The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3850 beaches and marinas in 49 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 program was created in 1987 and is run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The Blue Flag program was launched in Iceland in 2002. The first Blue Flags were awarded in 2003 when Borgarfjörður eystri marina, Stykkishólmur marina and the Blue Lagoon were the first places to receive the award. These places have received the flag every year since, but now in 2013 an additional four places have been added to the Icelandic Blue Flag community.
Tourism is rapidly gaining ground in Iceland and the Icelandic nation relies heavily on its marine resources. Therefore, treatment of the sea has to be exemplary. Good environmental management ensures the future health of the environment and provides security for future generations.
Landvernd has gained a lot of experience with its Blue Flag program in the more than two decades since the program was first launched. It is a powerful tool for success in the fight for a healthy environment and the improvement of living conditions for the future. The Blue Flag is an indicator of good environmental performances, it serves as a tourist attraction and improves the appearance and appeal of municipalities and provinces.
The Blue Flag program is funded by the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Industries and Innovation and the Ministry of the Interior.