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Illegal dumping of waste, cutting trees public’s green concerns

Environment commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou

Illegal dumping of waste, illegal logging, the cutting of trees in parks and residential areas, gas stations in residential areas and illegal quarrying were raised by members of the public in 74 complaints in writing and 120 phone calls addressed to the commissioner for the environment from March 2018 to May 2019.

The actions of the environment commission during the past year were presented on Friday by Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou.

She said the main pillars of her office are the adoption of a sustainable development policy and the adoption of European policies according to European directives.

“Priority is given, among other things, to sustainable development objectives for food security, improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agricultural production, creating safe cities, combating climate change and its impacts, sustainability of oceans and marine resources and protecting biodiversity,” she said.

In 2018, her office participated in 19 public consultations and in 2019 in seven, with written views on issues such as the review of the local plans for Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos.

Panayiotou also mentioned the review of a national plan to improve air quality in Cyprus, the preliminary draft of a strategy on water management, the upgrade of safety conditions for cyclists, and municipal waste as part of the work of her office.

Other issues the commission dealt with were protests regarding development of the sea cave area in Paphos, local action plans for municipal waste, animal welfare, the protection of the Paralimni lake, the creation of a crocodile park and the relocation of petroleum and LPG facilities from the Larnaca coastline to Vasiliko.

The commissioner’s office in 2018 made 117 presentations for a variety of environmental issues in 30 kindergartens, 75 primary schools, and 12 secondary schools and. In 2019 they organised 85 presentations in four kindergartens, 44 primary schools, and 12 secondary and technical schools.

“On average, 15,000 students and 1,700 educators are trained each year through these presentations,” she explained.

She ended by referring to her office’s ongoing campaigns, such as ‘Let`s do it Cyprus!’ and ‘We say no to plastic straws’.

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