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Last update:Aug 08, 2019

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy
  • Adopted
National adaptation plan
  • Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
Research programmes
Meteorological observations
Climate Projections and Services
CC IVA portals and platforms
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC • Last National Communication Submitted

 

Adaptation Strategies

In Cyprus, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment is the central body coordinating the adaptation policy-making process and has led the preparation and adoption of the NAS. The adaptation policy process has been aided by the CYPADAPT project, (2011-2014), which was co-financed by the EU through the LIFE+ instrument and was coordinated by the Department of Environment of MARDE. The Ministry was also responsible for preparing a combined NAS/NAP in 2014, which was updated and formally adopted in May 2017. The NAS includes an evaluation of the effects of climate change on 11 vulnerable policy areas (sectors) in Cyprus. Moreover, the updated NAS identifies adaptation measures and actions for each vulnerable sector and states clearly the need for revision and evaluation of the NAS at regular intervals.

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”.

Local adaptation actions are taking place through the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and not as part of a programmed/planned process under the framework of the NAP. The Cyprus Energy Agency (CEA) prepares and monitors the implementation of Climate and Energy Action Plans by local authorities. CEA formally forms the promoter of the "Covenant of Mayors" and the "Covenant of Islands" in Cyprus. Specifically, Action Plans for 40 local authorities in Cyprus were prepared by the CEA to help reduce CO2 emissions and adapt to climate change. MARDE is in contact with the Union of Municipalities and the Union of Communities to collect this information and organise training days to inform the local authorities on the adaptation actions relevant to their regions.

An updated NAP was adopted in 2017. The combined NAS/NAP mentioned the adaptation measures for each vulnerable policy area (sector) in Cyprus, as they were identified using CYPADAPT software tool. The updated NAP is a detailed document that lists potential climate impacts along with their potential risk/hazard, the competent authority and the timeline for the completion of each measure. More specifically, the Adaptation Plan foresees 57 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.

Implementation means

The NAP sets out clearly the implementing body for each adaptation measure. The implementation of several adaptation measures in the 11 vulnerable sectors is underway. The status of NAP measures is reflected in the 1st Annual Report to the Council of Ministers on the Implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy and National Action Plan following consultations with the implementing bodies. The report was approved by the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2018.

The Department of Environment (DOE) of MARDE as the approved body by the Council of Ministers to monitor the implementation of the NAS and NAP organised between November 2017 and July 2018 meetings with the General Director of MARDE and consultations with all implementing bodies involved for planning the implementation of adaptation measures during 2019 and the preparation of national budget of 2020. Changes to the measures in the NAP adopted by the Council of Ministers in May 2017, details of the implementation of the measures as well as new measures were discussed during these meetings and can be found in the 1st Annual Report.

The DOE has also organised meetings with academic and research institutions and NAP implementing bodies in order to discuss the financing of adaptation measures through financial instruments additionally to the national budget. These meetings resulted in the preparation and submission of a proposal under the LIFE financial instrument (LIFE Integrated Projects) for financing the implementation of NAS.

Furthermore, some autonomous adaptation actions are being undertaken at sectoral level. For example, the Institute of Agricultural Research and the Ministry's Department of Forests are undertaking projects which facilitate adaptation. Moreover, the Cyprus Institute presented a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Pedieos River Basin to the Environment Committee of the Cyprus Parliament in February 2017.

There are a number of instances of cooperation with wider regional authorities, municipalities, community groups and private local enterprises, including:

  • CAMP-Cyprus, which is implementing activities in the southern peri-urban coastal area of Larnaca town with regard to:
  1. biodiversity,
  2. capacity assessment,
  3. strategic environmental assessment and
  4. environmental economics and economic instruments.

It involves the co-operation of Larnaca municipality and the communities of Pervolia, Meneou and Kiti.

  • The COASTANCE project for coastal zone adaptation, which includes an assessment of the coastal risks and management measures for the pilot case of Mazotos area in Larnaca District.
  • The MAREMED project on adaptation in coastal areas in which the Larnaca District Development Agency is partnering with 14 regions from five countries.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

The Department of Environment (DOE) of MARDE is the approved body by Council of Ministers’ Decision, which adopted the NAS and NAP in May 2017, to monitor the implementation of the NAS and NAP. The same Decision also clearly states that the NAS and NAP is reviewed annually.

