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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

Cyprus due to its geographical position in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea bears all the characteristics of a semi-arid climate and some of the deficits of the global climate change. The rich biodiversity of Cyprus is the result of the combination of the geographical structure, landscape isolation due to its insular character, surrounding sea, topographic relief, geological structure and of course climatic conditions. The flora and fauna of the island are adapted to the various natural biotopes and climatic conditions, resulting in a large number of endemic and rare species (DoE, 2000).

Direct impacts of climate change on Cyprus biodiversity arise mainly from decreased rainfall and increased temperature, droughts, fluctuations in intensified precipitation, sea level rise and increased atmospheric CO2. These impacts are expected to worsen in future period (2021–2050) as already projected PRECIS and ENSEMBLES prediction system. Biodiversity is affected by numerous factors concerning the climate, ecology, society, culture, economy and technology (United Nations University, 2005). In terms of climate, the main factors affecting the biodiversity of Cyprus are among others the following: Variability (uneven geographic distribution and temporality of precipitation) - Reduction of frequency of precipitation -Increase of frequency of rainfall’s intensity -Increase of temperature (and certain variables of temperature) - Heat-wave -Reduction of snow cover in Troodos -Increase of evapotranspiration (contributes to the intensification of soil drying).

The above mentioned pressures in combination with other factors such as the island’s landscape fragmentations, the intrusion of harmful invasive alien species and the deteriorated freshwater quality, are expected to threaten further and in more complicated way, mainly the terrestrial, marine and freshwater biodiversity of Cyprus.
The population of the Government controlled area is estimated at 888.000 at the end of 2019, compared to 875.900 at the end of 2018, recording an increase of 1,4%. There was a gradual increase in the proportion of old-aged persons and a decrease in the proportion of children, demonstrating the ageing process of the population. In 2019, the number of births in the Government controlled area increased to 9.548 from 9.329 the year before, giving a crude birth rate of 10,8 per 1.000 population. The total fertility rate which describes the reproductive behavior unaffected by changes in the age composition of the population, remained fairly low during the past few years. The total fertility rate for 2019 was estimated at 1,33, remaining at the same level as in the previous year. Since 1995, the total fertility rate remains below the replacement level of 2,10. Cyprus has one of the lowest proportions of extra-marital births in Europe and fertility is mainly marital fertility. The mean age of women at the birth of their first child was 29,6 years in 2019, while the mean age at birth irrespective of the order of the child was 31,2 years. The number of deaths in the Government controlled area reached 6.239 in 2019, compared to 5.768 in 2018. The crude death rate for 2019 increased to 7,1 deaths per 1.000 population, from 6,6 in 2018. Life expectancy at birth was estimated at 80,1 years for males and 84,2 years for females in 2019, compared to 80,7 years for males and 84,6 for females in 2018. Infant mortality has admittedly reached a very low level, estimated at 2,6 infant deaths per 1.000 live births in 2019. Net migration in Cyprus has been positive from 1983 to 2011. For the period 2012- 2015, net migration has been negative. As from 2016, net migration became positive again. In 2019, it was estimated at 8.797. Long-term immigrants (Cypriots and foreigners arriving for settlement or for temporary employment for 1 year or more) were 26.170 in 2019, compared to 23.442 in 2018. ?he number of emigrants (Cypriots and foreigners who had resided in Cyprus for at least one year) was estimated at 17.373 in 2019 compared to 15.340 in 2018. The rate of natural increase of Cyprus (3,7 per 1.000 population) is much higher than the EU average (-0,8 per 1.000 population). The age composition of the population portrays a somewhat younger age-structure than the European average. The proportion of persons aged 65 and over is among the lowest, while at the same time the proportion of children below 15 is among the highest. The abrupt decrease of fertility in Cyprus recorded during the nineties and the increase of the fertility indicator in some European countries in the last few years, resulted in placing the total fertility rate of Cyprus below the average of the European Union countries (1,6 for the year 2018). Life expectancy at birth in Cyprus is above the average of the European Union (78,3 years for males and 83,6 years for females for the year 2018).
The economy of Cyprus can generally be characterised as small, open and dynamic, with services constituting its engine power. Since the accession of the country to the European Union on 1 May 2004, its economy has undergone significant economic and structural reforms that have transformed the economic landscape. After being severely hit by the global financial crisis and the exposure of the national banking system, the country's economy had recovered in recent years, thanks to domestic demand and tourism.

The tertiary sector (services) is the biggest contributor to GVA, accounting for about for about 83.4% in 2019. This development reflects the gradual restructuring of the Cypriot economy from an exporter of minerals and agricultural products in the period 1961-73 and an exporter of manufactured goods in the latter part of the 1970s and the early part of the 80s, to an international tourist, business and services center during the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. The secondary sector (manufacturing) accounted for around 14.6% of GVA in 2019. The primary sector (agriculture and fishing) is continuously shrinking and only reached 2% of GVA in 2019.

