NICOSIA -- Fifty seven beaches in Cyprus have been awarded the Blue Flag this year on the basis of environmental management criteria covering sewage treatment, coastal planning and protection, bathing water quality, safety and services and environmental education. Fifty six beaches were awarded the Blue Flag last year.
Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA) awarded on Wednesday the Flags during a ceremony held at the beach of Kourion, in Episkopi, Limassol, where a Blue Flag was raised.
Ayia Napa Municipality secured 14 flags, Paralimni Municipality nine flags and Agyios Tychonas in Limassol seven flags. Paphos Municipality got six flags, Larnaca three flags, while Limassol, Yeroskipou, Polis Chrysochous, Pegia Municipalitis as well as Pentakomo and Pyrgos communities secured two flags each. One flag was awarded to Ayios Athanasios Municipality, Episkopi, Pissouri, Parekklisia, Pervolia and Voroklini.
CYMEPA General Secretary Michalis Ierides said that the Blue Flag is now 26 years old years old, while in Cyprus it has been awarded during the last 18 years and have contributed” in acquiring knowledge and the rights values which are necessary to promote practices of sustainable development and exploitation of the beaches by the local authorities.”
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3850 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.
The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development of beaches and marinas through strict criteria dealing with Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services.
The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the non-government, non-profit organisation the Foundation for Environmental Education