Data are collected for each adaptation measure and a review is being prepared. The deadline for submitting the review to the Department of Environment was 15th May 2018. DOE drafted a progress report that was sent to the relevant stakeholders and then to the Council of Ministers for adoption. The 1st Annual Report that was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 5th December 2018 includes, inter alia, the following:

  • New data on the recording of observed and future climate change in Cyprus.
  • New data in the assessment of the impacts of Cyprus's climate change, adaptation and vulnerability.
  • Activities carried out for the implementation of the NAS and NAP for the period 2017-2018.
  • Updated adaptation measures and actions for Cyprus to climate change.

DOE is in constant contact with the implementing bodies to discuss the implementation of the NAP, the modification of the measures, if necessary, and the resources (human and financial) needed.

Schedule and planned review/revision

Reviews coordinated by the Department of Environment involve all stakeholders, as stated in the Council of Ministers’ decision that adopted the NAS and the NAP in May 2017. The process of the review follows the following steps:

  • Previous version of the NAP/NAS are sent to all involved stakeholders.
  • Sectoral meetings take place with directly involved stakeholders.
  • Overall meetings take place for the overview of the NAS/NAP review.
  • The final draft version of the reviewed NAS/NAP is forwarded for final comments to all stakeholders.
  • The final draft version of the reviewed NAS/NAP is forwarded to the Council of Ministers for approval

 

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

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 provides 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.

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
    • Maintenance and repair of water distribution networks.
    • Control and avoidance of high water demanding activities in areas with limited water resources.
    • Strengthening of the efficient use of water in buildings, agriculture and industry.
    • Use of treated sewage water (after control).
    • Periodic revisions of water policy: adaptation of targets, means and resources taking into account climate change.
    • Use of (more) water meters.
    • Implementation and regular reviews of Drought Management Plan (DMP).
  • Soil
    • Design and implementation of measures to combat desertification in Cyprus.
    • Continuation and enhancement of agri-environmental measures within the Rural Development Programme.
    • Control of grazing- by reset of the Countryside Police Force, Modernization of Goats Law and expansion of the law all over Cyprus.
    • Design and implementation of a plan for the sustainable use of land.
  • Costal Zones
    • Study for the identification of vulnerable to climate change coastal areas.
    • Research on rising sea levels & the effects on both existing and new coastal infrastructures.
    • Design and implementation of a strategic framework for the integrated management of coastal areas. Creation and implementation of a framework for Maritime Spatial Planning.
    • Actions for the protection and improvement of coastal zones from coastal erosion, including the construction of breakwaters and measures for the reduction of impacts of dams to coastal ecosystems.
  • Biodiversity
    • Protection, maintenance and proper management of Cyprus natural wetlands.
    • Creation of a list with Cyprus habitats and species.
    • Action plans for the protection of habitats and endangered species. 
    • Promotion of research regarding biodiversity and climate change.
    • Update and evaluation of the national record of ecological data (BIOCYPRUS) for Natura 2000.
    • Measures related to the risk of invasive species.
  • Agriculture
    • Incentives to farmers to use recycled water for the irrigation of selected areas.
    • Definition and promotion of the use of native and locally adaptive genetic material.
    • Improvement of water use efficiency with the implementation of rational irrigation programming.
    • Improvement of water use efficiency with the adoption of modern irrigation systems and maintenance of existing irrigation systems.
    • Promotion of research for the study of climate change impacts on agriculture and livestock.
    • Promotion of the use of less water intensive crops.
  • Forests
    • Design and implementation of a strategic plan for the adaptation of forests to climate change.
    • Measures against forest fires.
    • Establishment of a system of early diagnosis of epidemic diseases from pests - control of pest populations.
    • Research, data collection and monitoring of biotic and abiotic factors related to climate change in forests species to adverse climate conditions.
  • Fishery
    • Protection of reproductive habitats.
  • Public Health
    • Instructions for personal protection from heat waves through the media.
    • Preparation of an emergency plan to determine the responsibilities of the various health centres, social care services and municipal health centres.
    • Empowerment and preparation of medical / nursing staff and utilities in response to climate-related emergencies.
    • Development of a contingency plan in health and social care systems as well as municipalities to serve an increasing number of climate change related patients / incidents.
    • Development and implementation of an information system for diseases associated with climate change.
    • Recommendation to avoid walking outdoors during high-risk hours
    • Prohibition of work outdoors, during extreme events.
    • Development and empowerment of early warning systems.
    • Operation of community centres in each municipality / local community (eg town halls, schools, Centres of Open Care for elderly people) to provide protection (air, shade, liquids) in the population at risk.
  • Energy
    • Increase of RES production.
    • Good maintenance of power lines to minimize losses. Promoting smart grids.
    • Subsidies for energy saving in the domestic sector, e.g. external shading, thermal insulation (existing houses).
    • Use of Natural gas in energy production (production combined cycle) for saving primary energy.
    • Adoption and implementation of regulations on the energy efficiency of new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation.
    • Awareness campaigns for reducing energy consumption / Increase of new buildings with "near zero" energy consumption, combined with bioclimatic architecture.
    • Awareness campaigns for reducing energy consumption.
  • Tourism
    • Investments in infrastructure / technologies for heat.
  • Infrastructure
    • Built of flood constructions in cities (eg green areas, artificial lakes).
    • Efficient rainwater management in both existing and new buildings.
    • Revision of building regulations to ban construction in flood plains and coastal zones.
    • Improve the design and construction materials of buildings and transport infrastructure.
    • Informing insurance organisations to integrate the risks of climate change in premiums in order to give incentives to increase preventive measures.
    • Creation and maintenance of urban parks and other green best practices to reduce the phenomenon of urban heat island effect.