In terms of the recent economic performance of the economy, positive growth rate of 5.2% was recorded in 2018, following a rate of 5.2% in 2017 as well. In 2019, the economy grew at a slower rate of 3.1%, which was however, significantly higher than the EU and euro area average (1.5% and 1.3% respectively).

Tourism sector constitutes one of the main drivers of economic growth in Cyprus. In 2018 and 2019, tourism exhibited a record number of tourist arrivals (increase by 7.8% and 1% respectively). The professional services sector turned out to be remarkably resilient during the 2012-2013 economic crisis. This sector was also key in the turnaround of the Cyprus economy and is expected to remain important in the future years. Cyprus’ shipping sector is also an important growth driver for Cyprus. By combining strong geographical, institutional and commercial advantages Cyprus has managed to amass the 11th largest merchant fleet in the world and 3rd largest merchant fleet in the EU.

In the labour market, unemployment decreased to 8.4% and 7.1% in 2018 and 2019 respectively, from the peak of 16.1% in 2014. As regards public finances, targets have been met with considerable margins in recent years. More specifically, in 2019, fiscal balance was positive of the magnitude of 1.7% of GDP, supporting debt sustainability, with public debt falling to 95.5 of GDP, from 100.6% of GDP.

After reaching a surplus in 2019, the fiscal measures adopted to fight the pandemic and the consequent falling revenues (-6.1%) pushed the general public budget into negative territory, at -3.9% (IMF estimates). The deficit should narrow to 1.5% of GDP in 2021 and 0.2% in 2022 as the support measures are gradually eased and revenue collection picks up. The public debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to follow a similar trend: after rising to 118.4% in 2020, it should gradually decrease to 112.4% this year and 105.1% in 2022 (IMF). Nevertheless, the situation remains uncertain, as the rollout of the second phase of the National Health Insurance System (NHIS) and higher compensation for public employees are set to boost public expenditure progressively in the forecasted period. Inflation was negative by 0.6% in 2020, due mostly to lower energy prices, and it should stabilize around 1% in the next couple of years.

The impact of the COVID-19-led crisis on the labour market has been mitigated by temporary income support measures, which targeted especially employees in the tourism sector. As a result, unemployment stood at 8% in 2020 (from 7% one year earlier), and is expected to gradually decrease this year and in 2022 (to 7% and 6.4%, respectively). In recent years, a strong focus on the service and skilled industry, along with industrial and agricultural growth, has allowed the country to improve its already high standard of living; however, 22.3% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion (Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus), with the trend likely to be worsened by the ongoing global crisis.

Based on the Cyprus National Reform Program 2016, the national 2020 target for the reduction of poverty and social exclusion is: “The Reduction of the number of people-at risk-of-poverty and social exclusion by 27,000 people or decrease the percentage form 23.99% in 2008 to 19.3% by 2020.” However based on the Poverty Watch Report that follows, the above target is far from being reached. The latest data available (2019) shows that poverty percentage in Cyprus, the AROPE indicator, is 22.3%, which is below the 2008 percentage (23.6%). This is without taking into consideration the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy in 2020, with the increase of the unemployment, being the main problem. This is likely to reduce the economic development and slow down the declining rhythm of the poverty percentage, towards reaching the NRP target for 2020 of 19.3%. According to Cystat 22.3% or 194.400 people living below the poverty threshold and the unemployment rate at 6.8% in the second quarter of 2020, in comparison with 6.5% in the corresponding quarter of 2019. This is attributed mainly to those sectors of the economy that have the most impact by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the Poverty Watch reports aims to highlight specific issues and groups of citizens who face particular problems of poverty and social exclusion.

With respect to infrastructure the attached are noted with relevance to adaptation. This information has been obtained from the National Climate Change Risk Assessment which was carried out in 2014-2016.

Reporting updated until: 2021-03-15

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • actual NAS - adopted
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • actual NAP - adopted
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
  • completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
Adaptation portals and platforms
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
The Department of Meteorology (DOM) maintains a database of climatological information starting from 1904 to today. The database is comprised of measurements of analog automatic climatological stations on a hourly basis, manual observations (once or twice per day) and modern meteorological stations with measurements recorded every 10 minutes. The database is concluded with upper air measurements starting from 1989 to today (twice per day) and since 2016, weather radar measurements of rainfall.

This data is used by the department for research purposes and relevant articles have been published (climatic model evaluation, climate change assessment studies, quantification of change concerning atmospheric parameters etc.).

On routine basis, the DOM utilizes the information to create climate periods for reference concerning wind, temperature, rainfall, vegetation and drought using both statistics and GIS methodologies.

