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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CYPRUS

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation for the protection of new varieties of plants has been drafted. The new law is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives during the first half of 2002. Also, enactment into laws during the first part of 2002 is planned for bills for the Ratification of the International Union for Plant Variety Rights (UPOV) Convention (already submitted to the House of Representatives), and on Plant Variety Protection (under legal vetting, expected to be submitted to the House of Representatives in the beginning of 2002).

With regards to plant protection products, the Pest Control Products Law of 1993 and the Pest Control Products Regulations of 1993 provide for authorization and registration of pesticides and for controlling the quality, labelling, toxicity classification and marketing of all pesticides used in Cyprus. Pesticide residue issues are governed by the Food (Sales and Control) Law and the Pesticide Residues Regulations of 1983 to 1994.

Meanwhile, for new active substances provisional MRLs are fixed by the Pesticides Registration Board. Work for MRLs, mainly in terms of re-defining Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and restricting or totally prohibiting the use of certain pesticides is also carried out. To fully extend the law’s coverage into the toxicity classification of pesticides, revised implementing Regulations have been enacted by the House of Representatives in July 2000. Also enacted were new implementing Regulations governing the operation of pesticide formulation plants, stores and shops as well as the licensing of pesticide retailers. The two pesticide residue laboratories (at the Ministry of Health and at the Department of Agriculture) have adequate facilities and modern analytical instrumentation. Quality Assurance Programmes are being developed in both laboratories, based on the EN 45001 standard and the ISO guidelines. Full accreditation in the near future is the ultimate goal of both laboratories.

A new aid scheme in support of organic farming was introduced in 2001, and a new law on organic farming including provisions on organic animal production was approved in December, 2001. The Department of Agriculture is currently preparing a Register of all organic farmers. It covers both crop and livestock organic products and provides the setting up of the statutory instruments required for inspection and control.

With regards to animal welfare, Cyprus has ratified: the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (No. 8(III)/93); the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes (No.9(III)/93); the European Convention for the Protection of Animals During International Transport (No. 166/1976); and the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes (No. 13/1977). In addition, the Law for the Protection of Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes (No. 30(1)/95) and the Protection and Welfare of Animals Law (No. 46(1)/94), were approved. The latter, provides for the enforcement and co-ordination of all activities for the protection and welfare of animals through surveillance and control of animal keeping, care, feeding and utilization. It provides also for rules, regulating the marketing, transport, slaughtering of animals and about stray and abandoned animals.

As far as animal genetic material is concerned, a new law was approved by the House of Representatives to be completed with the approval of Regulations by June 2002.

A code of good agricultural practice has been prepared and is implemented through the permitting process of the Water Pollution Control Law. For reducing health risks from environmental pollution and hazards, a Code of Good Farming Practice has been prepared regarding the use of fertilizers, which are regulated by legislation that governs their import and use, pesticides, and animal waste.

The most important goals in the agri-environment sector include financial and other incentives, aiming at the reduction of fertilizers and pesticides or their maintenance at low levels. A relevant bill has been prepared and its passing into law is been pursued, in order to encourage the shifting from intensive cultivations to extensive ones, such as reforestation of areas that were cultivated with agricultural crops; preservation of abandoned lands for the improvement of the environment; restructuring of agricultural crops; preservation of rare races of animals; and proper use of water through improved irrigation systems for the various crops.  

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In Cyprus, agricultural policy is implemented through a series of strategies and regulatory provisions aiming at agricultural development and the achievement of sustainable agriculture.

In the field of sustainable agricultural research, Cyprus implements the Global Plan of Action for promoting sustainable agriculture, including research is contacting rotation studies for the economic evaluation and sustainability of different farming systems. Recent policy supports cropping on an area basis. The new policy enables farmers to grow other crops, such as legumes, so that monoculture will be replaced by crop rotation. The new practice will diminish nitrogen fertilizer and other chemical inputs.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

The Integrated Livestock Development Project (I.L.D.P.) was introduced in 1995. It combines support for on- farm investments for all types of livestock and poultry with components related to the improvement of the environment, hygiene and animal welfare.

The Project for the Improvement of the Viability of Agricultural Holdings was introduced in 1997. It addresses specifically the crop sector, aiming to introduce new technology and production methods, save water and increase the efficiency of the agricultural holdings.

On-going projects provide support and incentives for: the relocation of livestock facilities away from residential areas and major roads; treatment and safe use of pig effluents (recently extended to cover the treatment and safe use of effluents from poultry slaughterhouses); and replanting of with drought resistant trees. A major project is the substitution of Methyl Bromide with soil solarization. 

Status   

No information available. 

Challenges  

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available. 

Information   

No information available. 

Research and Technologies   

On going research programmes relate to pesticide residues in agricultural products, soil, and waters; integrated pest management in greenhouse grown tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers; and pesticide residues in greenhouse vegetables.

Preliminary delimitation of less favoured areas has been carried out and the results are ready for implementation.

See also under Cooperation. 

Financing   

Structural investments in agricultural holdings aiming to improve productivity and viability are supported with a grant calculated as a percentage of eligible expenditure (varying between 12,5% to 23%) and/or with loans at a subsidized interest rate.

A study is being prepared for the purpose of calculating the level of compensatory allowances that may be granted.

Financial support to young farmers engaged in agriculture is in place, with additional incentives introduced in 2001, for young farmers eligible for investment support for on-farm investments. 

Cooperation  

The State General Laboratory is connected with the Rapid Alert System via the State General Laboratory of Greece. See also under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.  

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is the competent authority for the administration and enforcement of the Atmospheric Pollution Control Law. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Cyprus ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1992 and its London Amendment in 1994. In April 2001, the Copenhagen, Vienna and Montreal II amendments to the Montreal Protocol were ratified [No. 9(III)/2001], empowering the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment to issue regulations to review ozone depleting substances (ODS) permits and grant licenses. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism applied a system of import quotas of ODS, which were reduced each year. The local market is adequately responding to international developments.

The basic institutional and administrative structures for an effective control of industrial pollution and risk management have already been established. Within this context most of the industrial plants have been licensed and are regularly inspected under the Atmospheric Pollution Control Law and the Water Pollution Control Law. Air pollution from industrial plants, integrated pollution prevention and control Discharge permits for liquid and solid industrial waste are issued, and registration permits granted for air emissions.

