This is maybe the first time that the European Commission has concluded that Cyprus has made positive steps regarding the environment, Environment Department Director, Costas Hadjipanayiotou has told CNA, referring to the Environmental Implementation Review on Cyprus the Commission has published.
He acknowledged that much remains to be done on waste management adding that Cyprus is making a big effort to meet its 2020 targets
“The most important of all, which maybe occurs for the first time, is the conclusion that we have made positive steps” said Hadjipanayiotou, noting that Cyprus has been implementing a strategy, albeit slowly.
“The steps that need to be taken regarding waste management are too many” he stressed.
Hadjipanayiotou alluded to the Commission’s remark that Cyprus does not recover energy from its municipal waste and the output of the mechanical and biological treatment facilities is landfilled, instead of being used as refuse-derived fuel (RDF) in the local cement kilns. “Should we address this, it would be a very important step” he noted.
On recycling and separate collection of waste, he said that it would be enhanced in the next two years. “It has been adopted legally and institutionally but has not been implemented” he explained, noting that the reform of the local administration, that the government intends to introduce, could boost efforts to improve waste management.
Cyprus is making a big effort to meet its 2020 targets on waste management, said Hadjipanayiotou. According to the European Commission’s report “Cyprus still faces difficulties in implementing the relevant EU waste policy and in meeting its 2020 targets”.
The Director of the Department of Environment admitted that Cyprus would not meet its 2030 targets on climate, “if serious, additional measures are not taken”. The report said that transport emissions in Cyprus increased by 8% from 2013 to 2016.
Furthermore, Hadjipanayiotou noted that Cyprus’ terrestrial Natura 2000 network is now considered to be largely complete, with one of the highest rates in the EU, that is 29% of its land. However, he noted that Cyprus is lagging behind in setting conservation objectives and measures and the main reason for that is the lack of human resource.