The database is also offered to educational and research institutes for research activities and funded programs on relevant topics.

Current Projects associated to climate monitoring, modelling, projections and scenarios:
    • EMME-CARE: Eastern Mediterranean – Middle East Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (H2020/Teaming)
    • CELSIUS: Projecting temperature climate extremes at regional to urban scale (Cyprus Research & Innovation Foundation, RIF EXCELLENCE)
    • CORDEX: Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (WMO-WCRP)

Forest fire risk monitoring and prediction (http://map.disarmfire.eu/Cyprus): Live fire indices, Active Fire Monitoring (satellite estimations), short-term and climate-scale forecasts of fire indices

Vector-borne disease risk (http://vbd.cyi.ac.cy/): climate-scale prediction of species suitability
The Environmental Predictions Department (EPD) of the Atmosphere and Climate Research Centre (CARE-C) at the Cyprus Institute (CyI) utilizes global and regional atmospheric and climate models for the study and prediction of key near surface meteorological variables related to the varying mean and extreme conditions brought about by on-going climate change.

Current Projects:
    • EMME-CARE: Eastern Mediterranean – Middle East Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (H2020/Teaming)
    • CELSIUS: Projecting temperature climate extremes at regional to urban scale (Cyprus Research & Innovation Foundation, RIF EXCELLENCE)
    • CORDEX: Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (WMO-WCRP)

Tools/methodologies::

Model: WRF as a Regional Climate Model (RCM) dynamically downscaling Global Climate Model (GCM) projections of CCSM4

Spatial Resolution: 50 x 50 km (completed), 24 x 24 km (under way)

Temporal Resolution: daily output

Emission scenario: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5

Period: 1950-2100

Variables: 3D atmospheric variables, including surface climate one (Tmax, Tmn, Precipitation, Wind Speed, Relative Humidity etc)

Long-term annual and seasonal averages (30-year climatologies) of surface climate variables

Indices of temperature extremes, based on absolute level, threshold, percentile and duration, as defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI)

Forest fire risk indices

Vector population dynamics model/FuzzyLoc decision support system for vector-borne prediction

Forest fire risk monitoring and prediction (http://map.disarmfire.eu/Cyprus): Live fire indices, Active Fire Monitoring (satellite estimations), short-term and climate-scale forecasts of fire indices

Vector-borne disease risk (http://vbd.cyi.ac.cy/): climate-scale prediction of species suitability
Recent studies on present and future climate have shown that the Eastern Mediterranean is among the most vulnerable regions to climate change, as it is expected to be relatively strongly affected by the projected warming and related changes due to man-made forcing by increased greenhouse gases. A key aspect of the broader climate change expected in the future is the expansion of the tropics and, consequently, the subtropical dry zones that lie to the south of the Mediterranean. Therefore, Cyprus is likely to face increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts and hot weather conditions in the near future. Since the region is diverse and extreme climate conditions are already common, the impacts may be disproportional. Regional climate models consistently predict an overall warming and drying of Cyprus with significant impacts in human health, energy use, water resources and other socio-economic sectors.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Cyclone
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Saline intrusion
Solid mass
  • Soil erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Temperature variability
Wind
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Precipitation and/or hydrological variability
Solid mass
Cyprus lies at the south-eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and Europe, which is one of the most sensitive hot-spots and most vulnerable regions in the world regarding climate change.

Climate in Cyprus is generally characterized by mild rainy winters, occasional droughts, and long, hot and dry summers. In winder, the average daytime temperature ranges from 12–15oC while the wet season extends from November to March, with most (approx. 60%) of the rain falling between December and February. Precipitation is generally associated with the movement of moist maritime flows to the North, occurring particularly over areas of high elevation. Winter precipitation is closely related to cyclogenesis in the region. In summer, the average maximum temperature in coastal regions is 32oC and often reaches 40oC in lowland continental areas. This is attributed to the extension of the summer Asian Thermal Low which is evident throughout the eastern Mediterranean in all seasonal circulation patterns and associated high temperatures and abundant sunshine. The characteristic summer aridity of the region has significant implications in several socio-economic sectors.

Recent studies on present and future climate have shown that this semi-arid island has been affected and is expected to be relatively strongly affected by the projected warming and related changes. The already observed shift of the mean synoptic weather patterns in Europe and in the close area has been connected with increase in appearance of heavy rainfall events, rainfall, heat events and severe dust events. Therefore, Cyprus, where diverse and extreme climate conditions are already common, is likely to face increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts and hot weather conditions in the near future, with probably disproportional impacts.

The future climate changes were projected by using PRECIS as the main Regional Climate Model and the A1B scenario of the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which provides a good mid-line scenario for carbon dioxide emissions and economic grow.