Law No. 70/91 for the Control of Atmospheric Pollution was enacted in 1991. Among others, the law provides for the determination of Air Quality Objectives, aiming at the protection of public health. The Objectives, which were published in the Official Gazette in 1994, were set for NO2, O3, CO, SO2, TSPs, PM10 and Pb. The Atmospheric Pollution Control Law provides the framework legislation to cover air emissions from large combustion plants. A permitting system is provided for all three power stations, which been licensed. Secondary legislation will be passed in 2002, to introduce national emission limit values.

Under Law No. 70/91, a number of large industrial activities have been licensed for operation. Emission limit values are set after a case-by-case examination. General emission standards apply for a list of “non-registrable processes.” All major industrial plants, including the power plants, the refinery, and the two cement factories, have applied for registration under the law and relevant permits, including the corresponding emission limits, have been granted.

Consultants have recently completed the drafting of amendments to the Atmospheric Pollution Control law in order to extend it to fully cover issues such as the incineration of used oils; air pollution from the titanium dioxide industry; ambient air quality; large combustion plants; municipal waste incineration plants; air pollution by ozone; control of VOC emissions from the storage and distribution of petrol and organic solvents;  hazardous waste incineration; IPPC; and measurement of dioxins and furans. The text is planned to be submitted to the House of Representatives early in 2002.

Supplementary measures are to commence soon, following the conclusion of a LIFE financed project on Integrated Pollution Control and Chemical Substances, being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance with technical assistance from the National Technical University of Athens. Inter alia, the project provides for the preparation of guidelines on the Best Available Techniques applicable for Cyprus.

The legal arrangements provided for in the laws on Water and Air Pollution Control are considered adequate to secure an integrated approach for pollution control. During 2002, amendments to the existing laws and the new Law on Waste Management will strengthen the legislation already in place.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

An Action Plan for improving the efficiency of the energy sector and a Strategic Energy Plan for the future accession of Cyprus to the EU have also been completed under the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

A variety of measures on energy efficiency and energy conservation are pursued and will be further strengthened (see under Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising and Research and Technologies).

A study for the strategic planning for ODS control was completed in December 2001 to prepare a programme for compliance with the Montreal Protocol with regards to the reduction and elimination of the ODS, and the introduction of the necessary control measures. See also under Status and Chapters Energy and Transport.

Status   

Cyprus is not a producer but a minor consumer of ODS, as the quantities involved are small. Nearly all aerosol companies are using odourless gas instead of CFCs. Methyl bromide is still imported by three operators. However, as these imports originate from the EU, they will soon be no longer available.

A project is now under development with the objective of establishing air quality zones, after the initial assessment of the ambient air quality and the drawing-up of pollution zones. As part of the efforts for achieving and maintaining the above objectives, the competent agency (Department of Labour Inspection), has been equipped with three mobile units with instruments for the constant measurement of pollutants. A fourth mobile unit is installed at a location about 35 km to the northwest of Nicosia, in order to perform background level measurements. Air quality measurements are taken since 1993 in various parts of Nicosia. Preliminary assessments relating to coverage have demonstrated that it is necessary to strengthen the existing network of measuring stations.

Challenges  

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

 An extensive awareness-raising campaign has been initiated by the Cyprus Electricity Authority on energy savings and the use of renewable energy sources. In this framework, 190.000 fluorescence bulbs were distributed either free of charge or at subsidized prices during March - May 2001.

A network of inspectors for industrial pollution control has been evolving since 1992. A lot of experience has been gained so far in the implementation and enforcement of the relevant legislation. The members of the Technical Committee for the Protection of the Environment, established to advise the competent authorities on the conditions of the permits, are familiar and competent on all relevant aspects.

Information   

The public is informed every three to four years through the publication of monitoring  results. Better information arrangements are foreseen, through a special annual report to be issued by the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, a broader report on the state of the environment to be published every two years by the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, and the implementation of the Freedom of Access to Environmental Information Law.

Research and Technologies   

In 2001, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment commissioned a study, for the preparation of an integrated plan, which would set out in an organized basis a monitoring and reporting system and propose a full strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The study is currently being finalized.

Regarding the use of renewable energy sources, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus is proceeding with the erection of a wind turbine and a private company is proceeding with plans to establish two to four “wind farms.” Furthermore, a private company is proceeding with the establishment of a photovoltaic manufacturing plant.

A study to assess the environmental impacts associated with the installation of FGD at the Vassilikos power station was completed in February 2001.

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation

Cyprus is a party to the Climate Change Convention (No. 19(III)/1992). Cyprus acceded in 1999 to the Kyoto Protocol. Cyprus is party to the Convention on Long- range Transboundary Air Pollution since 1992. Owing to the developing character of the economy, it has not been made possible to ratify the SO2 and NO2 Protocols to the Convention. However, measures for SO2 and NOx reduction have been introduced, in line with the relevant Protocols.

Cyprus has also signed the Protocols to the above Convention on Heavy Metals and POPs.  All Protocols adopted under the Convention will be ratified by the end of 2002. See also under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Game Fund is in charge of the enforcement of the Game and Wild Birds Law, which regulates hunting and game improvement.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Through the Town and Country Planning Law, areas of aesthetic and landscape value have been declared as Coasts and Areas for the Protection of Nature and Protected Landscapes. Four areas along the length of the shore (Cape Cavo Greco, Makronissos, Ranti forest and Cape of Akamas) have been characterized as Nature Protection Shores and Regions. In addition, four Protected sites, eight Archaeological sites and four Areas of Exceptional Natural Beauty were declared.

The state forests are well protected and managed in accordance with the Forests Law, under which National Forest Parks and Nature Reserves have been declared.

The Fisheries Law and Regulations cover the protection of the aquatic biota, including aquatic turtles, dolphins, seals as well as the important meadows of the sea grass Posidonia oceanica. One Coastal/Marine Reserve, which includes the most important nesting habitats of the marine turtles, Green and Loggerhead, was established in 1989. A management plan for the Larnaca Salt Lake was approved by the Council of Ministers in 1997 and is currently being implemented; this site has been listed as a ‘Ramsar’ site. The management plan for the other wetland (Akrotiri Salt Lake and Phassouri marsh) is under preparation.

Under the Game and Wild Birds Law, permanent and temporary game reserves have been established, such as around the two coastal wetlands. Cyprus adopted the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Wild birds The Game and Wild Birds Law of 1974, as amended in 1991 and 1996, covers most aspects of hunting regulation. Hunting covers the hare, game birds being the partridge, ducks, geese, thrushes and francolins, although the major habitats of the latter are game reserve areas. Almost all of the area under government control is covered by well-dispersed permanent or temporary game reserve areas.

