Cyprus Mail

President highlights environmental protection as top priority

ÐôÄ – ÔåëåôÞ Ýíáñîçò åêóôñáôåßáò “let’s do it cyprus”

Volunteer organisations realised the importance of environmental protection much earlier than the state, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday.

The president was speaking at the launch of the Let’s Do it Cyprus clean-up campaign at the Zygi Fishing Shelter.

He stressed the significance of preserving the natural environment and called on everyone to follow the example of volunteer organisations and private entities. The president emphasised that climate change poses a threat to nations, with the protection of the environment forming the basis for Cyprus’s economic prosperity.

“We, as the government, must lead by example to demonstrate the seriousness of the matter and our commitment to it. I believe that as a country, as a state, we have fallen behind on this issue.”

He added that the state is following the lead of volunteer organizations and private entities “who understood long before us the importance of protecting the environment”.

“We are currently in a period where climate change poses a threat to all nations, especially to states in our region, the states of the Eastern Mediterranean, and the broader Middle East. But, in order to reach a point where cleanup campaigns are no longer needed because our country is clean, we must first and foremost build a culture in this direction,” he said.

President Christodoulides emphasised the comparative advantages of Cyprus, such as its sea, sun, and environment, must be protected. Otherwise, there will be no economy, no tourism, and the country will struggle to survive.

In her own speech, Environment Commissioner Maria Panayiotou said “the goal is not to recycle clean-up campaigns but to start reducing, reusing, and recycling ourselves, so that every material receives the appropriate handling it deserves.”

She added that the government is working on coordinated and targeted efforts to cultivate an environmental culture through collaboration with all ministries and departments, the academic community, organised citizen groups, and environmental organizations to prevent pollution to the extent possible.

The campaign, jointly organised with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, aims to make the need to stop polluting understandable to everyone.

She noted that the presence of the president at the event affirms his personal commitment and involvement in the collective effort to protect the environment, a top priority of the governance programme.

Let’s Do It! Cyprus 2023, the largest environmental campaign and will continue until October 29.

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