Environmental protection is crucial for the quality of life for present and future generations. The environmental policy of the EU based on the belief that high environmental standards stimulate innovation and business opportunities. The economic, social and environmental policies are closely intertwined with each other.
In the '90s, the EU imposed the use of the catalyst, the small, ie, reactor turning harmful exhaust gases into more environmentally friendly substances on all new gasoline vehicles. By using the catalyst decreased significantly, compared with previous years, rates of nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate emissions, which are all harmful substances for health, nature and quality of air.
The European Ecolabel, introduced in 1992, helps consumers identify environmentally friendly products and make more informed purchases. The flower symbol is awarded to products or services, according to certified independent audit firms, meeting the most stringent environmental and quality criteria.
Based on harmonizing legislation, Cyprus aftokinitistes informed about fuel economy and emissions of carbon dioxide from new passenger cars offered for sale to help them make the right choice. The above applies throughout the EU in the strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cars.
The audience actively participates in decisions on environmental issues and in particular the procedure for waste gas emission permits. Noted that the public, among others, may be informed and to submit representations regarding the content of applications and is actively involved in conducting public hearings before granting the authorization from the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance.
The website of the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER): http://www.eper.cec.eu.int provides access to information on the annual emissions of 12,000 installations in the states - members of EU Cypriot citizens can learn about the emissions from 70 industrial plants in Cyprus and to compare them with plants in other cities or other European countries.
By joining the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) in various community projects reduce air pollution were significant improvements in the environmental field. A typical example is the participation in the trading scheme for greenhouse gas emissions within the Community. So, regarding the future development program for power plants, the EACdirected to the introduction of best available techniques to minimize emissions.
Cyprus must comply fully with the requirements and timetable of the EU Framework Directive 2000/60 Water and Directive 91/271/EEC on urban waste water. The main objective of Directive 2000/60 for water is to prevent further deterioration of all waters and to achieve good status by 2015.
Cyprus, within the framework of Council Directive 91/271/EEC on municipal (household) waste, has established a program of the directive in 42 settlements.
The effective implementation of the above directives, creates the conditions necessary to support a policy that encourages adequate and effective protection and rational management and exploitation of precious water resources for the benefit of Cypriot citizens.
The EU publish annually a report on bathing water in order to inform the public about the quality of bathing areas in the states - members of the Community. Online at http://ec.europa.eu/water/cgi-bin/bw.pl, every European citizen can gain a personal understanding of the quality of bathing waters and to determine whether it is safe or contaminated in level dangerous to health.
Cyprus is in compliance with EU hygiene standards, hence the water quality at beaches, according to the 2007 report is excellent. The island has the cleanest beaches in Europe by both microbiological and chemical point of view from so many places there is the "blue flag" for Europe, the well-known signal for our excellent beaches. The bathing water quality and cleanliness of the beaches are key factors in protecting public health and tourism development.
Oils and gases quality
The performance by the State of systematic quality control of petroleum products and fuels (such as that recently, with extremely reduced prices at some stations) so that the specification of fuel used in Cyprus to comply with the specifications determined by individual acts EU, ensures high quality products to benefit the environment and health of citizens.
With the implementation of the acquis communautaire, has banned the use of leaded gasoline, while also decreased the content of sulfur in diesel fuel and heating by 50 times. The EU promoted the creation of more fuel-friendly environment.
The EU attaches great importance to environmental protection. The increased environmental obligations of firms operating in the EU generate the need for additional investment [eg Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility (E.K.P.E.) climate neutral shops etc.]. For this purpose, the member states - incl Cyprus, provide assistance to industry in the form of state aid, to comply with new regulations and to develop activities such as recycling activities (something the Cypriot company importer known baby diaper applied for years reciprocation gifts as incentives or known Cypriot company that produces chips, which receives from its customers paperboard packaging systems still crowned with complete success), which help to promote greater environmental protection.
With the accession of Cyprus to the EU, available funds in the annual state budgets to protect the environment from industrial pollution have almost tripled: from 250,000 pounds (427,150.36 euros) to 700,000 pounds (1,196,021.01 euros ). State aid for environmental protection offer major benefits wide dispersion, as contributing to improving the quality of life of all citizens.
With our accession to the EU established special protection areas, areas for habitat creation and measures to restore damaged habitats. The Union's objective is the preservation, conservation, preservation or restoration of a sufficient diversity and area of habitats for all species of wild birds.
With co-financing of the EU, public authorities carry out works to improve the social and ecological role of forests. These projects are either stimulating the supply of recreational opportunities in the public forests and development of tourism (such as environmental education centers, construction of picnic and camping sites, etc.) or the protection of nature and water (for example, conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and the protection of species of flora and fauna).
However, individuals who wish can receive financial assistance through the Rural Development Plan to develop projects such as afforestation, forest protection and rural fires and modernization of sawmills.
Republished from "Green Shield" newspaper, issue of October 2008.