Last update:11 Jan 2017

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy • Being developed
  • No links
Action plans • Being developed
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments • Water and Coasts are completed, overall Country/sectors assessment currently being undertaken
Research programs • Currently being undertaken
Climate services / Met Office • Established
Web portal • Online/Being developed
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies • Being developed • National Strategy on reducing the effects of drought
Training and education resources • Conference on presenting the results of CYADAPT, 27-28 March 2014, Nicosia
National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change • Last Submission (2014)

 

The National Adaptation Plan of Cyprus is the framework of action for the effective preparation and proofing of the country against the observed and expected changes in climate. The Adaptation Plan foresees approximately 250 measures, actions and practices that are required for the effective climate change adaptation of each of the eleven policy areas: water resources, soils, coasts, biodiversity, agriculture, forests, fisheries & aquaculture, public health, energy, tourism and infrastructure. For each of the abovementioned policy areas, Sectoral Adaptation Plans were prepared, including a set of adaptation measures that were prioritized. 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment is the central body coordinating the adaptation policy-making process. For scenarios and projections, the Strategy considers the future period 2021-2050. This has been chosen specifically and examined in detail for the needs of stakeholders and policymakers, in order to assist their planning in relation to adaptation measures, impacts and vulnerability assessment. For the development of the National Adaptation Strategy, an assessment of the current and future vulnerability of Cyprus to climate change was carried out, while for the identified key vulnerabilities, the available adaptation measures for addressing them were evaluated and prioritized.

Both the vulnerability assessment and the adaptation measures refer to all the policy areas of Cyprus that are – or expected to be – affected by climate change. The categorization of the adaptation policy areas is based on the White Paper of the European Commission entitled "Adapting to climate change: towards a European framework for action" (European Commission, 2009 White Paper Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action, COM (2009) 147 final).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NAS objective is to reinforce and increase the adaptive capacity of the society and the environment of Cyprus, by taking appropriate measures to prevent or minimize the negative impacts and the damage they can cause, while taking advantage of opportunities that may arise. 
Furthermore, this strategy will provide a holistic framework which intends to help the decision-makers, stakeholders and citizens to respond successfully to climate change risks and assess the potential cross-sectional impacts of, and the vulnerability to, climate change and how it might be reduced by various cost-effective adaptation options. The strategy beside the detailed analysis of observed and potential impacts and their vulnerabilities includes adaptation measures that should be taken immediately, as well as policies for future actions, for different sectors of economy. The selected sectors of importance in which climate change is significant for Cyprus are the following: Water resources, Agriculture, Coastal zones, Tourism, Biodiversity, Energy, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Soils, Forests, Public Health and Infrastructure. 
They were reviewed and evaluated on the basis of their effectiveness, viability and their contribution to climate change adaptation. 
A list of categories /types of the referred adaptation measures are listed below per selected socioeconomic sector, including also those that are already applied and need further enhancement, as well as the measure categories that may not address climate change impacts directly or those that may not have been developed for this purpose, but are contributing towards this direction. 

Water:

  • Measures to increase water availability
  • Measures for the diversification of water resources utilisation 
  • Measures to decrease water demand 
  • Measure to protect water quality 
  • Measures for the protection from floods 
  • Measure for the protection from droughts in water sector 

Agriculture:

  • Measures to reduce risk of crops due to drought and water scarcity
  • Measures to increase soil fertility
  • Measures to reduce risk of reduced crop productivity
  • Measures to reduce increased agricultural pests, diseases, weeds
  • Measures to reduce risk for livestock - Measures to reduce risk of extreme  weather events 

Soil Resources:

  • Measures to improve soil moisture 
  • Measures to face landslides 
  • Measures to improve soil fertility 
  • Measures to reduce soil contamination 
  • Measures to reduce soil salinization 

Fisheries and Aquaculture:  

  • Measures for strengthening the capacity of fishermen 
  • Measures for the diversification of aquaculture 

Forestry:  

