Cyprus Mail

Environmental scientists to be brought in from professional wilderness

A NEW bill is in the works that provides for the recognition of environmental scientists as professionals in the field, MPs at the House environment committee heard on Wednesday.

The issue was discussed at the committee in the presence of the University of Technology (TEPAK), private universities, the environment department and the Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK).

DISY deputy Evgenios Hamboullas said that under existing legislation anyone can do environmental reports, which are then being accepted by state services.

“A doctor, a teacher, a journalist, an MP, anyone, can do an environmental study, write their own findings retrieved from websites, deliver it, and receive approval for a big development,” Hamboullas said.

AKEL MP Christakis Giovannis said that there was also lack of coordination as regards supply and demand in the environmental services market which leads to large numbers of such professionals being unemployed.

“By 2020, there will be more than 5,000 unemployed environmental scientists,” Giovannis said. He added that as it is not established as a profession in Cyprus, these people cannot register with the Technical Chamber ETEK, without first acquiring an engineering degree.

He said that the state environment service was currently preparing a bill, which is expected to be ready in May, after the parliamentary elections.

Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis, said that despite the fact there had been government announcements since 2010 promising 13,000 jobs in the environmental sector, there were still thousands of unemployed people in this field.

“This is truly a great loss because these people believed in what the ministries […] were saying, and studied environmental issues and now they are unemployed,” Perdikis said.


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