Fifty six Cyprus beaches have been awarded an exclusive eco-friendly label by an international jury, signifying their compliance to stringent environmental regulations, according to a report.
The Blue Flag has been awarded to over 3,450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.
The initiative was launched in 1987, during the European Year for the Environment, and is coordinated and run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
It contributes towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environment education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services.
Cyprus, as a Mediterranean tourism destination, has recognised the importance of this campaign as one way in which tourism can be better integrated with the coastal environment, said the announcement by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).
With the initiative of the CTO and the cooperation of the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA), the local authorities and the relevant government bodies, Cyprus has introduced the European Blue Flag Campaign and become a full member of the FEE in 1995.