India’s beach tourism plan raises a red flag

The quest for a global ecotourism tag may have done more harm than good to a coastal stretch in Karnataka.

It is one of those official initiatives that began with good intentions, but because of how it was executed, ended up having the exact opposite effect. 

We are talking about the environment ministry’s ambitious plan to get 100 beaches across India the internationally well regarded ecotourism label, called the Blue Flag certificate, which is accorded by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education. It is being pursued by the ministry-affiliated body, the Society of Integrated Coastal Management, or SICOM, through a special programme. This programme is called the Beach Environment and Aesthetic Management Services, or BEAMS, and it has some …


Akshay Deshmane

Akshay is an investigative reporter and former writer at The Morning Context. Based in Delhi, he writes about the environment, public policy and economy from the lens of the pulls and pressures of an ambitious democracy. Akshay uses the right to information extensively for reporting stories of vital public interest. Over the past decade and more, he has worked for HuffPost India, Frontline, The Economic Times, Down To Earth and DNA.