SOME 57 beaches in Cyprus have been given the prestigious Blue Flag this year, rewarding their compliance with a number of criteria on environmental management, water quality, and safety.
Speaking at Kourion beach at Limassol’s Episkopi, where a blue flag was raised, the general secretary of the Cyprus marine protection association (CYMEPA) said the Blue Flag tradition has been helping Cyprus promote sustainable development.
Michalis Ierides said that by participating for some 18 years in the voluntary competition, local authorities have been learning how best to make use of their beaches.
The municipality of the popular tourist destination of Ayia Napa boasts 14 flags for this year, while their neighbours at Paralimni have nine beaches meeting the criteria. Limassol’s Agios Tychonas got seven, whereas Limassol communities of Agios Athanasios, Episkopi, Pissouri, Pareklisia got one each. Limassol municipality, and the district’s Pentakomo and Pyrgos got two Flags each. Larnaca harnessed three flags, with Larnaca villages of Pervolia and Voroklini each harnesses one Blue Flag each. Paphos municipality also boasted six flags, with the Paphos districts of Geroskipou, Polis Chrysochous and Peyia got two Blue Flags each.
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. The programme is owned and run by the non-government, non-profit organisation the Foundation for Environmental Education. Find out more at www.blueflag.org