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(English) ACT

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(English) ACT

for a sustainable Cyprus

We are working to make Cyprus Sustainable, both by participants directly in Parliamentary Committee and Environmental Impact Assessment meetings, and by encouraging citizens to get directly involved in decision-making.

We act at both national and European levels to align the interests of society, the environment and the economy.

We promote transparency through the Aarchus Convention, and we support the development of policies on Sustainable tourism, the Circular Economy and Standardisation.

We participate in various projects that are in line with our Strategic Goals.

Participation in Parliamentary Committees of the House of Representatives

As part of our activities, we regularly participate in meetings of Parliamentary Committees of the House of Representatives. The main Committees we participate in, are the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, the Parliamentary Committee on the Interior and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. At these Committees, we provide written position papers and arguments on a wide range of topics with environmental aspects, with a view to promoting sustainability and environmental protection.

A list of topics and our position papers are listed below:

Parliamentary Committee on the Environment:

Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources:

Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs:

Parliamentary Committee of Transport, Communications and Public Works:

Effects of Projects, Schemes and Programs on the Environment

We are especially interested in the effects (positive or negative) that relevant projects and programs may have on the environment of our island. For this reason, we participate in various governmental technical committees which assess the environmental impact of such projects and programs. In particular, we are called as a permanent member of the ad-hoc committee operated by the Environment Department to assess the impact that projects and programs may have on sections of the Ecological Areas of the Natura 2000 Network. The purpose of this Committee is to ensure that the species and habitats for which these Areas were designated will not be significantly affected by any developments within or near them. We also follow closely the agenda of another two committees dealing with impact assessments and often, when we feel that our contribution can help to a better assessment of the environmental impacts, we request to be invited and take part in their sessions. In particular, we monitor the work of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee, which examines projects that may have an impact on the environment. The Committee operates under the law for Environmental Impact Assessment of certain projects, Law 140 (I) 2005 to 2014. The other Committee is the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee for Plans and/or Programs, which examines the impact that Plans and Programs may have on the Environment. This Committee operates according to the law for Environmental Impact Assessment of Certain Plans and Programs, Law 102 (I)/2005

Public Participation in environmental decisions - Aarhus Convention

One of our main aims is to ensure good governance by the state of Cyprus’s environmental obligations. We actively promote public awareness and participation; and we are strongly committed to participating in public consultations. At the same time, we monitor and promote the implementation of the Aarhus Convention for the public’s free access to environmental information, their active participation in decision-making and access to justice on environmental matters.

Participation at EU Level

We are trying to keep up-to-date on various environmental policy issues taking place at a European level so that we can act accordingly at a local level. For this reason, we are members of the European Environment Bureau (EEB) and we participate in several of its working groups. We are also a member of EUROSITE, an organisation that promotes good management practices of Protected Areas, as well as of the ECNC (European Center for Nature Conservation). Likewise we are a member of the ECOS (European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardization). Concerning Mediterranean issues in particular, we are a member of the Mediterranean Information Office for the Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO – ECSDE). Since 1997, Terra Cypria has been a partner NGO in the work of the Standing Committee of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Wildlife and Habitats. The foundation is also a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Circular Economy

Turning the European economy towards sustainability by 2050 is a big EU bet. The Circular Economy meets the need for sustainable development, at a time when economic growth is consuming more and more of the planet’s natural resources. A typical example is that the average European citizen produces 475kg of waste each year and 28% ends up in landfills. Cyprus holds the second place in the EU.28, producing 626kg of waste each year, of which 75% ends up in landfills and only 13% is recycled (Eurostat, 56/2016).The transition to a circular economy promotes change (with “waste” being transformed into raw material, aiming at reuse, repair, renewal and recycling of existing materials and products). The objective is the linear economy which is based exclusively on resource mining, to be replaced by a more circular economy that is more sustainable.Also, according to the EU. Two million jobs are expected to be created through better product design, re-use and waste prevention, while € 600 billion could be saved if we use our resources more efficiently.Changing towards a cyclical economy requires the involvement and participation of all, with policymakers taking the leading role. Companies will need to redesign the production chains of their products.

Consumers play the most catalytic role in achieving change through their choices. The more conscious consumers are, the more pressure is exerted on the creation of goods and services that are involved in the circular economy.

In this newsletter you can see how consumers can choose sustainable products and services.

The Terra Cypria Foundation participates in the Working Group of the European Environmental Network EEB for Circular Economy.

The video: “How do we make gold from garbage?” is illustrates how the circular economy could work.

Standardization

The EU attaches increasing importance to standardization in new European directives. Whereas, in the past, a Directive would have included lengthy descriptions on how the directive would be implemented, lately, the trend is to reference a Standard, on which the Directive implementation will wholly, or partly based.

Standardization can be a valuable tool for NGOs, for environmental protection, sustainable development resource use and the circular economy.

Terra Cypria is a partner in project AccESS, a pan-European project for standardization and EU citizens. The project includes training in analyzing standards under discussion and offering input to ECOS for the inclusion of environment parameters in EU Standards, in an effort to promote sustainable development and wise resource use.

Sustainable Tourism

The tourism industry has been one of the most important sectors of the economy of Cyprus for decades, significantly contributing to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and labour market. However, it has not been adequately appreciated that tourism itself depends on our environment.

The natural environment provides cultural ecosystem services that include recreation and tourism. If not properly managed, these activities can threaten ecosystems. This has been seen in Cyprus during recent decades in many cases where protected areas and the countryside have been facing multiple pressures as a result of unsustainable development. Such pressures include habitat degradation and land use change.

Since the start, Terra Cypria has worked to influence national policies for the great returns that come from preserving nature. The tourism sector stands ti benefit from policies that minimise development in natural areas and preserve the features that attract tourists to Cyprus, for example, by reducing seasonality.

Projects

The participation of the Terra Cypria Foundation in various Projects promotes our strategic goals and gives us the opportunity to develop our expertise on key issues.

Some of our latest projects include: the recording of all wetlands in Cyprus; raising awareness of the value of biodiversity through mass media and testing, implementing and evaluating pilot actions and methodologies for the conservation of High Nature Value Farmland Areas (HNVF) in Cyprus.

Click here for more information on the projects that we have participated in or completed.

Other Causes