The need for a more effective management of the growing risks to the coastal and marine environment of Limassol is demonstrated by the environmental study presented at the 2nd Blue Limassol Forum on March 30, 2022. The study conducted by Frederick University on behalf of the Municipality of Limassol assesses for the first time, collectively and collectively, the environmental risks in the coastal area of Limassol, while clearly ringing the alarm bell calling on the competent bodies to cooperate and take joint measures to address these challenges with the ultimate goal of ensuring sustainability and quality of life of citizens.
The Blue Limassol Forum was held for the first time in a hybrid format: with a physical presence at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Limassol and online, with over 400 participants. Welcoming the Conference, the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Mr. Vassilis Dimitriadis, underlined the importance of the shipping sector for Cyprus and in particular for the city of Limassol, the actions and initiatives of the Government to promote a comprehensive approach to maximizing the potential for development of our seas in a sustainable way. Mr. Demitriadis congratulated Frederick University and the Organizing Committee for the environmental study, which provides useful suggestions for the development of national strategies and actions. In this regard, Mr. Demitriadis referred to the integrated national maritime policy of Cyprus and announced that the 60-day public consultation on the development of the Maritime Spatial Planning of Cyprus will begin tomorrow (March 31) and will be followed by a series of local meetings with all interested members and civil society, covering all the coastal areas of Cyprus, starting from Limassol on April 11.
In his own speech, the Mayor of Limassol, Mr. Nikos Nikolaidis, He stressed that strengthening the dynamics of the blue economy in Limassol is one of the top goals of the Municipal Council, and referred to a number of initiatives of the Municipality, in this context. These initiatives include the establishment of the Blue Limassol Forum, the conduct of the first holistic Limassol Bay Risk Assessment Study, and the operation of the Blue Innovation Center on issues related to the blue economy and shipping. The Mayor also expressed his appreciation to Frederick University for their cooperation and support in the efforts of the Municipality of Limassol to promote the blue economy of our city and ensure its leading role in the development, technology and economic activity of Cyprus. .
The Conference was also greeted by the Vice President of the Frederick University Council , Dr. Christoforos Charalambous, who referred the need to address the great challenge of development with a view to protecting the environment and the quality of life of citizens. “Only such a challenge can be tackled as a whole”, Dr. Charalambous mentioned and praised the work of the Department of Shipping and Commerce of the University for the coordination of the environmental study that presents for the first time a complete picture of the dangers off the coast of Limassol.
The results of the study were presented at the Conference by the Project Manager, Dr. Angelos Menelaou, President of the Department of Shipping and Commerce of the University Frederick , and Dr. Michalis Makrominas, Assistant Professor in the same Department. The main areas related to the Limassol coast, such as the energy and hydrocarbons sector, the ports and merchant shipping sector, the marina and yacht sector, the construction sector, the fish farming and fisheries, the sewerage system and waste management.
According to the results of the study, while the environmental pressures and risks in each sector over time are not evaluated as particularly important, however in their entirety & # 8211; and given the factor of continuous and rapid growth and rapid population accumulation in the coastal zone of Limassol & # 8211; will be factors of environmental degradation. The research shows that the main weakness of the system is the fragmentation of responsibilities and services in the management of environmental incidents and the lack of consolidated data. Hence the research suggests the coordination of all actors and the use of technology to solve problems. “It is worth noting that the study took into account the concerns of more than 500 citizens of Limassol as expressed in a public opinion poll. During the study, the concerns of the citizens were examined, which seem to have been largely justified “ commented Dr. Angelos Menelaou.
The Conference also included two presentations that highlight the need for coordination and long-term planning for the transition to sustainability. Specifically, the K teacher Carola Hein , Head of the Department of History of Architecture and Urban Design at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, spoke about the transition from Rotterdam Harbor to green energy. He pointed out the challenges of this transition and explained that the lack of a long-term plan was an obstacle to its implementation.
Professor Rachelle Alterman , head of the Comparative Planning Law and Land Policy Lab and Senior Research Fellow at the Neaman Institute of the Haifa Institute of Technology in Israel. In her speech, Prof. Alterman analyzed the data of 22 coastal cities in an equal number of countries and pointed out that the legal framework governing the sea-land relationship in these countries is neither modernized nor effective. Instead, he said, it's a complex framework that further highlights the need for planning.
The conference coordinator, Captain Eugen Adami, President of CYFOS and lecturer in the Department of Shipping and Commerce of the University, said & # 8211; in the conclusions of the Conference & # 8211; that there is a pervasive and confirmed need for an integrated strategic plan for the realistic transition of coastal cities, such as Limassol, to sustainability. All stakeholders should be consulted in this planning: the scientific and academic community, government agencies as well as civil society, who should also be involved in decision-making centers, in order to ensure sustainable development and the quality of life. “It is important to adhere to the framework of this pre-agreed strategic planning, so that any form of development moves within the pre-defined specifications. The short-term and individual benefits can, in no case, derail the strategic planning towards sustainability “, said the Project Manager, Dr. Angelos Menelaou.