment of the beach must be properly maintained • Sustainable means of transportation must be promoted in the beach area.
Blue flag • Safety and services. • An adequate number of lifeguards and or lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach. • First aid equipment must the available on the beach. • There must be management of different users and uses of the beach so as to prevent conflicts and accidents.
Blue Flag • An emergency plan to cope with pollution safety risks must be in place • There must be safe access to the beach • The beach area must be patrolled • A supply of potable drinking water must be available on the beach.
Blue Flag • A minimum of one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have access and toilet facilities provided for disabled persons. • Map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed.
Blue flag • Boat owners become a Blue Flag member by signing an environmental code of conduct and receive a Blue Flag pennant to fly on your boat and let everybody know you are contributing to a clean and healthy marine environment for future generation.
Blue Flag • FACTS ABOUT BLUE FLAG: • Only local authorises can apply for the Blue Flag for beaches. • The criteria for Blue Flag beaches cover four main areas: A: Water quality B: Environmental information and education) C: Environmental Management and Facilities D: Safety, service and facilities
Blue Flag • The criteria of the Campaign are developed overtime, so that participating communities have to keep working on solving relevant environmental problems to get the Blue Flag. • The Blue Flag is only awarded for one season at a time and the award is only valid as long as the criteria are fulfiled.
Blue Flag • When this is not the case, the responsible persons at local level are obligated to take the Blue Flag down. • AnTasice, the national Blue Flag organization inspects the Blue Flag sites during the season.
Reference • (http://www.blueflag.org).