A number of legislation and regulations are in place to protect endangered species. Import of skins of seal pups without permits is prohibited under the Fisheries legislation. The use of traps including leghold traps is entirely prohibited for hunting of game species and wild birds under the Game and Wild Birds Law. The Council of Ministers adopted a policy (October 1999) that in effect bans the holding of cetaceans in captivity. A Law [115(I)/2000] amending the Animals (Scientific Experiments) Law (30(I)/1995), was enacted in July 2000, taking into account the stricter protection requirements for CITES species. Further legislative measures will be incorporated in the new Law on the Protection of Nature, to be enacted in 2002.

Cyprus has ratified: the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1975; the Convention on the Conservation of the European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in 1988; the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1996; the Desertification Convention in 1999; and the Conventions for the Protection of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and on Wetlands of International Importance in 2001.

A relevant draft Bill on the Protection of Nature is being prepared and expected to be adopted by the middle of 2002. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available.

Programmes and Projects   

The programme for the conservation of the local breed of cattle was initiated in 1995. It provides the subsidization of all male and female cattle of the breed and for each successfully terminated pregnancy (the production of a live calf). The programme for the sustainable utilization of the local sheep provides the subsidization of about 500 females and 40 males and has been in operation since 1997.

The Agricultural Research Institute runs a plant genetic resources programme, the aim of which is the conservation and sustainable use of such material of local and old varieties of various crops as well as of the Cyprus flora. In 1966, a programme was initiated for the maintenance and enrichment of the Agricultural Research Institute’s Herbarium and to encourage further research on Cyprus flora. In 1979, a programme was initiated for collecting, conserving and utilizing the genetic variability existing in local germ plasm. Other related programmes/projects include: production of clean material in citrus and grapevines; evaluation, conservation and utilization of genetic material of a lemon variety; collection and evaluation of Avena sativa, Vicia spp., lucerne; collection and evaluation of Origanum dubium and Thymus capitatus; conservation, characterization, collection and utilization of genetic resources in olive; and evaluation and conservation of barley genetic resources. See also under Information and Research and Technologies. 

Status   

Cyprus is characterized by rich and varied fauna, which includes land mammals, amphibians and reptiles, birds, insects, sponges, decapods, etc. The island is a crossroads for millions of birds during their autumn and spring migrations between Europe and Africa.

The 162.000 ha. of state forest land (about 18% of the total land area of the country), offer sanctuary to a wide range of wildlife species and, as the Forestry legislation is fully enforced, wildlife protection measures, particularly as regards to flora, are very effective. The two coastal wetlands in Cyprus are under protection for nature conservation. Protected avi-fauna species include all seagulls and water-fowls (with the exception of ducks and geese), big birds of prey such as eagles, vultures and other raptors. Of the marine and freshwater life, marine turtles, seals, dolphins, terrapins and fish in inland waters are protected.

Almost all of the country’s habitat types and most of the endemic species will be present within the boundaries of the sites of the new protected areas network.

The local cattle, has long been replaced by the tractor and it is threatened with extinction. The local breed of sheep (Cyprus Fat-tailed) is also diminishing in numbers (7600 in 1999), having been replaced by more prolific and productive breeds.

According to the existing information on the Cyprus flora, a total of 1907 taxa (sp. + ssp. + var. + f. + hybrids) were recorded as native or naturalized and 376 taxa as cultivated. From the native taxa, 141 were recorded as endemics. Amongst Cyprus’s natural vegetation, aromatic, medicinal and other useful plants are being exploited in their wild form. The raw material used for new plant varieties of high yield and other qualitative parameters, is rich in genetic diversity. Crucial resources of this raw material are the cultivated varieties, both the traditional and the improved ones, as well as the wild relatives of crops. This rich in genetic diversity material is increasingly facing the danger of total extinction owing to the replacement of traditional varieties with improved, uniform ones, as well as from development projects.

Cyprus is committed to securing protection of its endemism from alien species through prohibitions on the possession and release into the environment of threatening species. 

Challenges  

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

See under Information. 

Information   

The book “The Flora of Cyprus in Checklist Format; Native or Naturalized, Endemics, Rarities, Additions” was published in 1999. In addition a Study with the title “Contribution to the Study of the Endemism of the Flora of Cyprus”, was completed in 2000. A catalogue concerning the germ plasm conserved in the National Gene bank is under preparation.

Within the framework of the EU NATURA 2000 programme, a National List of sites, which include important habitat types and fauna and flora species, has been drawn up. A national archive of ecological data of Cyprus, ‘BIOCYPRUS’, which includes an inventory on fauna and flora, on biotopes as well as their mapping, has also been produced. 

Research and Technologies   

Germ plasm is conserved at the National Gene Bank (medium term collection), which was founded in 1985. The collection consists of samples of mainly cereals, food and forage legumes, as well as, wild relatives, endemic and rare plants. A database was created concerning the conservation of germ plasm collections. A number of specimens at the National Herbarium are first records, while others contributed to the study of the distribution of taxa. The Herbarium presently contains more than 13 000 specimens.

Research on marine species diversity, including fauna and flora, is conducted by the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, and a list of marine species has been drawn up, which is regularly being updated. See also under Programmes and Projects. 

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation

See under Decision-Making.

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

No information available. 

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism deals with energy management and conservation; exploitation of new and renewable sources of energy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation concerning the labelling of household appliances as to their energy consumption was enacted by the House of Representatives in June, 2001.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Cyprus’s energy policy focuses on: securing energy supply under satisfactory economic conditions; energy conservation and development of renewable energy sources; and mitigation of the energy consumption impact on the environment. For the realization of these targets, a series of measures have been, and continue to be, taken. The enhancement of the administrative capacity of the Energy Section of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has been decided. The Government is proceeding with legal and implementation measures, including appointment of notified bodies for energy conformity assessment procedures (type assessment, declaration of conformity) to be adopted in 2002, on efficiency requirements of hot water boilers, refrigerators and freezers; performance of heat generators; and the insulation of distribution systems in non-industrial buildings.

Within the context of the policy for the further utilization of renewable energy sources, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus adopted a decision to purchase electricity produced from alternative sources and fuels at a price higher than what it costs the Authority to produce. This measure is considered as a milestone for encouraging the sustainable development of renewable energy sources in the field of electricity production.

Furthermore, an action plan to improve the efficiency of the energy sector of Cyprus has been established. In order to promote energy efficiency, the Government has introduced a grants scheme for the undertaking of investments in the field of energy conservation in the manufacturing industry, the hotel sector, and agriculture.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

The Institute of Energy was recently established and together with the Applied Energy Center is implementing the OPET-Cyprus programme, the aim of which is the promotion of measures in the fields of rational use of energy, renewable energy sources and fossil fuels.