  • Measures against forest fires 
  • Measures against insects attacks and diseases 
  • Measures against biodiversity loss 
  • Measures against dieback of tree species 
  • General measure to protect forests 
  • Storage of genetic propagation material in forest nurseries 

Biodiversity (indicative measures):

  • Provision of subsidies for the development of organic agricultural products 
  • Providing support for the conservation of natural habitats and wildlife
  • Provision of subsidies for afforestation of non-agricultural land 
  • Measures to enhance biodiversity and ecological function of forests 
  • Apply cross-compliance measures 
  • Horizontal integration of ecosystem based adaptation to other policies 
  • Marine ecosystems: Funding scheme for investments on board fishing vessels 
  • Marine ecosystems: Funding scheme for productive investments in aquaculture 
  • Construction of fishing ports, landing sites and shelters - Promote research on biodiversity and ecosystems 
  • Protection and management of salt lakes and of other wetlands 
  • Protection of biodiversity through Fisheries Policy: withdrawal of trawlers 
  • Maintain or strengthen ecological coherence 
  • Monitoring and control of non-indigenous species into / from Cyprus 
  • Creation of an inventory of species populations, distribution and genetics 
  • Enhance/strengthen the Seed Bank and Ex situ conservation 
  • Prepare and implement a Strategic Plan on Biodiversity - Preparation of Management Plans for all areas of the environment protection network "NATURA 2000" 
  • Management plans for the protection of priority /threatened species 
  • Monitoring of highly sensitive species as indicators of climate change 
  • Avoid planting and releasing of alien animal species
  • Protection of coastal and marine ecosystems from invasive species 
  • Restoration of damaged ecosystems 

Public Health: 

  • Measures to prevent heat mortality and morbidity
  • Measures to control food – borne and water-borne diseases
  • Measures to control human health risk from natural hazards
  • Measures to control air-pollution related diseases
  • Measures for the protection from infectious diseases

Tourism:

  • Measures against decreased tourism during summer months
  • Measures against coastal erosion
  • Measures against deterioration of biodiversity attractions
  • Measures against heat waves
  • Measures against storms, waves and floods
  • Measures against risk of drought and water scarcity

Coastal Zones:

  • Measures to reduce risk from coastal storm flooding and inundation
  • Measures to control coastal erosion
  • General measure to improve coastal zones 

Energy:

  • Measures for increasing energy supply 
  • Measures to reduce energy demand 

Infrastructure:

  • Measures against damage in infrastructure due to flood and landslides

 

 

 

 

 

a. Observations and projections

Temperature
Temperature records, for the period 1892 – 2010, from the Cyprus Meteorological Service (CMS) for the stations in Nicosia and Lemesos show an increase in the annual mean air temperature of the atmosphere of the order of 1.4oC in Nicosia and 2.3oC in Lemesos respectively.

Moreover, as regards the annual mean air maximum and minimum temperature, both temperatures show a slight increase for the Nicosia station. On the contrary, the annual mean air maximum temperature presents a slight decrease for the Lemesos station while the annual mean air minimum temperature shows a significant increase much larger than the respective one at the Nicosia station.

Additionally, as shown in the following figures, the number of days with temperature 40oC or higher has increased whereas the number of days with temperatures less than or equal to 0oC has greatly been reduced at the Nicosia station over the recent years. This indicates again that during the last decades there has been an increasing trend in the minimum temperatures in Cyprus. It has been observed less rapid warming in Tmin over the mountainous Saittas station, compared to Nicosia and Limassol. This could suggest that the stronger observed warming over the mainland and coastal cities (that both experienced a rapid population increase after 1974) could possibly be an urbanization effect, but further work is needed to be more conclusive.

Furthermore, very important is the increase in the number of warm nights in almost all of Cyprus as evidenced by the stations of Nicosia, Lemesos, Larnaca, Pafos, Prodromos and Saittas.

