In order to receive a Blue Flag designation, a beach or marina must meet strict criteria including the assessment of water quality, the provision of environmental education and information, environmental management, and the provision of safety and security services.
Blue Flag is an internationally-recognized, voluntary, environmental award presented to
organizations and facilities that reach the appropriate level of environmental management and education in respect of their beaches and marinas. The Blue Flag programme is coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and was established in France in 1985. It has been implemented throughout most of Europe since 1987.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Blue Flag programme is coordinated by Asclepius Green, a
local non-governmental organization (NGO) and the Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC), in an effort to ensure sustainable development of the sector and the proper management of human impacts on the environment, whilst ensuring high levels of visitor satisfaction.
At Blue Flag beaches like Las Cuevas there are dedicated management committees set up to conduct environmental audits of the site and its facilities. The committee is also responsible for ensuring that nearby habitats (such as nesting leatherbacks in Las Cuevas) are protected and managed sustainably.
Additionally, there is a twelve-member National Jury comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Health, the Institute of Marine Affairs, the Environmental Management Authority, the Water and Sewage Authority, SWMCOL, Councils of Presidents for the Environment (COPE), Las Cuevas Community Council, the Maracas Police Branch, the Division of Tourism and Transportation in the Tobago House of Assembly, the Yachting Sector, the Ministry of National Security and the Business Development Unit of the Ministry of Trade.
The Tourism Development Company continues to work with Asclepius Green and the 12-member National Blue Flag Jury to ensure the beach maintains its acquired status and continues to work on the establishment of other Blue Flag beaches within Trinidad and Tobago.
- Tourism Development Company Limited