The climate in Cyprus is generally characterized by mild rainy winters, occasional droughts, and long, hot and dry summers. Recent studies on present and future climate have shown that the Eastern Mediterranean is among the most vulnerable regions to climate change, as it is expected to be relatively strongly affected by the projected warming and related changes due to man-made forcing by increased greenhouse gases (GHG). A key aspect of the broader climate change expected in the future is the expansion of the tropics and, consequently, the subtropical dry zones that lie to the south of the Mediterranean. Therefore, Cyprus is likely to face increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts and hot weather conditions in the near future. Since the region is diverse and extreme climate conditions are already common, the impacts may be disproportional.

Gradients and contrasts are characteristic for Cyprus, not only in climatic conditions, but also in social and economic aspects, access to natural resources, as well as cultural and religious traditions. This diversity is a regional attribute, but can also be associated with political tensions. Since the region is a primary climate change “hot spot”, there is concern about the future state of the environment and societal consequences.

In general, regional climate models consistently predict an overall warming and drying of Cyprus with significant impacts in human health, energy use, water resources and other socio-economic sectors. Pronounced warming and precipitation reductions are also detected from time series of temperature and precipitation parameters, regarding representative locations of Cyprus during the period 1951-2100.

Source: National Communication 7, available at https://unfccc.int/[…]/92680315_Cyprus-NC7-BR3-1-CYP.pdf.
Forest fire risk monitoring and prediction (http://map.disarmfire.eu/Cyprus): Live fire indices, Active Fire Monitoring (satellite estimations), short-term and climate-scale forecasts of fire indices

Vector-borne disease risk (http://vbd.cyi.ac.cy/): climate-scale prediction of species suitability