Finally, the annual mean temperature distributions present the temperature changes between the periods 1981-1990 and 2001-2008. Over the last decade the greatest part of Cyprus has suffered from high temperatures with the Northern Cyprus (occupied part) showing the greatest temperature rise. Moreover, the three major cities of Cyprus, Nicosia, Larnaca and Lemesos where the largest part of the population reside, are affected by high temperatures causing serious socioeconomic problems such as increase in energy for cooling and water consumption and high population discomfort.

Precipitation
Data from the Cyprus Meteorological Service indicate that the amount of rain which falls in the region has been declining year by year. The annual average precipitation has fallen from 559 mm (1901 – 1930) to 463 mm (1971 to 2000), a decrease of 17%. 

The reduction in rainfall for the period 1905 to 2005 was around 170mm. Additionally, in 2008, Cyprus experienced a severe drought due to rainfall reduction which was 45% lower than the average of the period 2000 – 2007. As a result, water reservoirs were filled in only 3% of their capacity, prompting the Cyprus government to spend millions of Euros for water import from Greece. Cyprus ranks first among the European countries in terms of water stress index.

Finally, observations show that there has been an increase in heavy rainfall which falls in 1 hour for the period 1930 – 2007. These extreme rainfall events may potentially cause localized flooding phenomena with devastating impacts.

Evapotranspiration
Another important parameter for Cyprus is the increase in evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration has increased by 60-80 mm in the period 1976 - 2006. This, combined with temperature rise and rainfall decrease, intensifies the drying of soils and leads gradually to their desertification.

b. Impacts & vulnerability assessments

A first vulnerability assessment on the most important economic sectors has been made. Key climate change risks and priority policy areas were identified. Past research had already indicated that the sectors that would require priority attention on the design and application of adaptation actions for Cyprus would be water resources, coasts, biodiversity and tourism.
For the vulnerability assessment various criteria were used, such as the magnitude, timing, distribution, persistence and reversibility of impacts as well as other social criteria. The assessment of overall vulnerability was based on the following qualitative equation:

Vulnerability=Impact - Adaptive capacity

(where Impact=Sensitivity * Exposure)

The general concept of the methodology followed was adopted by the IPCC in order to prioritize the impacts from all sectors and identify the key vulnerabilities for Cyprus. For this to be achieved, sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity were. The key vulnerabilities have been identified as those impacts gathering an overall vulnerability score ranging from "moderate" to "very high". Overall 52 impacts have been identified in the selected policy areas of Cyprus, from which 16 have been evaluated as key priorities for adaptation action. 

c. Research

At political level, the National Council for Research and Innovation (NCRI) and the Cyprus Scientific Council (CSC), are the main bodies responsible for strategy and planning. The NCRI has exclusive responsibility for the adoption of long-term strategies in research and innovation, while the CSC constitutes the advisory scientific board to the government. 

The Planning Bureau is the Government agency engaged in the formulation of strategy, the identification of objectives and the introduction of policy measures aiming at the promotion of research activities in Cyprus. It's also represents Cyprus in a number of EU fora for research policy. The Planning Bureau, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, provides direct financing for research initiatives undertaken by the state research institutions / departments, through the annual Development Budget of the Republic. The Planning Bureau coordinates the programming and implementation of European Structural and investment funds while allocation science and research issues form a part of its portfolio.

The Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) is responsible for policy implementation. It was established in 1996 in order to channel the public funds for research. Its Board of Directors is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau. The RPF is responsible for establishing the network of National Contact Points for Cyprus' participation in the EU Framework Programmes. Thus it provides assistance to applicants for research funding and implements international agreements in S&T. 

The National Research Council (NRC) is formed as the highest-level organisation with exclusive responsibility for adopting long-term strategies in research and innovation. The Council is chaired by the President of the Republic (deputised by the Minister of Finance). The Planning Bureau provides secretarial support to the NRC. 