In February 2001 an agreement was signed between the Government of Cyprus and the Larnaca Municipal Council for the implementation of a programme for the relocation of the oil installations in their totality, the closing down of the existing petroleum refinery and the environmental restoration of the area of the existing installation by the year 2012. The refinery’s upgrading programme was also approved, which calls for investments in the order of US $39 million: that is, a Hydrofiner unit, for the production of gas oil with low sulphur content, and an Isomerisation unit, for the production of unleaded gasoline.

See also under Research and Technologies.

Status   

Cyprus is almost totally dependent on imported energy. Energy production is predominantly oil based.

The preference of Cypriots in using alternative energy sources is reflected in the fact that Cyprus is the leading country in the world in installed solar collectors per capita (0.86 m2). Currently, more than 90% of dwellings in Cyprus are equipped with solar water heaters, whereas more than 50% of hotels are equipped with solar collection systems of a total area of 40.000 m2. Solar energy is being used in Cyprus in other, non-thermal, applications as well.

There are three oil-fired power stations in operation, one to be gradually phased out (Moni), when the conventional fuel (petrol) power station, of a total capacity of 720 MW, now under construction (Vasilikos), will come into full operation. The new power station to replace an older one will be 10% more efficient in fuel utilization and units to be constructed after 2006 will utilize natural gas, whilst older oil-fired units will be gradually converted to natural gas.

Challenges  

The energy policy constitutes a crucial factor for the achievement of sustainable development. The challenge is to ensure that economic development, efficient and safe energy supply and clean environment, are goals compatible with one another.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Within the framework of the Energy Master Plan, energy studies were carried out for various energy intensive sectors (agro-industry, brick industry, hotels, etc.). Energy conservation is also being promoted through seminars, public campaigns, dissemination of information, etc.

Information   

Cyprus has relatively high-energy intensity indicators. This indicates that there is considerable potential for energy conservation and necessitates the implementation of energy conservation programmes.

Research and Technologies   

A comprehensive study was completed, whereby, all available alternatives for oil stocks were analyzed, taking into account environmental, financial and economic considerations. A study is to be conducted early in 2002, for transferring natural gas to Cyprus.

Solar water heaters are being used for meeting the domestic hot water needs of the Cypriot family. Photovoltaics cells are powering telecommunication receivers and transmitters at remote areas. Furthermore, the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority has installed photovoltaics cells on telephone booths.

The use of wind for electricity production is currently being examined by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus and other, private, organizations.

A study for energy production from biomass has indicated that it could be economically feasible, especially in the case of biogas production from pig manure. See also Chapter Atmosphere.

Financing   

The Government introduced, in 1992, a special funding scheme whereby investments in bio-energy technologies can be subsidized by up to 68% of their initial cost. Even so, the fund has not yet been utilized. The issue is being re-examined within the framework of the action plan to improve the efficiency of the energy sector.

With regard to electricity, the pricing of consumption is progressively scaled, and a policy was adopted for purchasing electricity produced from alternative sources of  energy.

See also under Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans.

Cooperation  

No information available.   

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The sustainable management of State forests is regulated through the Forest Law and Regulations of 1967. A relevant amendment of the Forest Law has been prepared and it is now undergoing legal vetting. Marketing of forest reproductive material is also to be regulated in 2002.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

In National Forest Policy, the principles of multiple-use and sustainability are fully respected. Multiple-use refers to utilization of forests for protection, recreational and commercial purposes. The concept of sustainability includes aspects of ecological, economic, and social nature. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

The National Forest Programme, prepared in 2000, is a good instrument to implement the principles of multiple-use and sustainability for all forests, including the private ones. The Programme covers the period 2000-2009 and aims at protecting the country’s natural environment and national heritage.

Work as regards to the classification of wood in the rough has been initiated.

The Department of Forests is running two projects on the issue of forest fires. The first, aims at protecting the Cyprus forests from fires, the second aims at expanding the forest area by the afforestation of waste Government land. 

Status   

Forest fires are the most serious cause of deforestation in Cyprus while urbanization and grazing are rather light causes of deforestation. Cyprus is now proceeding with the preparation of new forest-fire protection plans for the areas classified as high risk. 

Challenges  

See under Status.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Awareness raising and information campaigns on forest fire are continuously conducted by the Forestry Department, while personnel is trained in forest protection issues at the Cyprus Forestry College and abroad. 

Information   

Preparatory work on the establishment of a national database for all wild fires has also been completed. A scheme to monitor the effects of atmospheric pollution of forests has been implemented on a pilot basis. 

Research and Technologies   

No information available. 

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation  

No information available. 

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the control of drinking water and the microbiological monitoring of recreational waters and carries out research and analytical work on various aspects of pollution with its specialized laboratories in environmental chemistry, microbiology and virology, ecotoxicology and risk assessment. The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance administers part of the Water Pollution Control Law.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Comprehensive legislation was introduced in 1991, targeting the protection of waters from pollution; that is the Law for Water Pollution Control, which is part of the broader legislation for the protection of the environment from all kinds of pollution (industrial or not). The drafting of a new comprehensive Water Pollution Control law has just been finalized and planned to be submitted to the House of Representatives in early 2002.

Water conservation measures include subsidies for the installation of grey water treatment plants and for the use of inferior quality groundwater for the flashing of toilets and irrigation of house gardens. Subsidies are also available to farmers for the collection of the rainwater from the roofs of the greenhouses and for the installation of advanced irrigation systems. Furthermore the Government is also proceeding with the establishment of a Water Authority to manage water on a national scale in an integrated and rational manner. To this respect, legal consultants have completed the drafting of a “Water Entity Bill,” which was approved by the Council of Ministers in June 2001 and subsequently submitted to the House of Representatives. These water management measures have become a regular feature of water policy in Cyprus over the years but they have been specially strengthened during the last few years.

In 1970, the Sewage Systems and Runoff Law was put into effect on the basis of which the Sewerage Boards were introduced, charged with the preparation of plans and the construction of central waste collection and treatment systems within their assigned area of responsibility.

The Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption Law was enacted in May 2001 (Law No.87 (I) 2001), fully covering contemporary requirements to safeguard drinking water quality. The quality of groundwater is regulated through the Water Pollution Control Law and a Decree issued in 1996 under this law. A list of substances has been legislated whose direct and indirect discharge into groundwater is prohibited.  