A Final Report on the National Risk Assessment of Cyprus has been prepared on December 22, 2018. The risk assessment methodology used in the study is described along with its application on seven predefined hazards namely Earthquake and Tsunami, Floods, Water scarcity, Large-scale technological accidents, Fires in forests and rural areas, Sea level rise and Coastal Erosion and Marine Pollution. The effect of climate change is incorporated in the scenario building under the chapter of water scarcity. The study can now be used to update the contingency plans and to develop a Risk Reduction Strategy. It can also be used in state plans, particularly in the design and construction of infrastructure.

Mainstreaming of adaptation

As the revised Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive is now in place, the Cypriot authorities have harmonised national legislation and mainstream adaptation. A national law [Ν. 127(Ι)/2018] , reflecting the revised EIA Directive, was adopted and entered into force on 31st July 2018. Climate adaptation will also be included in the next revision of the national law on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

               

              Observations and Projections

              The data concerning the observations and projections of climate change are presented in the National Adaptation Strategy as well as in the 1st Annual Report to the Council of Ministers on the implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy and National Adaptation Plan

              Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

              A first vulnerability assessment on the most important economic sectors was made within the CYPADAPT project. 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.

              The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) of Cyprus was published on 2016. This report provides an overview of the risk assessment, including a synthesis of the key findings. It presents the best information available on the vulnerability of Cyprus to climate change, identifies notable risks and opportunities and gaps in our current understanding of climate risks. The assessment was undertaken across 12 “sectors” (or research areas) and drew evidence from literature reviews, expert elicitation and more detailed quantitative analysis, where the data allowed. It incorporated feedback from stakeholders in these sectors, to identify potential impacts and to select risks for more detailed analysis. For each Sector a Sector Report was produced. Following the methodology applied in the 1st UK CCRA, the data gathering and analysis work for the CCRA was divided into sectors. The Cyprus CCRA focused on the following 12 sectors:

              • Agriculture (Agronomy Subsector and Livestock Subsector)
              • Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services
              • Built Environment
              • Business, Industry & Services
              • Energy
              • Forestry
              • Floods & Coastal Erosion
              • Health
              • Marine & Fisheries
              • Transport
              • Soil
              • Water

              For the 2016 Evidence Report, the Department of Environment produced a focused report that sought to address the following issues:

              • Assess climate risks in the light of methods of assessment and knowledge of climate change impacts;
              • A fuller assessment of how climate interacts with socio-economic factors and how these drivers of risk might change in the future, for example economic growth; population change; land-use change;
              • How the effects of adaptation actions are likely to alter risk levels;
              • Assess the magnitude of impact and the urgency of action needed for different threats and opportunities, as well as developing an understanding of the possible net effect of different risks acting together;
              • Assess the uncertainties, limitations and confidence in the underlying evidence and analysis for different risks.

