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Cyprus

Environment Commissioner working towards a greener Cyprus

SINCE taking office in March, Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panagiotou has set in motion several programmes aimed at helping environmental development.

Between March 15 and June 15, these include the removal of thousands of tyres which had amassed in a field in Dali’s industrial zone. The tyres were situated near a residential area and threatened the safety of several homes. They were moved further away and the company responsible has since begun the process of recycling.

After six years of discussion a solution has also been found to dispose of dental waste, the commissioner announced in a statement yesterday.

Panagiotou also revealed an agreement has been made to move a chemical plant that was operating inside the Pera Chorio Nisou village residential area. Residents had protested that the chemical plant was causing pollution within a densely populated area.

The commissioner also announced 22,000 counterfeit items which were confiscated and had been in the Commerce Ministry’s storage rooms for a decade had been sustainably sorted.

100 organic vegetable gardens have been created in cooperation with the Education Ministry with around 50 schools participating in the programme.

Municipal vegetable gardens as well as a campaign to inform the public about green consumption, saving and composting are currently running in cooperation with local authorities.

The commissioner also revealed that plans were in place to save energy at government offices in cooperation with all the ministries and the presidential palace and create ‘green’ army camps with help from the Defence Ministry.

Panagiotou explained that work is under way to upgrade and strengthen her office by relocating and creating a volunteer group that will support the commissioner. A temporary environmental council has been appointed to act in place of the council which is due to be selected by the Cabinet.

She added that an ad hoc committee has been created after the recommendation of the House Environment Committee regarding the protection of proposed Natura 2000 sites in the occupied territories. The committee will be coordinated by the commissioner.

For more information on environmental issues and to receive press releases the public can visit www.ec.gov.cy or the facebook page

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