Discharges of dangerous substances into surface waters are regulated by a 1993 Decree that prohibits direct discharges and makes indirect discharges subject to a permit, which may be granted under terms and conditions with regard to effluent standards, quantity and place and manner of disposal and of technical, operational, and monitoring specifications and conditions. During 2000 and 2001, ambient quality standards and measurement methods were adopted for mercury, cadmium, hexachlorocyclohexane and other dangerous substances in surface waters.   

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Since water is a particularly precious resource in Cyprus, water protection therefore features high in Cyprus’ environmental policy. National water policy focuses on the provision of adequate supplies of water for drinking and residential use, including the tourism and industry sectors, as well as for the development of agriculture. In drought seasons, priority is given to the supply of drinking water, with restrictions in the supply of water for irrigation purposes. Since independence, it has been the goal of government policy to secure ample water supply for irrigation and development in the agriculture, tourism, housing, industry and other sectors, so as to bring about an equilibrium between supply and demand.  

The Government’s policy is to utilize water purification plants to irrigate agricultural crops, green spaces and sports grounds and for aquifer recharging. So as to more fully exploit the treated waste, government policy includes covering the cost for the installation of tertiary treatment systems in all urban waste treatment systems and subsidizing the installation of small tertiary biological treatment units in rural areas by 75-85% of the cost. The texts of a Code of Contact for Good Agricultural Practices and of Quality Standards for the Reuse of Treated Effluent were finalized.  

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information available.   

Programmes and Projects   

There is a very extensive programme in place for central sewage systems and waste treatment plants and the reuse of treated effluent.

There is extensive use of fertilizers and plant protection products, but their holistic control is carried out, through phytosanitary controls, chemical analysis for pesticides residues, IPM and on-going farmer training programmes.

Measures to mitigate nitrate pollution from agricultural sources include: control of fertilizer use; fertigation; use of improved irrigation systems and preparation of irrigation schedules; relocation of animal husbandry units; slurry collection; mechanical separation and appropriate land application of piggery waste; training of farmers; monitoring of groundwater quality; etc. Work was initiated on a project for a major assessment of nitrate pollution of groundwater, the identification of waters polluted or threatened by nitrates pollution from agricultural sources, the delineation of vulnerable zones and the establishment of a regular monitoring programme.

In 2000, a project for the monitoring of the quality of waters in reservoirs was completed. It assessed conditions in the eight main water reservoirs and their contributing streams, covering 226 chemical, microbiological and toxicological parameters. A monitoring programme for surface and groundwater near industrial areas is also in place. See also under Status  

Status   

In the context of the Government’s policy, a large number of reservoirs and dams (app. 100) were built for water storage, and the installation of improved irrigation systems has been promoted for water  conservation. Between 1960 and 1995, there was an increase in dam capacity from 6 to 300 million cubic metres (Mm3), the ultimate goal being a further increase to 380 Mm3, at which point the utilization of the most important water resources will have been completed.

In addition to dams, other sources utilized include the development of ground waters, the construction of irrigation networks, the construction of water facilities for water supply and of irrigation networks for house-to-house water distribution, and sea water desalination.

Nicosia has a fully operating central sewerage system. Tenders for the design of the Greater Nicosia central sewage system have been awarded recently. The coastal towns of Limassol and Larnaca, are served by central sewerage systems and tertiary level treatment plants. Similar systems are under construction for the coastal town of Pafos and the important tourist centres of Paralimni and Ayia Napa. There are also a large number of private biological treatment stations, around 400 of them, installed in hotels and other tourist facilities, as well as other biological units set up in refugee settlements, hospitals and military camps.  

As regards to rural areas, central sewerage systems have been constructed in a number of villages and more such systems are under implementation. Concerning the disposal of the septic waste overflows from the traditional treatment systems and of the sludge produced at the biological treatment units, in all cities there are stabilization tank systems where septic waste is transferred for disposal. A septage waste and industrial waste treatment plant has also been constructed, to which waste is transferred by tanker trucks. Treated effluents of high quality are produced from such plants.  

A central industrial effluent and domestic septage treatment plant is in operation in Nicosia, aimed to serve more than 100 industrial units, the size of which does not justify the construction of individual treatment plants. A central effluent treatment plant was established in the Limassol Industrial Estate.  

The prolonged drought of the last years drastically reduced the water reserves of the surface and underground reservoirs. In order to eliminate dependency on rainfall and satisfy the increasing water demand, the Government has decided to proceed with the construction of seawater desalination plants. Desalination of seawater was first introduced in April 1997, with the operation of the first desalination plant at Dhekelia, while the second desalination plant, built near the Larnaca Airport, commenced operation in March 2001.The desalination programme envisages the construction of another two plants.

Metering at individual household level is universal and virtually the entire population is served with piped water of satisfactory quality.

All sources of water supplied for domestic use are regularly monitored for the chemical and bacteriological characteristics of water. Quality of drinking water supplies from water stored in dams (85% of total drinking water quantity) is in full compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and EU standards.

Sampling frequencies at least for certain significant parameters are those defined by the WHO. Systematic control (microbiological and chemical) of the water supplied to cities and villages is carried out. There are also special programmes for the systematic monitoring and pollution control of water supply networks, both for surface and ground waters.  

Challenges  

Although groundwater is generally good, in some parts of the river deposit and coastal plain aquifers there are increased nitrate concentrations due to agricultural and urban development and increased salinity because of over-pumping. Nitrate pollution from agricultural sources is a problem in Cyprus, although the area used for agriculture is relatively small (200 000 ha). While the nitrate content in surface waters is low and the impact on drinking water supply areas is negligible, some eutrophication has been measured. Most of the manure produced is used as soil fertilizer.  

Pollutants from non-point sources (i.e. agriculture, urban areas) occasionally cause problems of a temporary nature.   

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Campaigns for raising the “water awareness” of the public towards water conservation proved to be successful and will be continued in the future.  

Information   

Groundwater is regularly monitored, and a programme for the preparation of hydrochemical charts has been initiated. A report on nitrate pollution of groundwater, based on available data, was prepared in 2000. See also under Status.

Research and Technologies   

No information available.   

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation  

No information available.  

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Department of Town Planning and Housing is responsible for the implementation of the Town and Country Planning Law.  

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

All types of development are regulated through the provisions of Local Plans and the Policy Statement for the Countryside, prepared under the Town and Country Planning Law, the implementation of which has created the basis for a more rational use of land.   

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

See under Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available.   

Programmes and Projects   

No information available.   

Status   

No information available.   

