Saturday, March 24, 2007

Proposal for Malaysia's Beaches to be Publicly Rated

A rating on cleanliness and safety has been proposed for the country’s beaches.

Universiti Sains Malaysia marine biologist Dr Aileen Tan Chau Hwai, who is behind the proposal, said the university will work with marine experts from around the world, particularly Blue Flag Programme officials, on the measure to help the public decide where they would want to go for a swim.

The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). It works towards sustainable development at beaches and marinas through criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services.

The Blue Flag, an eco-label, has been awarded to over 3,200 beaches and marinas in 36 countries.

"We will prepare a white paper which we will submit to the government for recommendations once everything is in place,” Tan said at the university’s main campus here today.

"I am sure we have very clean and safe beaches that we can boast of."

Tan said Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong had a rating system.

Earlier, Tan, together with USM International Studies director Prof Datuk Syed Ahmad Hussein and USM's marine science researcher Dr Zulfigar Yasin, held a Press conference to announce an international workshop on "Beach water quality and tourism in Southeast Asia: What role for public information programmes?"

The workshop will be held for three days beginning Mar 27.

More than 60 expects from nine countries will attend.

Source : NST
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