The Department of Environment has been evolving the former Environment Service which was originally created in 1981. The first Director of Environment Service was Mr Nikos Georgiadis was appointed in 1992 and Mr. Antonis Antoniou followed, until the end of 2009. The upgrading of the Environment Service to a Department took place in 2010, and the appointment of the Director of the Department in March, 2011.
The challenge of the integration of Cyprus in the European Union has greatly improved the island’s environmental legislation. More than 250 European legislative acts have been harmonized into national laws. They are now creating a solid foundation for environmental policy, which in turn ensures protection along with the improvement of the environmental status.
The Department of Environment has a dual role in the environmental statute of Cyprus. The first one concerns the coordination with other competent Agencies/Departments. The second one concerns issues of its own responsibility, where it undertakes both the coordinating and the executive role, due to the fact that it enforces a series of legislations on the thematic issues as presented in the diagram.
The Department of Environment apart from implementation and enforcement of legislation which is a result of the harmonization with the environment European acquis, is also the focal point for most of the U.N Conventions regarding global and regional environmental issues, amongst which the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean has a prominent role.