Berhampur: Ganjam’s picturesque Sunapur beach became Odisha’s second Blue Flag beach. It received the coveted International Blue Flag Certification for 2023-24 by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark.
Sunapur Beach is located near the Bahuda river mouth on Ganjam district coast. This beach succeeded in qualifying 33 stringent criteria in four major heads i.e. (i) Environmental Education and Information, (ii) Bathing Water Quality, (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services in the beaches.
“The achievement of Blue Flag certification is a testament to the collective efforts of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) Odisha, District Beach Management Committee, Ganjam and the local community. Sunapur Beach is now not only a destination for pristine beauty but also a model for sustainable coastal tourism,” the Odisha Department of Forest, Environment and Climate Change said in a statement.
“The ‘Blue Flag’ beach is an Eco-tourism model striving to provide the tourists/beach goers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area,” the statement added.
The efforts to transform this is serene beach to a Blue Flag Beach under Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) Odisha started in 2021 and it concluded in 2023.
This Blue Flag Beach stretches over 800 meters with all amenities and facilities including specially designed wheelchairs for differently abled persons, zero liquid waste discharge, lifeguard towers, trained paramedic staff to provide first aid and CCTV coverage of the whole area. It is being managed by the District Beach Management Committee, Ganjam.
The Blue Flag programme was initially started in Europe in 1987. The certification is awarded by an international jury comprising members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), besides FEE annually.