Challenges  

No information available.   

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available.   

Information   

No information available.   

Research and Technologies   

No information available.   

Financing   

No information available.   

Cooperation  

No information available.   

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MOUNTAINS

No information available.   

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Cyprus Ports Authority handles oily waters and refuse from ships in port areas. The Ministry of Communications and Works is responsible for shoreline defense; and, the regulations and international conventions on Merchant Shipping.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Under the Fisheries Regulations, standards have been adopted for substances in effluent and the environmental quality of recipient seawaters. There are also prohibitions on the disposal of lubricating and other oils and in the use of organotin based anti-fouling paints in the marine environment. In order to minimize local effects, aquaculture is now carried out “off-shore.”

Amendments to the Fisheries Law (Cap 135) and Fisheries Regulations (1990-1994) intended to regulate the fishing license system outside territorial waters and the monitoring of fishing activities were passed by the House of Representatives in June 2000. The amendments provide for the obligation of all fishing vessels to secure a fishing license from the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research; the introduction of a high fishing license fee; and the obligation for the installation on all fishing vessels of a blue box for monitoring purposes. In addition, all fishing vessels will be required to call for inspection at a Cyprus port at least once a year, and land at least half of their catch at a Cyprus port.

A Fishing Vessel Register has become obligatory. The licensing policy for the fleet fishing in territorial waters takes into consideration the available fishing resources of the area around the island and their sustainable use.

A new Law on Aquaculture, prepared with the help of FAO experts to facilitate a National Action Plan for the Development of Aquaculture, was passed by the House of Representatives in July last year (No.117(I)/2000). A set of regulatory acts relevant to the above law is currently being prepared.

The procedure to regulate the industrial discharge from a number of wineries, in accordance with the Water Pollution Control and the Sewerage Networks laws, has been initiated and waste discharge permits were issued.

A Decree on the quality of bathing waters was issued in 2000 under the Water Pollution Control Law.

The procedure to regulate the industrial discharge from a number of wineries, in accordance with the Water Pollution Control and the Sewerage Networks laws, has been initiated and waste discharge permits were issued.

A Decree on the quality of bathing waters was issued in 2000 under the Water Pollution Control Law.

Cyprus has ratified the following conventions and agreements: the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Against Pollution and the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft; the Protocol for Co-operation in Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency; the Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil; the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Against Pollution from Land-based Sources; the Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of Sea from Ships; the Amendments to the Barcelona Convention; the Amendments to the Dumping Protocol of the Barcelona Convention; the Protocol Concerning the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea from Pollution Resulting from the Exploitation and Exploration of the Continental Shelf and its sub-soil of the Barcelona Convention; and the Amendments to the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land- based Sources.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

The degree of pollution and the quality of seawaters are continuously monitored  through a number of monitoring and research programmes and projects. Such programmes are the yearly MED-POL Programmes carried out with assistance and cooperation with UNEP in the framework of MAP. The levels of heavy metals and organic contaminants are monitored in the marine biota (fish). Marine litter and tar are also monitored. Extensive monitoring of sea water quality is also carried out for the purposes of the Blue Flag scheme. In 2001, Blue Flag Awards were awarded to all the 34 candidate beaches in Cyprus.

For the monitoring and control of vessels longer than 24m which fish in the high seas, Cyprus is now initiating a project to establish an independent system for satellite monitoring of their fishing activities. The system is expected to be operational in early 2002. A Cyprus Vessel Monitoring Station will be in place. See also under Cooperation.

Status   

Infrastructure and expertise for emergency response to marine pollution incidents is already in place and considered as adequate.

For the conservation of fishing resources, several management measures were enacted in 1994, introducing substantial limitations to the fishing effort. Parameters taken into account include the number of vessels, the engine power, closed fishing zones and season, mesh size, etc.

The greatest part of the marine waters of Cyprus is of good quality and sea pollution problems are mostly localized within the urban fronts of the three main coastal towns. No industrial effluents are discharged into the sea apart from a number of wineries, the affected area restricted between Limassol’s two (2) harbours.

At the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, there is an Inspectorate which carries out regular patrolling of the coastal fishing zone (sea and land patrols) as well as on-the-spot checks at the three ports and six major fishing shelters where nearly all catch is landed.

Challenges  

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available. 

Information   

No information available. 

Research and Technologies   

No information available. 

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation  

A sub-regional contingency plan for preparedness and response to major marine pollution incidents has been established between Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, funded by the EU. The relevant agreement was ratified by the House of Representatives in October 2001 (No. 21(III)/2001).

A number of fisheries conventions and agreements will be signed and ratified in the next two years, i.e., General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM); the 1993 FAO Agreement to promote compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fisheries vessels on the High Seas; the 1995 UN Agreement for the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; and International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). See also under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is the competent authority for the administration and enforcement of: the Safety and Health at Work Law; the Dangerous Substances Law; and the Asbestos (Safety and Health of Persons at Work) Law. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Cyprus has ratified the Convention for the Safe Use of Asbestos (No. 23(III)/92). This Convention has served as the basis for the passing of Law No. 23(I)/93, which includes provisions for the health and safety of those working with asbestos or with materials including asbestos. The respective regulations that have been issued in November 1993 (No. 272/93) regulate among others the marking of materials containing asbestos as well as the limits for exposure of workers and the related precautionary measures.

The limited use of asbestos is strictly controlled and the use of certain types of asbestos (blue) is banned in Cyprus. Regulations (No. 104/2000), under the Asbestos Law, covering health and safety issues, were published in April 2000. New regulations are prepared relating to the processes of collection, conveyance and final disposal of asbestos-containing materials. The same location intended for the permanent disposal of other types of hazardous waste is also proposed for the permanent disposal of the above materials.

The Dangerous Substances Law (No. 199/1991) introduced controls on the import, manufacturing, classification, labelling, packaging, use, storage, transport and supply of dangerous substances and the furnishing of required information. Draft regulations have EINECS substances as their basis and include provisions on risk assessment.

Pesticides are regulated by the provisions of the Pesticides Law and Regulations, which provide for the control of the import, manufacture, marketing, quality, labelling, toxicity classification, use and storage of pesticides. Pesticides that may cause serious risk to human health and the environment have been totally banned.

At present, Cyprus is in the process of revising and harmonizing its legislation to cover chemicals and carcinogens at work. Similar legislation for biocides, plant protection products, etc., is also under preparation.

