Under the name of “BlueFlag”, this certification has already intervened more than 4,000 beaches in 50 countries, with Chile being the third in South America to join the initiative. Cleaning, educational areas and infrastructure for the disabled are some requirements.
The picture on several beaches in Chile after the summer is similar: Garbage, polluted water and a significant balance in robberies. Although in many communes this situation has been improved, it has just arrived in Chile, something that could help. This is “BlueFlag”, a global program of certification and sustainable improvement of beaches. This seal, endorsed by the UN, Unesco and the World Tourism Organization, will begin to analyze some beaches (sea and lakes) of our country.
The BlueFlag model proposes a joint work that involves public and private actors, as well as communities in the management of their beaches, opening opportunities for local and tourist development. It is based on 4 pillars: information, environmental education, environmental management and, security and services, from which 33 criteria are derived, such as water quality, cleanliness, environmental education programs, protection of endangered ecosystems and accessibility for people with disabilities, among others. Once the standards are reached, the beach gets BlueFlag certification and can raise the “blue flag”, which has already established itself as a global eco-label recognized by tourists.
BlueFlag Chile are in the stage of conversations with various entities of the public and private world for the implementation of a pilot of 5 beaches by 2019 and already have a national level with the sponsorship of the Ministries of Environment and Economy, in addition to the Navy .
The recertification is year by year, which necessarily implies continuous work over time and the permanent commitment of the communities and actors involved. Therefore, according to the director of BlueFlag Chile, “The care and sustainable use of beaches is something continuous. If we are going to clean them one day a year, we are not working on solving the problem. ” It is estimated that in Chile there are 896 beaches / spas of 46 communes that can have, in the beginning, certification. 860 are from the sea and 36 from lakes.