The effects of climate change in Cyprus are becoming all the more apparent, Environment Commissioner Maria Panayiotou said on Saturday, marking World Earth Day.

“Protecting the environment should be a joint responsibility for all of us.”

The effects of climate change are leaving “catastrophic consequences for ecosystems, communities and our economy,” felt in Cyprus and across the world, she said.

World Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries to across the world with this year’s theme being ‘Invest in our Planet’.

Panayiotou stressed the importance of environmental sustainability, as well a green technology. The commissioner also attended to a beach cleaning event at the Olympia beach in Limassol on Saturday saying “we must stop polluting and incorporate this into our daily lives.”

The initiative was undertaken by the pharmaceutical company Medochemie in collaboration with the Municipality of Limassol and Levantina Fish, on the occasion of World Earth Day.

Mayor Nicos Nicolaides said that environmental protection, air and sea quality, and sustainable development are priorities for the municipal authority.

Panayiotou said the municipality and Medochemie have been putting this into practice for years and congratulated them on their action, as well as all the volunteers who participated in the event, while expressing the wish that everyone would “stop polluting, so that we do not have to repeat these initiatives.”

A relevant press release said the head of the environmental protection and energy conservation committee of Medochemie, Dr. Christakis Sergides, stated that if immediate and effective measures are not taken, it is estimated that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish, also warning of the serious risks it poses to human health through their transport via fish in the food chain.

The commissioner along with First Lady Philippa Karsera will on Monday take part in an event launching efforts to transform the presidential palace to a zero waste to landfill.