Republic of Cyprus


The Department of Environment is an evolution of the Environment Agency, established in 1986. The first Director of the Office was appointed in 1992, Mr. Nikos Georgiadis and then in 2007 Mr. Antonis Antoniou. The conversion of the Service Department conducted in 2010 and the appointment of Mr. Costas Hadjipanayiotou as Director of the Department took place on March 3rd, 2011.

With the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004, a large number of instruments adopted in the national law of Cyprus, creating strong foundations of environmental policy, as well as several environmental measures and programs that ensure the maintenance and where necessary improvement of the situation environment.

The Department of Environment plays a key role in environmental and development institutions of the country. It has a coordinating role for matters involving other competent services / departments. In matters of own jurisdiction plays a coordinating and executive role after implementing a number of policies and laws in a wide spectrum of areas, such as environmental impact assessment, waste management, pollution control of water and soil, climate action and protection and management of nature.

Apart from legislation adopted because the European acquis, the Department is the contact point and implementing the provisions of most UN conventions relating to the environment while also involved in the implementation of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of the United Nations.

Evolution of Environmental events in Cyprus

Current image

Things to free Cyprus regarding environmental change.

The picture we present is improved with the passage of time. Today there operate large number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other professional organizations, who with their actions involved the place of events and raise awareness of their citizens as they contribute and opinions in a positive way to better protect the environment.

Public authorities also have developed a large number and type of actions for the environment. Simultaneously act preventively by developing impact measurement studies for projects and programs. Sought through them to optimize their design and expression of views with stakeholders in this direction. In this area, Cyprus is on track and a system which maintains is the most democratic and efficient although several agencies involved in the proceedings.

But there are areas where significant difficulties encountered. Open areas which are expected to be done are the sector of nature protection and climate change issues. In these two areas we are at a very early stage and efforts need to be maximized. Otherwise expect significant burdens on deficiencies in implementation of the environmental and climate acquis. The EU has already gone into the creation of a separate DG Climate with a huge number of instruments for implementation. The same applies to the field of protection of Nature when needed soon to create infrastructure for purposes of managing the areas Natura 2000. Particular problems are expected to occur in the implementation of measures in areas where development rights and they should in some ways to differentiate . The capabilities of Cyprus in the above two areas is currently small and serious problems are expected that only social consensus can be addressed.

In some other environmental issues we are more advanced and / or best course. For example in matters of waste management and pollution control things underway in some way. It started to complete a network of facilities that handle almost all types of waste. Regarding hazardous waste and for what currently exists significant infrastructure to manage them satisfactorily mainly from the private sector. With the most rigorous application of laws is expected to increase the degree of efficiency in management. To control water pollution also no open programs are progressing in the right direction.

Sensitization Cypriot citizens - social partners

The picture in this area is not clear but is rather positive. Cypriots have greatly increased our focus in recent years on environmental issues and this is expressed through various events and also due to many causes. The school information campaigns and the one and the other is clear that several environmental issues are no longer a financial burden for the public budgets but rather be considered as a positive contribution. Such a case would be in the near future waste management and waste we produce in our homes. The existence of charge in accordance with waste generation will turn our attention to how to produce more low-waste and to separate at source pursuing not enter our billing system.

But where the issues are more difficult in the results of awareness is where there is a direct private benefit but public benefit. Such is the nature protection including Natura 2000. There seems to be dissatisfaction to some extent areas to the public in relation to the potential development rights who feel they will lose. So although it is understood the need to protect nature and habitat, however not willing citizens to the goal and through their own contribution to the common. This concept is not much different from that prevailing in the past on issues siting facilities due to poor experience and summarized in a symptom known as NIMBY (not in my back yard).
But things are not stagnant. And in this case in some ways will be forced to try to raise the level of our awareness and efficiency and nature conservation issues. It is no coincidence that in Europe the problem is recognized and undertaken now in different ways moves towards strengthening the social acceptance sense, nature protection measures. These actions of the European Commission designed to yield extra value to protective measures to be somehow replacement and the balance of losses of property development value value that will come from new perspectives, these alternative ecological development.

Evolution of environmental institutions in Cyprus and compared with other EU countries in environmental development.

As we perceive two decades ago in Cyprus there were no environmental legislation. Everything started timidly - timidly in 1991 when the State presented its first environmental bills and the House of Representatives voted for them. These were the first environmental laws and concerned the protection of water and air from industrial pollution (responsibility of the Environment Agency and the Department of Labour Inspection, respectively).

After two decades we see Cyprus to put into effect to implement more than 200 laws and regulations in all thematic areas of the environment. The effort is great both in state and private sector.