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
high
It is likely that certain risks are not going to be evenly distributed, with urban populations (especially Nicosia) appearing to be more affected by heatwaves and heat-related mortality due to Urban Heat Island. In the urban areas where the air pollution levels are elevated, heat waves are more frequent. Furthermore, the increases in temperatures would be higher in the interior than on the coast of Cyprus, which leads to higher adverse health implications on the population living inland. Most risks in the health sector are strongly correlated to social demographics. The elderly for example are typically more vulnerable to most health impacts, and a projected ageing population is likely to increase these risks. Heat related deaths are a function of several factors, including the age distribution of the population, levels of deprivation, and social capital (i.e. social networks and contacts). However, the relationship between temperature related mortality, deprivation and social capital is very complex and not possible to characterise within this assessment. Higher temperatures may cause an earlier and possibly longer pollen season. More days with high pollen concentrations would result in more people with hay fever and pollen asthma. Annual excess heat mortality due to CC in the 2050s can increase by 94% under the moderate CC scenario and up to 126% under the more pessimistic CC scenario. In the 2080s can increase by 104% under the moderate CC scenario and up to 268% under the more pessimistic CC scenario. Annual excess heat morbidity expressed in terms of patient-days in hospital per year, will also increase proportionally.
Key hazard likelihood
medium
There is evidence that population acclimatisation and adaptive capacity (e.g. increased use of air conditioning and gradual physiological adaptation) can influence the level of certain health risks associated with climate change. For example, people can become gradually acclimatised to higher temperatures and there are indications that European regions with hot summers do not have significantly higher annual heat related mortality rates than cold regions. Public health protection measures such as warning systems, health alerts, public awareness campaigns and home-based prevention advice can help reduce the health risks of higher temperatures associated with climate change; providing these is a sign of capacity to adapt to short term climate risks. Heat wave plans have been shown to reduce heat-related mortality in Italy, but evidence of effectiveness is still very limited. There is little information about how future changes in housing and infrastructure would reduce the regional or local future burden of heat-related mortality or morbidity. Creation and protection of green infrastructure to reduce the UHI phenomenon and improve air quality must be a priority can be an adaptation measure. The public health response of Cyprus in heat waves is based at forecasting heat waves, issuing warnings and providing advices for self-protection from heat waves, through the mass media (television, radio, newspapers, public websites). In addition, during severe heat waves the government, in order to protect its citizens from adverse health effects, recommends a curfew between the high risk hours of the day. Also, there are communal centres fully air-conditioned to accommodate people with no access to an air-conditioned environment during days of elevated temperatures. However, the protection of the population from heat waves is not always possible.
Vulnerability
medium
The overall future vulnerability of public health to future climate changes, in terms of sensitivity, exposure, adaptive capacity based on the available data is as presented in a Table in the Climate Change Risk assessment. As it can be seen from the table, the public health of Cyprus is not considered vulnerable to climate changes mainly due to the fact that it is characterized by a good adaptive capacity. The only vulnerability that was identified through the CYPADAPT project is related to the deaths and health problems from heat waves and high temperatures. Thus, the adaptive capacity should be enhanced with urgent and satisfactory measures for the effective protection of the population from heat waves.
Risk Future Impact
high
As temperatures increase, mainly during summer months, this can have a subsequent effect on the number of premature deaths as a result of heat related illnesses (i.e. cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases). These deaths tend to increase above a set temperature threshold, with the threshold and rate of increase varying between regions. Temperature mortality (heat-related) has been addressed by assessing the change in mortality rate based on published exposure response functions, threshold temperatures and data on maximum daily temperature and daily death counts. Heat-related mortality and morbidity are the main challenges that the Sector will face due to climate change. Cyprus can be considered as a country with high aging population. This poses a serious challenge to the health and pension system of Cyprus. The population groups that are most vulnerable to heat waves are the elderly, persons with pre-existing chronic diseases, people confined to bed, children, population groups with low socio-economic status, workers in outdoor environments. The occupations most at risk of heatstroke, include construction and agriculture/forestry/fishing work. It is likely that certain risks are not going to be evenly distributed, with urban populations appearing to be more affected by heatwaves and heat-related mortality due to Urban Heat Island. In the urban areas where the air pollution levels are elevated, heat waves are more frequent. Furthermore, the increases in temperatures would be higher in the interior than on the coast of Cyprus, which leads to higher adverse health implications on the population living inland. Annual excess heat mortality due to CC in the 2050s can increase by 94% under the moderate CC scenario and up to 126% under the more pessimistic CC scenario. In the 2080s can increase by 104% under the moderate CC scenario and up to 268% under the more pessimistic CC scenario.
Impact/key hazard
high
Water availability in an essential resource for both humans and ecosystems. Cyprus is already facing intense problems of water shortage and drought, which are expected to intensify as a result of climate change. Several habitat types among different habitat groups are sensitive to changes in water quantity. Among them, there are habitat types like the endemic Peat grasslands of Troodos (6460), which conservation absolutely depends on the hydrologic development of the area. Forests and other wooded lands in Cyprus suffer considerably by drought and water stress that in certain years can be particularly intense. Due to the existence of long, dry and hot summers as well as the low levels of winter precipitation between 1993 and 2000, a significant number of trees dried out in the forests of the island. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the pressures on Cyprus’s natural resources, which are already stressed due to the island’s semi-arid climatic conditions. As a consequence, adverse effects are projected on water availability, with subsequent effects on waterdependent ecosystems, flora and fauna species. Furthermore, a climate induced reduction in forest productivity could lead to decrease efficiency to store.
Key hazard likelihood
high
The climatic factors that may have an impact on the water resources of Cyprus include the decreased rainfall and increased temperature, droughts, fluctuations in intense precipitation events. According to PRECIS projections for the future period 2021-2050, the average annual temperature in Cyprus is expected to increase by 1-2 o C, while the average annual total precipitation will be slightly decreased with seasonal variations. The maximum length of dry spells (precipitation35o C) will be increased averagely by 10-30 days on annual basis, depending on the region. Concerning future changes of annual max total rainfall over 1 day, PRECIS projections show that a slight increase of about 1-4 mm is anticipated. Finally, regarding the highest annual total precipitation, falling in 3 consecutive days, a negligible increase of about 1-2 mm of rainfall is expected.
Vulnerability
high
In order to combat this gap, between the increasing demands for water and the reducing water supply , due to the impacts of climate change, several adaptation measures, plans and water works have been implemented or planed by the Government. The Programme of Measures defined in the Cyprus River Basin Management Plan includes inter alia measures which are expected to reinforce Cyprus’ adaptive capacity to the decreasing availability of freshwater resources and thus to climate change. Many of the measures adopted have already alleviated the problem of water scarcity. Thus the domestic water supply is continuous with the supplement of desalinated water. As for the future situation is concerned, the sum of the average estimated freshwater and non-freshwater resources for the period 2021-2050 (341Mm3 ) is expected to fully satisfy future water demand from all sectors. However desalinated water is distributed mainly in the urban centers of Cyprus through Government Water Works (GWW), while other areas, such as the mountain communities, depend solely on freshwater resources (mainly groundwater) for meeting their drinking water needs (WDD, 2009a). The future adaptive capacity to water availability for domestic water supply in the plain and coastal areas, and in the mountain areas, is considered to be high to very high, and limited to moderate, respectively. On the other hand, the measures applied have not yet managed to fully satisfy water demand for irrigation as agriculture constitutes the main water consumer in Cyprus. In addition water is not evenly distributed whether it is freshwater or recycled water. In particular, recycled water for irrigation is distributed only in the plain and coastal areas. While the irrigation in mountain areas depends on the water available in the storage reservoirs which are of limited capacity and during drought periods their reserves are depleted, and on private boreholes, thus resulting in the overexploitation of aquifers.
Risk Future Impact
high
Cyprus has already experienced severe droughts and water scarcity events, with desertification being a well-known phenomenon in many part of the island. Increased demands for water have led to dams’ constructions dating back to 1900 and severe overexploitation of water resources. Extended trees dieback, such as the extended diebacks of several tree species after the prolonged drought period of 2005- 2008, are also documented. Nowadays, conservation measures are applied in order to restore aquifers and ecosystems through management plans. Monitoring and management of water bodies, is implemented according to the WFD, which was incorporated in the legislation of Cyprus (Law No. 3812/2004) and will enforce the existing Law 82/30 for Public Rivers Protection. Cyprus has also prepared management plans for drought, water quality and quantity, protected areas (in accordance with the EU Directives for Habitats and Bird), as well as for the river basin management. Meanwhile, the intensification of soil monitoring and the implementation of the CAP and of the Convention to Combat Desertification are expected to help erosion control and limitation of drying. As far as it concerns Forestry Sector, the DoF has taken action considering the implications of droughts and high temperatures and prepared a Short-term Action Plan for the Confrontation of the Implications of Drought in Cyprus state forests. The exposure of the quality of water bodies in Cyprus (which, are already in bad qualitative condition) are considered more vulnerable to climate change impacts.Consequently, it was estimated that the future adaptive capacity of water quality to climate changes is moderate for the case of surface water and limited to moderate for groundwater.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

