Blue flags fly in the Caribbean
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CTA. 2005. Blue flags fly in the Caribbean. Spore 118. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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The first beaches in the Caribbean have begun flying the Blue Flag, denoting cleanliness, environmental conservation and safety. The Blue Flag International Jury has given 12 coastal sites in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico th
The first beaches in the Caribbean have begun flying the Blue Flag, denoting cleanliness, environmental conservation and safety. The Blue Flag International Jury has given 12 coastal sites in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico the right to display the prestigious eco-label. The Blue Flag Campaign for beaches and marinas is run by the non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and has been operating in Europe since 1987. Since its launch, it has proved to be an effective environmental management tool, but the early criteria for the Blue Flag awards, largely based on water quality standards, have gradually been expanded to include wider areas of environmental management, such as waste management and coastal planning and protection. It is expected that implementation of the Blue Flag Campaign in the Caribbean will encourage the sustainable use of beach ecosystems in the region, as well as other coastal resources, including rural areas further inland. Special criteria have been designed for the region, which take account of the environmental particularities of the Caribbean Sea, such as the presence of coral reefs. In 2004, 2,333 beaches and 605 marinas were flying the Blue Flag in 29 countries. In 1981, South Africa became the first country outside Europe to fly the blue flag on its beaches. More countries are applying to join, including several southeastern African nations which signed the Nairobi Convention, the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region. Former Executive Director of the Caribbean Conservation Association, Dr. Joth Singh, said this certification would be a boost for the sustainable management of coastal resources in the region. The important thing about the Blue Flag programme is that it will encourage environmental management at the respective sites on a continuous basis, he said. Blue Flag status is only valid for as long as the criteria are maintained. Therefore, the onus is on those in charge of the sites to ensure that their flags are kept flying. FEE Scandiagade 13 2450 Copenhagen SV Denmark Tel: +45 337 90079 Fax: +45 337 90179 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blueflag.org
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