The Cyprus Scientific Council (CSC), is an advisory board to the NRC and its mandate is to formulate research strategy proposals. Its Board is composed of 19 members, all of whom are qualified scientists, though not necessarily of Cypriot nationality. The RPF provides secretarial support to the CSC. 
Research is among the key priorities of the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) 2007-2013, the main strategy document currently reflecting guidelines for R&D and innovation policy. The promotion of research and development constitutes one of the eight strategic development pillars highlighted in the document.

Specific multi-annual Research strategy, however, is still not in place. The main delivery instrument is the multi-annual and multi-thematic National Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (DESMI), designed and managed by the RPF. The last DESMI 2009-2010 builds on the previous one without major shifts in goals and priorities. It is based on five pillars, which include a broad spectrum of measures through which it supports multi-thematic research projects in pre-selected fields, promotes research activities among young population, provides for the upgrading of existing and the built up of new research infrastructure, supports international collaboration as well as research and innovation in enterprises. Each new DESMI outperforms the previous in terms of budget and number of measures. 

Since March 2013 the Planning Bureau in cooperation with the RPF and the Cyprus University of Technology is preparing the Smart Specialization Strategy which is a new innovation policy concept designed to promote the efficient and effective use of investment in research, including the European, Structural and investment funds. The outcomes of the Smart Specialization Strategy, which are expected in December 2013, will be utilised for the formulation of the new national Strategy in research.
The RPF's Framework Programme 2009-2010 relates to five (5) Priority Pillars that reflect the strategic pursuits, eighteen (18) Programmes and specific Actions, for each of which specific objectives and rules of management and completion have been formed. The five Priority Pillars are the following: 

  • Strategic and Multithematic Research 
  • Development of Human Research Resources 
  • Development of Research and Innovation Enterprises 
  • Development of Research Infrastructure 
  • Development of International Networking and Cooperation 

Since 2006, 69 projects directly or indirectly relevant to climate change have been funded by various Programmes and Actions of Desmi. The total contribution of the RPF for these projects was €8.8 mln.
Almost all higher academic institutions in Cyprus have research in all fields of climate change, including climate modelling and forecast, adaptation and impacts and particularly mitigation. Research is funded by national and EU financial resources. 

Systematic observation takes place through the measurements of meteorological parameters, ground level pollutants, observation System on quantity/quality of surface water and several research programmes related to marine monitoring parameters. Moreover, Cyprus participates to the EU satellite programmes GMES and Copernicus, and the European Space Agency, through which several parameters related to climate change are monitored.

d. Monitoring progress

Considering that adaptation to climate change is a long-term process as well as that the nature of climate change and its impacts is dynamic and uncertain, the periodic monitoring and re-evaluation of the National Adaptation Strategy and Plan is crucial, in order to assess the progress of the country in decreasing vulnerability and enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change, as well as, to undertake corrective actions where necessary.  

For that reason, a Monitoring Plan of the Adaptation Strategy has been developed in the framework while a national web platform on adaptation has been launched. Both tools are expected to support decision makers for the necessary adaptation interventions and to enhance public dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders, for the effective coordination and implementation of the adaptation actions and measures.   

The monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan to climate change in the context of this methodology takes place through the use of indicators which can be categorized into: 

  • Output -based indicators 
  • Outcome-based indicators

The output/process-based indicators are used to gauge the progress from the implementation of the adaptation measures foreseen in the National Adaptation Plan. In particular, a series of output/process-based indicators is proposed for each adaptation sector, impact and adaptation measure. For these indicators it should be initially investigated whether there is availability of the necessary data or if these data can be easily obtained and next, specific targets should be set for each indicator. In case the necessary data for certain indicators are not available, a relative proxy could be given, while if this is not possible, these indicators will not be used.

The outcome-based indicators are actually the vulnerability indicators that were used for the vulnerability assessment of Cyprus to climate change in the framework. In particular, a series of quantitative and qualitative indicators of sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity to climate change has been selected, based on the available data for Cyprus. In order to prioritize the impact, the adaptive capacity and the overall vulnerability of the different sectors of Cyprus to climate change, a qualitative 7-degree scale was used. 