The Cyprus Standards referring to general criteria for the operation of testing laboratories have fully adopted the EN 45001-3 and 45011-14 standards. The State General Laboratory has already adopted internal GLP as defined by OECD principles. A new Bill submitted to the House of Representatives in November 2001 for the Cyprus Standardization and Accreditation Organization empowers this body to deal with the issue, including inspection and verification.

Biocides are partly covered by the provisions of the Pesticides Law and Regulations, and the Medicinal Products legislation. The drafting of the required amendments to the Pesticides Control law, in order to fully regulate biocides, has been initiated and it is planned for enactment in 2002. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

Under a ‘LIFE’ Programme, a survey was undertaken for chemicals used in Cyprus and a data bank is under preparation with all relevant information. 

Status   

An asbestos mine which operated in Cyprus for decades and a factory producing asbestos-cement products, ceased operations.

Despite the fact that the types of chemical substances imported and handled in Cyprus are of a wide variety, the respective quantities are comparatively small. The main industrial sectors importing such substances are the paint and varnish, home cleaning products, food and drink and construction materials industries.

Cyprus has experience with industrial herbicides, pesticidal paints, wood preservatives, etc, but not with disinfectants, general biocides, or preservatives other than wood pesticides. 

Challenges  

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

At the operational level, expertise and infrastructure on risk assessment and the evaluation of the interactions and impacts of chemicals on human health and ecosystems has already been acquired. 

Information   

See under Programmes and Projects. 

Research and Technologies   

See under Programmes and Projects. 

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation

Cyprus signed or ratified many relevant international conventions, protocols, agreements programmes etc. concerning toxic chemicals (PIC, Montreal, London, Basel etc.). Cyprus also participates in the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) activities and, as a candidate country for the EU accession, has close collaboration with the EU in this field. The FAO Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides has been endorsed by Cyprus, as well as the London Guidelines for the Prior Informed Consent.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

SOLID WASTE AND SANITATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, deals with the management of a grants scheme, which assists manufacturing industries in installing waste treatment systems. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The current permitting system applies to treatment and disposal installations and is based on the legislation on land-use, water and air pollution control. Cyprus legislation does not include any general law related to the management of solid waste, but certain general principles are incorporated into a number of laws, such as the laws and regulations related to municipalities and rural communities, public health, protection of water resources, etc. A comprehensive Bill on Waste Management has been prepared, and expected to be enacted into law (including subsidiary legislation) by October 2002. A Waste Management Strategy is being finalized by consultants. The new Law on Waste Management will include the obligation to prevent and reduce the generation of waste as well as permit requirements for undertaking the handling of waste. Waste oils, disposal of PCBs and PCTs Discharges of waste oils and PCBs/PCTs, are controlled by the Water Pollution Control Law and their incineration by the Atmospheric Pollution Control Law. Special provisions for a management system have been incorporated in the Waste Management Bill. The Public Roads and Public Places Pollution Prevention Law (No. 19/92) prohibits the illegal deposit of rubbish or other useless objects and substances in public roads and public areas. A bill on Packaging and Packaging Waste Management has been completed and planned to be submitted to the House of Representatives early in 2002. The disposal of sewage sludge is covered by the Water Pollution Control Law. A Code of Good Agricultural Practice (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture), used as a guide for the discharge consent terms, has been completed and will be adopted in the beginning of 2002, under the Water Pollution Control Law.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Domestic solid waste management is the responsibility of local authorities. Their competences for the collection, transport, disposal and treatment of domestic solid waste have been well established and clarified through the Law on Community Administration (No. 86/(I)/1999). 

Programmes and Projects   

A study was finalized in 1999 in order to lay the basis for an improved urban domestic solid waste management. The Council of Ministers approved the proposals of the study late in 1999, which include a programme providing for collection systems, the establishment of transfer stations, composting plants, etc. Consultants were appointed in 2001 to prepare final design and tender documents for the construction of a new regional landfill and a waste transfer station at Pafos.

The Council of Ministers’ decision for the municipal waste management programme covers, to an extent, measures for packaging waste recovery and recycling as well.

A pilot Household Recycling Project has been implemented over the last 2 years, aimed at demonstrating the necessity for recycling, cultivating awareness, calculating costs and benefits and establishing a pilot recycling network, consisting of the establishment of 10 “recycling islands” and awareness-raising material published and disseminated, for 5 municipalities.

A decontamination project (chemical dechlorination) has been completed, covering some 560 transformers of the Electricity Authority. The project was undertaken after about 2 000 transformers were investigated. A project was initiated in 2001, for the registration of PCBs- contaminated equipment in the private sector and the formulation and implementation of a decontamination programme to be completed by 2010.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment has installed a model aerobic treatment unit and at the same time carried out research projects for the determination of the methods and quantities of piggery waste that can be disposed to the ground without causing pollution.

Status   

Based on the results of the Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Study, municipal waste ending up in landfills include 17% paper, 8 % cardboard, 13% plastic, 4% metal and 3% glass. In terms of yearly quantities, these percentages are interpreted to 62 700 tonnes of paper, 29 500 tonnes of cardboard, 47 900 tonnes of plastic, 14 800 tonnes of metal and 11 100 tonnes of glass.

At present, there are no legal provisions with regards to obligatory targets for reuse and recovery of packaging waste. Recycling is limited, because of the wide spread of very small communities all over the island; absence of legislation and fiscal incentives/disincentives; diseconomies of scale; high transport costs for exports; high labour costs and labour shortages; large fluctuations in international prices; and high initial investment costs. On the basis of private initiatives, between 5-10% of packaging waste is currently being collected and some 17% thereof recycled. The recycling industry largely relies on the partial processing of recyclable materials for export. Paper and cardboard is baled and exported except for paper cardboard waste products from printing works, which are recycled locally. Some small quantities of glass are being recycled at a glass industry. Concerning plastic, clean waste plastics from industries are collected in small quantities and recycled at a plastic’s recycling plant.

The use of sewage sludge in agriculture is not yet practiced except on an experimental basis. Limit values for heavy metals are set in permits for land-spreading operations. There is one company collecting and exporting waste oils for regeneration, and running waste oils- derived fuel plant. Used oils are also collected by a number of collectors.

Challenges  

The most significant environmental problems are associated with pig-raising activities, due to the large quantities of waste produced per animal, large piggery units, the concentration of piggery units in specific areas and high concentrations of salts and nitrates in the wastes. In recent years, a large number of such units have proceeded with the installation of solid separators, which let to a significant improvement in the conditions with respect to odors, as well as to a decrease in the final quantities of liquid waste destined for disposal, given the fact that larger quantities now evaporate from the storage tanks.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

A number of initiatives by non- governmental and other organizations and some local governments have encouraged the collection of aluminum cans and paper for recycling.