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

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. 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.
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:
biodiversity,
capacity assessment,
strategic environmental assessment and
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.
The main policy instruments and institutions that govern climate change adaptation to the main risks are analytically described in each Sector Report the Climate Change Risk Assessment Report. Some of the policies that have been taken into account include the following:

• The River Basin Management Plan and Water Policy, drafted in the framework of the

Water Framework Directive
• The Flood Risk Management Plan, drafted in the of the Floods Directive
• The National energy efficiency action plan of Cyprus, drafted in the framework of the

Energy Efficiency Directive
The majority of climate change projections in Cyprus comes from a research institution, the Cyprus Institute. Collection, ownership and re-use of relevant data rules that are internationally applicable for research institutions apply.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

The MAREMED project on adaptation in coastal areas in which the Larnaca District Development Agency is partnering with 14 regions from five countries.
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:
biodiversity,
capacity assessment,
strategic environmental assessment and
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.
• improving health care structures (infrastructure & organisation) and existing building stock as well as through increasing the green and blue infrastructure.• Risks related to the marine environment. • Sustainable tourism development. • Invasive species, pest’s outbreaks and diseases form an important risk for the natural environment •proposed Forest management options include; modification of tending and thinning practices, use of more drought resistant trees in reforestation and plantation actions etc.• Land desertification, degradation and soil erosion represents already a serious threat for Cyprus and it is expected to be aggravated under CC.
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. Several knowledge gaps have been identified that have been set as actions in the NAP.
Climate change is a horizontal issue requiring the involvement and activation of almost all Ministriesof Cyprus, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, the Ministry of

Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport,Communications and Works, the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, the Energy Regulatory Authority and the Local Authorities. As a result, the role of the Environment Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment as a national coordinator is upgraded and strengthened. Additionally, an important factor in the effort is the continuous improvement of the institutional framework.

Climate change is one of the main targets identified in the Cypriot strategy for sustainable development launched by MARDE in 2007. The objective of the strategy is the development of a set of principles for the formulation of an action plan in line with international challenges, and in accordance with EU policy directions and adjusted to the specific national circumstances.

Strategic planning

In February 2014, the House of Parliament voted the Law on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Systems (FRBSL) no. 20(I)/2014, which covers a wide range of issues related to Management of Public Finance.

The goal was to introduce new principles for budgeting that strengthen the flexibility of economic operators and the transparency of the use of state resources, achieving measurable results. In this context, ministries have been asked to implement new procedures for the preparation of a medium term strategy plan and budgeting on the basis of those activities to achieve their objectives. The importance of climate change mitigation (and adaptation) for Cyprus is highlighted through its inclusion as the first target of the strategic plan of the Department of Environment and as one of the strategic goals of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.

National Policies and measures

The adaptation policy process has been aided by the CYPADAPT52 project, which was co-financed by the EU through the LIFE+ instrument. This project started in September 2011 and was completed in March 2014. The coordinator was the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, the authority responsible for climate change in Cyprus. Cyprus prepared a combined National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan in 201453, which was updated and formally adopted in May 2017.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development Natural Resources and Environment is the central body coordinating the adaptation policy-making process and has led the preparation and adoption of the National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. The responsibility for the implementation of specific sectoral actions lies with the responsible authorities for each specific action (e.g. Department of Agriculture for agricultural issues). Since 2017, meetings are regularly taking place with all the involved stakeholders to assess the status of implementation of the activities included in the Action Plan and to plan the way forward, including budget availability.