              Research

              Research on climate change impacts and adaptation measures is being carried out by various research organizations in Cyprus such as the Cyprus Institute and the Agricultural Research Institute. The Department of the Environment is in close cooperation with academic institutions and research organizations that carry out projects for studying climate change impacts and identifying funding opportunities for implementing adaptation measures.

              Monitoring progress

              The Council of Ministers’ Decision that adopted the NAS and NAP in May 2017, regulates the monitoring of the implementation of the NAS and NAP. The same Decision clearly states that the NAS and NAP are reviewed annually. The 1st Annual Report that was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 5th December 2018 includes, inter alia, the following:

              • New data on the recording of observed and future climate change in Cyprus.
              • New data in the assessment of the impacts of Cyprus's climate change, adaptation and vulnerability.
              • Activities carried out for the implementation of the NAS and NAP for the period 2017-2018.
              • Updated adaptation measures and actions for Cyprus to climate change.

              The Department of Environment has an open line of communication with the implementing bodies to discuss the implementation of the NAP, the modification of the measures, if necessary, and the resources (human and financial) needed.

                 

                The active engagement of stakeholders and experts (relevant ministerial departments, associations, non‐governmental organizations, universities, research institutes, etc.) was recognised from the beginning of the NAS development as a key element for the assessment of vulnerability, the identification and evaluation of adaptation measures and most importantly, for the development of the NAS and NAP.

                Stakeholders were involved in several phases of the CYPADAPT project. The draft NAS went through two different consultation phases before it was published. The 1st phase presented the draft NAS to the sectoral Steering Committees of the LIFE project for comments. The 2nd phase consisted of a public consultation for a period of 2 months, which sought feedback on the evaluation criteria, the scoring system and the adaptation measures as well as input to the Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) tool database.

                Governance

                The Department of Environment (DOE) of MARDE is the approved body by Council of Ministers’ Decision, which adopted the NAS and NAP in May 2017, to monitor the implementation of the NAS and NAP. According to the same Decision, the DOE is responsible to review the NAS and NAP and draft annually a report after consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

                Knowledge

                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.

                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. The Department of Environment as the competent authority for climate adaptation policy organise in collaboration with other public bodies, universities, research institutions and NGOs information days, seminars, meetings and conferences aiming at raising awareness on impacts and adaptation to climate change.

                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. All environmental education programs applied in all educational levels (Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, Vocational and Technical Education) coordinated approach climate change according to the theme processed by each participating school. Climate change is approached as a separate, independent study topic or incorporated dimensions of climate change on other related issues such as for example in the study of biodiversity.

                International dimensions

                Cyprus announced its initiative for coordinating climate change actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East region. The idea is that Cyprus could promote coordination and cooperation between the countries of the region for recording and mitigating climate change impacts on sectors like Environment, Agriculture, Tourism, Health, in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East countries. This initiative will develop an inclusive “dialogue forum”- a platform where national and regional stakeholders can discuss science-based practical solutions to challenges related to climate change. The initiative could feed the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East region with environmental observations and predictions that are critically limited but required to assess the extent of the rapid warming and drying conditions as well as better supporting national policies for meeting CO2 emission pledges to the Paris Agreement.

                Moreover, a proposal to support adaptation actions between EU and non-EU neighbouring countries has been recently submitted for EU funding under the LIFE Integrated Projects programme. Furthermore, the cooperation agreements between Cyprus-Greece-Israel and Cyprus-Greece-Egypt consider climate adaptation.

                Department of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment

                Mr. Theodoulos Mesimeris

                National Focal Point /Senior Environment Officer

                Department of Environment 1498 Nicosia Cyprus P.O. Box 27658 2432 Nicosia

                Tel +357 22 40 89 48

                Mail tmesimeris@environment.moa.gov.cy

                Website http://www.moa.gov.cy/environment

                 

                [Disclaimer]
                The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 525/2013) and updates by the EEA member countries