Information   

No information available.

Research and Technologies   

A study financed by the European Investment Bank has been prepared, considering the options available (including for agricultural purposes) for the re-use of such sludge from the various treatment plants. The study indicates that the sludge produced could find use in agriculture and as an alternative low cost fuel in cement factories. A special study on used machine oils, which was completed, aimed at the establishment of an integrated system for their management. The study also includes feasibility guidelines for waste oils regeneration, burning and refining. 

Financing   

See under Research and Technologies.

Cooperation  

No information available.

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HAZARDOUS WASTE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The 1992 Ratification Law to the Basel Convention on the transboundary movement of hazardous waste currently provides the legal framework for the control of waste shipments. Cyprus has also ratified the “Basel ban” (Law No.12 (III)/2000). A Law was passed (No.12 (III)/2000), ratifying the amendments to the Basel Convention. Hazardous waste disposal by individual industrial units is covered by the Water Pollution Control Law and their incineration by the Atmospheric Pollution Control Law. The contract for the preparation of a techno-economic and an environmental impact assessment study has been signed in November 2001.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available.

Programmes and Projects   

The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment proceeded in 2001 with the assignment to a private company of the collection and export for treatment of 8 tons of organic sludge and laboratory wastes and chemicals, under the provisions of the Basel Convention and the relevant Regulation of the European Union. The project was successfully completed. Tenders were awarded for the establishment of an organized hazardous waste treatment and disposal site, including a central incinerator for clinical and hazardous waste. Tenders were awarded for the establishment of an organized hazardous waste treatment and disposal site, including a central incinerator for clinical and hazardous waste. See also under Status.

Status   

There are no hazardous waste incineration plants in Cyprus. Legal incineration of waste only applies to the clinical wastes generated at the 5 main hospitals where clinical waste incinerators are installed and registered under the provisions of the Atmospheric Pollution Control Law. The new Nicosia General Hospital currently under construction, will be equipped with a clinical waste incinerator that will comply fully with the relevant directive.

On the basis of two studies on the Management of Hazardous Wastes and the Disposal of Clinical Wastes, prepared between 1993 and 1998, Cyprus is currently proceeding with measures for the management and disposal of hazardous and clinical wastes. Thus, consultants were appointed late in 2001, to carry out a techno- economic study and an environmental study for a site for the controlled disposal of hazardous and clinical wastes. An incineration plant is provisionally envisaged to be installed on the site.

Private companies collect and export for recovery drained car batteries, lead dross waste and large quantities of used machine oils, arrangements being handled directly through the application of the provisions of the Basel Convention. A number of recyclers collect scrap car batteries and export them for recycling following the provisions of the Basel Convention and the issuing of the appropriate certificates. The collection and export system is at a satisfactory level. There is also a dry cell recycling project run on a non- profit-making concept by an NGO and a number of schools. The material collected is also exported for treatment.

Challenges  

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available.

Information   

No information available.

Research and Technologies   

Consulting services were secured for a study on the establishment of a system for the management of batteries and accumulators. The study will begin in January, 2002. A study on pollution from mining waste has been completed.

Financing   

No information available.

Cooperation

See under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

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RADIOACTIVE WASTES

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

In 1999, the Council of Ministers designated the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance (Department of Labour Inspection) as the Regulatory Authority. The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance has been assigned responsibility for the broader framework for radiation protection. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against ionizing radiation are covered, to a limited extend, by the 1996 Safety and Health at Work Law. The Civil Defence Law includes provisions on radiological emergencies and for informing the public.

A new framework Bill for protection against ionizing radiation risks has been prepared, covering all relevant matters, such as: the establishment of the Regulatory Authority and a Radiation Protection Commission; the licensing of sources; the general obligations of licensees; and the appointment and powers of inspectors. A set of draft regulations were also prepared, to regulate occupational, public and medical exposure, emergency preparedness and response, licensing, inspection and enforcement procedures.

The Department of Merchant Shipping controls the packing of cargoes of radioactive substances carried by vessels under the Cyprus flag according to International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards (IMDG). The Department of Customs and Excise is equipped for customs inspection. Laboratories under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Health, are equipped to carry out the necessary analyses.

Issues relating to maximum levels of radioactive contamination of foodstuff and of feeding stuffs following a nuclear accident are partly covered by the Feeding Stuffs and Feed Additives Law (No.13(I)/1993), as well as the Hygiene of Milk and Milk Products Regulations which cover relevant parameters. The Feeding Stuffs and Feed Additives Regulations (control of quality, supply and use), under the Feeding stuffs and Feed Additives Law were passed and published in March 2001 (No. 131/2001), together with amendments to the law (No. 34(I)/2001). 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects   

A project financed by IAEE has been completed, aimed to provide proposals for the ionizing radiation control system and the appropriate institutional set-up and legislation. Personnel involved in the use or control of ionizing radiation have been trained in Cyprus or abroad. 

Status   

There are no nuclear power reactors in Cyprus. Radioactive waste derives only from uses of mostly short-lived isotopes (I-125, Co-57, etc), for clinical and diagnostic purposes at hospitals and medical centres, although there is also a small activity in industrial radiology. Various sources of ionizing radiation are also used in the construction sectors, in research and analysis as well as for teaching.

For short half-life radionucleides, the practice is to keep them in storage until they are disposed off as normal waste. Long half-life waste or disused sources are kept safely in appropriate stores until proper arrangements for disposal are made. It is a common practice in Cyprus that such sources are returned back to the manufacturers. A temporary storage for disused sources exists in the General Hospital in Nicosia. An improved central storage facility is planned to be established.

Administrative structures, including staff and equipment to check illegal imports are considered sufficient but will be further strengthened to ensure full coverage. 

Challenges  

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available. 

Information   

There is a Radioisotopes Laboratory and 3 monitoring stations used for an early warning system. Outside workers are treated as radiation workers and are issued radiation monitors. Steps have been taken to fully computerize records. Dose rate control is exercised through a system of alarms in case of excessive dose and therefore left to the appreciation of the physician. An inventory of all radiological equipment in use is under preparation. Once the inventory is completed, installations will be inspected by the radiation protection authority. 

Research and Technologies   

No information available. 

Financing   

No information available. 

Cooperation 

Cyprus is a member of the IAEA since 1965. The country has also signed or ratified a number of relevant international Conventions, protocols and agreements, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the Timely Notification Concerning Nuclear Accidents.

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