The level of impact, adaptive capacity and vulnerability of Cyprus to climate change will be periodically reassessed by a specifically assigned Monitoring Team, composed of a number of concerned institutions and stakeholders under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus. 

 

a. Governance

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment is the main coordinating body responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in Cyprus. Implementation tasks should be distributed within relevant stakeholders with respect to their responsibilities in particular topics. Those stakeholders should cooperate, consult and work further on the basis of the Adaptation Strategy and take part in developing Adaptation Action Plan.

Transboundary cooperation to address common challenges with relevant countries is conducted bilaterally and further planned in the cross border cooperation programmes based on an assessment of common priority sectors and risks such as floods. Recent natural disasters, such as floods, hailstorms and sleet have drawn more attention to the transboundary issues both in terms of preventive and relief actions. 

Macro-regional strategies in preparation will also take climate change related risks and impacts into account when planning common projects to address various challenges shared in the region.

b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training 

Climate change in the context of formal and non - formal education is an issue of interdisciplinary investigation and interconnected with all the issues of environment and sustainable development as a matter of national, regional and international interest. The consideration of climate change in this context relies on the fact that climate change is not a mono-dimensional problem, cut off from the rest of the issues, but could be the apparent cause and consequence of a chain of direct and indirect human effects on all environmental issues. Within this context the issue of climate change is examined and treated in the following ways in the Cypriot educational system. 

Access of environmental information to the public is provided through the websites of the relevant Ministries and other governmental agencies. With the ratification of the Aarhus Convention, Cyprus has posed legal obligations for the access of information regarding the state of the Environment. In addition, law no. 119(I)/2004 by which Cyprus incorporated the Directive 2003/4/EC on "public access to environmental information" into national legislation, seeks to increase public access and dissemination of information, contributing to a greater public awareness in decision making and environmental protection. According to this law, "environmental information" includes information related to climate change such as: state of elements (among others air, atmosphere, water, coastal areas, biological diversity, and the interactions among them), factors (e.g. emissions, energy), policies and measures, reports, cost-benefit analyses. 

The Cypriot Government gives high priority to public consultation and awareness. Draft legislation related to climate change, energy and environmental issues are open to public consultation before their adoption.
National Adaptation Platform is at the early stages of its development and aims to support Cyprus in adapting to climate change. It is a knowledge base and communication platform for adaptation and will be linked to the European adaptation platform the (CLIMATE-ADAPT) and other platforms. The potential users, government, local authorities, universities, research institutions, NGO's and other stakeholders and citizens, will access and share information and views on many different issues concerning adaptation options, climate impacts on, and vulnerability of, regions and sectors, case studies, research activities, legislation, financing opportunities, tools for adaptation planning, useful links and others.

Through the Curriculum of EE/ESD which is an important innovation in the educational system of Cyprus and is formatted in a uniform and systematic way for all educational levels, the issue of climate change examined through all the other related thematic units such as energy, production and consumption, urbanization, waste, water, transportation. Specifically, it is aimed that students understand in a systematic and holistic way that the problem of climate change is complex, has multiple causes and effects both locally and globally. For this purpose within the education process the issue is viewed through the social, political and cultural aspects, along with the environmental. Climate change is first examined in the immediate local environment of students and then extends through various teaching techniques, applications and examples globally.

Several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Cypriot Universities deal with diverse aspects of climate change. Undergraduate programmes in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science & Technology as well as postgraduate and doctoral programmes in Environmental Engineering, Energy Resource Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Management, and Education for Sustainable Development, contain numerous courses on climate change impacts, economics and mitigation.

Each program has its own objectives, but the ultimate purpose of all is the development of positive attitudes and behaviours concerning the environment and sustainable development, as well as their awareness on climate change.

 

National coordinating institution:

Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, 1498, Nicosia, Cyprus

Mr. Theodoulos Mesimeris, National Focal Point,
Tel.: +357-22408948
Fax: +357-22774945
Email: tmesimeris@environment.moa.gov.cy

 

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