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We participated in an interdisciplinary open workshop on Tuesday 4 June, entitled: “We are discussing the Environment”. The workshop was organised by the University of Cyprus for the World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5. 

During the presentations and interventions, common conclusions and concerns for the protection of the environment and the ecosystem of Cyprus emerged. The members of our team who attended, Orestis Kargotis, Deputy Director of the Cyprus Environmental Studies Centre and Climate Policy Officer, and Klitos Papastylianou, Environmental Policy Officer, gave presentations about the path towards climate neutral Cyprus and the zoning and implementation of legislation respectively. 

The conference highlighted the importance of creating a culture wherein environmental values are translated into actions, the need to understand and align the capabilities and resilience of society with the the zero emissions target, as well as the value of peace and reconciliation, as perhaps the most important environmental policy and the link between environmental protection and consumer protection. 

Accountability, transparency, democracy, more and adequate information on environmental issues and a fair green transition  were also presented as very important issues. Cross-sectoral synergy and communication at the level of public services, NGOs and independent actors seemed to be key in the efforts to implement sustainable solutions, while the lack of democracy and the feeling of fear in expressing environmental positions figured amongst the audience’s main concerns.