Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ja: Four beaches vying for Blue Flag status

OPERATORS OF four Jamaican beaches are seeking to have them certified under the international 'Blue Flag' eco-label, awarded to quality beaches and marinas.

This move is a first in the Caribbean, and Jamaica is among five nations in the region which have beaches that are now vying for this status.

The local beaches seeking recognition under the pilot phase of the Blue Flag programme are Doctor's Cave Beach in St. James; Long Bay Beach in Negril which embraces Westmoreland and Hanover; Dunn's River Falls and Beach in St. Ann and the new marina at Port Antonio, inclusive of the marina beach.

All Jamaican beaches seeking Blue Flag certification will be subject to assessments and spot-checks from national, regional and international panels, co-ordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEE), a non-governmental organisation.
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The certification is most widely recognised in Europe. It is an international symbol of coastal environmental quality, that is much sought after for the status it confers and the attraction it has for tourists who are seeking a vacation at the beach.

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