The contents of the National Adaptation Plan of Cyprus to climate change are the following:
- Brief presentation of the expected changes in climate worldwide and especially in Cyprus
- Brief presentation of the results of the vulnerability assessment of Cyprus to climate change for each of the eleven policy areas
- Presentation of the proposed climate change adaptation measures for each of the eleven policy areas of Cyprus

According to the relevant Council of Ministers' Decision, the Department of Environment should annually report to the Council of Ministers the progress of implementation of the action plan and any updates/changes to the measures. The latest measures as these have been reported to the Council of Ministers in April 2021 have been uploaded.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported


Stakeholders are involved in a dedicated process. The active engagement of stakeholders and experts (relative ministerial departments, associations, non-governmental organizations, universities, research institutes, etc.) was recognised from the beginning of the National Adaptation Strategy 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 National Adaptation Strategy.

Stakeholders were involved in several phases of the project and in particular during the following: assessment of current and future impacts, adaptation and vulnerability assessment, identification and
assessment of the adaptation measures the development of the National Adaptation Strategy. The Adaptation Strategy has gone through two different consultation phases before it was finalised.

The Action plan is annually discussed with all the involved stakeholders assess the status of implementation of the activities included in the Action Plan and to plan the way forward, including budget availability. Sub-national strategies, policies, plans and efforts exist only at the level of local authorities, where some have prepared their local adaptation strategy.

The national adaptation strategy includes and number of other vertical strategies (e.g. biodiversity, desertification, coastal management, flooding, droughts) which however are all at national level.
With regard to the mainstreaming of climate action in sectoral policies, considerable efforts have already been directed towards the integration of Climate Change adaptation into such sectoral policies, plans and programs. Some examples include:
• Sustainable Development Strategy
• Biodiversity strategy
• Water policy framework
• Common Fisheries Policy
• National Agricultural Policy
• River Basin Management Plan
• Drought action plan
• Strategy for forests
• Disaster risk management strategy
Adaptation actions are primarily implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration. Some local authorities have prepared their local adaptation strategy depending on their local climate impacts, primarily through several projects (e.g. Strovolos and Lakatamia prepared their adaptation strategy through the LIFE UrbanProof project).
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 relevant research activity and identifying funding opportunities for implementing adaptation measures. 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.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.
The information presented in this Chapter has been initially collected through the project “Development of a national strategy for adaptation to climate change adverse impacts in Cyprus” or CYPADAPT and has been further enhanced with new research work published after the end of the project. CYPADAPT is co-financed (50:50) by the government of Cyprus and the European Union through the programme LIFE+ (LIFE10ENV/CY/000723). The CYPADAPT main aim was to strengthen and increase Cyprus adaptive capacity to climate change impacts through the development of a National Adaptation Strategy. Further information is available at the website of the project http://uest.ntua.gr/cypadapt/.

The future vulnerability of the infrastructure sector is assessed in terms of its sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity based on the available quantitative and qualitative data for Cyprus and the climate
projections for the period 2021-2050, presented in the CYPADAPT project.
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 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 implementation of several adaptation measures has started taking place. Some autonomous adaptation actions at sectoral level have been taking place prior to the adoption of the National Adaptation Strategy (eg. Water supply).
Assessment of progress towards reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks through the existing NAP is expected to take place through the scientific work that is currently being carried out through the Cyprus Initiative on Climate Change. It is expected that some results will be available in late 2022.
The majority of the actions included in the NAP focus on increasing adaptive capacity. Assessment of progress towards increasing adaptive capacity through the existing NAP is expected to take place through the scientific work that is currently being carried out through the Cyprus Initiative on Climate Change. It is expected that some results will be available in late 2022.
Assessment of progress towards meeting adaptation priorities through the existing NAP is expected to take place through the scientific work that is currently being carried out through the Cyprus Initiative on Climate Change. It is expected that some results will be available in late 2022.
Update of vulnerability and risk assessments are expected to take place through the scientific work that is currently being carried out through the Cyprus Initiative on Climate Change. It is expected that some results will be available in late 2022.
Update of vulnerability and risk assessments are expected to take place through the scientific work that is currently being carried out through the Cyprus Initiative on Climate Change. It is expected that some results will be available in late 2022.
A Monitoring Strategy was developed to complement the National Adaptation Strategy. In the Monitoring Strategy, and a Monitoring Team was suggested. The results of the Monitoring Strategy are expected to provide the basis for the preparation of the next National Adaptation Plan. Monitoring reports are scheduled every year. The work has started for the preparation of the next update. All the stakeholders have been included throughout the process and particularly monitoring of progress of implementation of adaptation measures. Reviews involve all stakeholders coordinated by the Department of Environment, as stated in the

