Bridges towards Europe through social media conversations
In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and published in the Cyprus Mail, McGlade, who was in Cyprus on a one-day visit found, “ That the most practical thing that Cyprus could do would be to show through example and through leadership what it takes to run an economy in a water scarce area.”
Taking into account the environmental score board of Cyprus compared to other European countries, European Environment Agency Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade expressed her particular concern about the accelerated loss of biodiversity in the island.
According to McGlade the loss of biodiversity in Cyprus was accelerating. “The fact that water scarcity is intensifying, even though you have much of the water demand under control, still means that you need a much better way to distribute water across households, industry and agriculture,” she said.
“If ecosystems are starved of water, in other words if it is all taken into households and into industry and agriculture then natural capacity to clean up water goes away and then we have to spend a lot of money cleaning up water to drink it”, she notes.
Speaking of biodiversity issues, McGlade said it was one of greatest concerns when it comes to Cyprus.
“There is perhaps not enough information for people to make good informed decisions.” McGlade said that was a shame because around seven per cent of the flora and fauna in Cyprus are endemic to the island.
She stressed the need for transport and industry related legislation to take into account air quality, giving Ukraine as an example to avoid, where, she said contaminated air had reduced life expectancy by nearly 20 years.
Commenting on what environmental issues are due to be discussed during the Cyprus EU Council presidency McGlade says that crucial discussions would be taking place around the future of the environment action programme.
“One of the most important dossiers will be the blueprint for water and therefore it is appropriate in many senses that Cyprus holds the presidency as we will be discussing the most important water legislation in Europe,” she said.
In conclusion, we welcome that Cyprus be able to use this upcoming Eu Presidency to rethink it’s policies of isolationism when it comes to being part of international networks or forums where proper environmental visions can be expressed and developed.
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