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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Kadis: The priority is to maintain the good condition of the marine environment of Cyprus

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Καδorς: Προτερ αιoτητα η διατorρηση της καλorς κατ στασης του θαλασσου περιβλλ&omicron ντος της Κyπρου

For the government, maintaining the good ecological and environmental condition of the marine and coastal environment of Cyprus is a priority, the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Kostas Kadis said today.  

In his online greeting, at a conference entitled “The Sustainable Development of Coastal Areas”, organized in Larnaca by the Cyprus Institute for the Sea and Shipping and the European Information Center of Larnaca, the Minister said that “in Cyprus, the population in coastal areas it reaches approximately 50% of the total population and as an island state, it is called upon to face significant challenges, in relation to the sustainable management of its coastal and marine resources”.

He added that “to deal with these challenges, the Government implements an integrated environmental policy, which is based, among other things, on the European Union's Framework Directive on Marine Strategy and Waters. The Ministry of Agriculture implements specific programs to monitor the ecological state of our seas and coastal areas and takes all the necessary measures to protect and preserve them”.

According to the Minister of Agriculture “the maintenance of good ecological and environmental of the state of the marine and coastal environment of Cyprus, is a priority for the Government. In this direction, it is considered important to utilize scientific knowledge about biodiversity and the ecological processes that characterize the marine and coastal ecosystem, as well as the factors that influence it”.

Besides, the Mayor of Larnaca, Andreas Vyras, said that “the Municipality always keeping in mind the natural environment, the effects on the ecology, in cooperation with the relevant Government Departments  we follow specific parameters so that every form of development in the city is fully identified with an ecological approach. Essentially, this is a substantial attempt to integrate the environmental dimension into development policies”.

Blue Development, he continued, “constitutes for the Municipality of Larnaca a long-term strategy that integrates as a whole, economic,  social and  environmental aspects of the sea. The Municipality, committed to sectors that seek sustainable development and recognizing the city's comparative advantages, pursues blue growth in sectors such as transport, tourism, education, innovation, new professions, new businesses and much more”.

In his own greeting Andreas Kettis, Head of the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus, explained that “by the term blue economy we refer to a broad, rapidly developing part of our economy,  which includes fishing, aquaculture, coastal tourism, maritime transport, port operations, shipbuilding and offshore oil and gas extraction”.

He further explained that “based on this strategy, five sectors of the blue economy have emerged as more important, including coastal tourism, blue energy and undersea mining – sectors that are certainly of immediate interest to our country. Coastal tourism in particular is still the backbone of the blue economy both in the EU and in Cyprus” he said and underlined “the important role that the European Parliament assigns to the Development of the Blue Economy”.

For his part, the MEP Dimitris Papadakis said that “Cyprus should be a model country for the protection of the seas considering that it is surrounded by countries that do not belong to the EU and we have to implement the policies that the Union draws up and we co-decide. There are important things that can be done in Cyprus” he said and noted that “the issue is not partisan since the environment has no color”.

He added that “several of our beaches remain dirty and while there are laws, however, there is no proper surveillance and protection from those in charge, with a striking example of discarded cigarette butts and plastics on the beaches, which result in polluting the seas and causing them to die fish. Steps must be taken to take advantage of the advantages that Cyprus has and to use solar energy to increase the production of energy from RES”.

The CEO of the Cyprus Institute for the Sea and Shipping, Zacharias Siokouros stated that “the role of research and innovation is particularly important for the sustainable development of coastal areas as they will contribute to finding green and smart solutions to environmental and socio-economic challenges that these areas face.

He added that “CMMI, through a series of innovative projects and actions in the context of which it develops and uses new technologies and promotes applied research, aims to highlight and exploit the potential of the Blue Economy. The Institute collaborates with various bodies, private and public, at the local, national and European level contributing, among other things, to the diagnosis and treatment of their needs”.

The Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, Marina Argyrou, in her own presentation, said that “the maritime area of ​​Cyprus is characterized by low productivity due to its hyper-oligotrophic nature and a relatively high diversity of species and very low biomass. Cyprus is privileged to host an admirably rich and unique marine and coastal biodiversity that includes a number of iconic Mediterranean species including sea turtles and marine mammals”.

Cyprus, continued “through national legislation as well as European conventions and directives, contributes to the protection and preservation of the Marine environment. In Cyprus, 18 coastal and two offshore areas are part of the National Network of Marine Protected Areas. The national network of MPAs offers solutions and contributes to the conservation of nature and the protection of biodiversity, and reduces the impact of the threats it receives from both natural and man-made factors in the marine environment”.

Furthermore, the Commissioner Environment, Clelia Vassiliou in her own presentation stated among other things that “based on International definitions, Cyprus is an entire coastal country with 772 kilometers of coastline, with approximately 1/3 being territory over which the Republic of Cyprus cannot exercise effective control because of the occupation”.

He added that “the government in recent years with the Strategy for the coastal areas has proceeded with actions and sections able to contribute to this effort. The initiative of the President of the Republic, in collaboration with the Cyprus Institute, leaves us with many scientific forecasting tools and methods for adapting political decisions to beneficial solutions for mitigating the effects of the Climate Crisis”.

(CYPE/FZ/GBA )

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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