It can only Cyprus is approaching slowly - slowly the other EU countries in environmental development with all the consequences that this encompasses. We mean to enlarge the contribution of green jobs in the GDP of Cyprus and to increasing labor market to them. In this sector contribute positively and various universities of Cyprus which in recent years have increased their specialization in issues related to environmental green labor market. Graduates they will join, can hardly true, but with a positive contribution to the labor market and along with the rest of society will march to increase environmental development in the Cypriot economy. Already operate a few dozen consulting firms on environmental issues. The market is also enhanced by the development of other green jobs especially in the field of renewable energy and the production of green energy.

Evolution of institutions in Cyprus - 4 main periods

Then gives an historical overview of the evolutionary process of environmental events in Cyprus. Considering someone steps past the Cyprus you will understand more thoroughly and continuity.

The period since the Turkish invasion until today could be divided into four periods. The first is until 1990. The second by 2000. The third until 2004 and after the May 2004 period of membership.

The first period includes the post-invasion period until the end of the 1990s one could distinguish that from an environmental perspective as a period of almost total lack of environmental standards, public awareness and the absence of any environmental legislation. In this period the priorities of the state and its citizens was the recovery from the Turkish invasion and the reactivation of the economy of the island.

Throughout the institutional economic development system prevailed until then the Building Permit. Characteristic of this period was also the case during discovery and addressing environmental problems, since their creation (almost always ex post), and rationally without adequate planning for preventive action. Some examples were the subject of askarel, the battery factory in Lakatamia, etc.

Both the awareness of citizens and the state care was very low precisely because of the differing priorities of the state and society. And the dealings of state hitherto on environmental issues were held mainly in the context of non-aligned countries or the United Nations. In this period there were only some case basis and without clear responsibilities, environmental content reactions from some government departments, mainly due to personal interest of some Officers.

Then after 1990 the second period was characterized (a) by entering the planning permission in the development process of Cyprus, and (b) of the first clear effects of Administration for the development of environmental management measures (decision Cabinet for environmental studies, Quarries) and the first 2 environmental laws for pollution control (laws to control pollution of water and air). So began timidly this time to established procedures created by the state in the wake of the first environmental obligations of private business. At the same time began to exist and competition between the various departments and agencies are considered as appropriate that were most responsible for the current environmental issue. This makes it very difficult to coordinate who was required to operate the environmental management system was suffering greatly for lack of Ministry of Environment.

The third period represents the intense period (2000 - 2004) the harmonization effort with the European environmental acquis where in a short time should both be adopted than 250 pieces of legislation into national law of Cyprus and to create the infrastructure for the environmental monitoring of the application these instruments.

Characteristic of this period was the sharp rise in the interest of citizens and civil society on environmental issues accompanied by increasing the involvement of non-governmental organizations in the environmental life of the country and the intense activity Environment Committee of the House of Representatives. Citizens started now updated with a host of seminars and other events to the provisions of the forthcoming environmental legislation, as a result of harmonization.

General began routed institutionalized legislative procedures for most environmental issues (eg. Nature conservation, water and soil pollution, air quality and water, sewage systems, nitrates, environmental studies, waste / recycling, etc.). Within the framework of harmonization had cleared considerably and the conflict of powers between the various departments and services which had hitherto acted intensely competitive.

So the result was that most environmental legislation be transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment (mainly the Department of Environment) and in other parts of the Ministry. Several functions have been kept and / or also transferred to the Department of Labour Inspection as quality and air pollution, chemicals, transboundary transport of air pollutants, etc. Other legislation remained in the Ministry of Health (drinking water) and some in the Interior Ministry (waste dumps management and conversion in landfills).

The important deficiency in this period, but conceal the effects of time, was the lack and that it initiated procedures to appropriate adequate implementation, application and enforcement of environmental laws that are passed. These actions were necessary and had all realized then acceding countries.

The fourth session is the period after May 2004, ie, after the accession of Cyprus to the European Union we are experiencing today. This period includes several new elements and features that did not exist in previous periods. There were upon accession and expect to adequately implemented in their entirety the legislation to which the Republic of Cyprus aligned.

Implementation is not only a contractual obligation of the State to protect and upgrade the quality of the environment and health, but also the most important issue of equal treatment of enterprises in Cyprus together.

The possibility of Cyprus becoming a model country in terms of environmental and ecological image.

Strengthening the effective implementation of environmental laws is expected to have significant positive impacts on environmental and ecological image both within Cyprus and between Cypriot firms and European.

If the above are appropriately taken into account then Cyprus will really be able to claim the coming years a post pattern between EU countries Member States presenting a picture really as it deserves while enhancing the promotion of green growth and exploitable human resources in the environmental professions.

Last Modified at: 21/11/2017 10:01:46 AM
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Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Department of Environment
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