Council of Ministers’ decision that adopted the National Adaptation Strategy and the Action Plan in May 2017.
A Monitoring Strategy was developed to complement the National Adaptation Strategy. In the Monitoring Strategy, and a Monitoring Team was suggested. The results of the Monitoring Strategy are expected to provide the basis for the preparation of the next National Adaptation Plan. Monitoring reports are scheduled every year. All the stakeholders have been included throughout the process and particularly monitoring of progress of implementation of adaptation measures. Reviews involve all stakeholders coordinated by the Department of Environment, as stated in the Council of Ministers’ decision that adopted the National Adaptation Strategy and the Action Plan in May 2017.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported
International and European initiatives have set the foundation for the adaptation policies. The Paris Agreement, being the most recent relevant agreement at international level, supports the increasing of adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change and the enhancement of the climate resilience through national adaptation action. Cyprus ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016. Under Law 30(III)/2016, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (MARDE) holds the responsibility for its implementation.

In addition, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’, urges for action to combat climate change and its impacts through strategic planning in all countries, including city areas or metropolitan regions. The monitoring and coordination for the implementation of the SDGs in Cyprus is given to the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, so as to ensure the consistency of policies.

Finally, there are mechanisms in place to coordinate disaster risk management and climate adaptation and thereby ensure coherence between the two policies. The MARDE, notably the Department of Environment , the Department of Forests, and the Water Development Department are represented within the structure of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN Sendai Framework, Hyogo Framework for Action). The Platform was established in 2012 and is coordinated by the Department of Civil Defense.
The preparation and monitoring of bilateral and multilateral transnational agreements on the promotion of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Cooperation as well as the participation in International Organizations and initiatives for R&I is carried out by the DGEPCD.

Cyprus has concluded a number of STI Cooperation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with third countries (i.e. United States, Israel, Russia, Egypt, China, Cuba). The choice of partner-countries is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration Cyprus’ external policy priorities and the interest of the Cypriot Research Community for cooperation in R&I with a specific country.

Cyprus is also a founding member of SESAME and in fact, the only EU Member State participating as a full member, together with Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey, providing a link between the EU and the organization, which is highly valued by the European Commission in the context of scientific diplomacy.

The implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements between Cyprus and other countries in the field of research and technological development and the promotion of the participation of, Cyprus
in European and International initiatives and organisations (COST, EUREKA, EUROSTARS, etc.) are carried out mainly by the RPF through relevant Schemes in the National Funding Programme “RESTART 2016-2020”.

Specifically, the National Framework Programme “RESTART 2016-2020”, under the priority “Extroversion – Open Horizons” includes 4 programmes (Bilateral Cooperation, International Collaboration-Dual targeting, EUREKA Cyprus and European Initiatives) for the enhancement of the extroversion of the R&I sector. RPF is also the responsible agency for the promotion and the facilitation of the participation of Cypriot organizations and researchers in EU Framework Programmes by establishing the network of National Contact Points (NCP) for Cyprus’ participation in the EU Framework Programmes, thus providing assistance to applicants for EU research competitive funding and the international agreements programmes in R&I.

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region two trilateral schemes of technical cooperation and partnership have been recently initiated, at a high political level, between Greece, Cyprus and Israel and between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, in 2016 and in 2017, respectively. The ultimate objective of these cooperative schemes is to enhance peace and stability in the region and facilitate the sharing of experiences, knowledge and know-how in order to promote joint projects of mutual interest, find solutions to common concerns and promote interconnectivity and complementarity of actions.

Cooperation on adaptation issues is a priority in the 2017 trilateral cooperation agreements between Greece-Cyprus-Israel and Greece-Cyprus-Egypt mainly focusing on the exchange of knowledge and know-how on adaptation policy monitoring, evaluation and good practice at regional and local scales.

Finally, there are already bilateral and multilateral sectoral programmes aiming at strengthening science and sharing of knowledge. For example, a Greece-Cyprus bilateral cooperation programme funded through Interreg ‘Greece-Cyprus’ develops an Environmental Risk Management Information System on Floods, aiming to be used by citizens and NGOs, as well as by professionals and organizations. Similarly, under Balkan Mediterranean, different Greek institutions, including regional and local authorities, cooperate with partners from neighbouring countries on climate change issues regarding coastal erosion and early warning systems on drought and fire.

Moreover, several research institutions and governmental departments of Cyprus participate to EU-funded projects relevant to adaptation to share information and to strengthen science, institutions and adaptation knowledge (e.g. LIFE UrbanProof)
With respect to the cooperation for enhancing adaptation action, it seems that the current focus of official cooperation is more set on the knowledge sharing.

The cooperation on adaptation actions is also achieved through a number of bilateral and multilateral projects, funded mainly through EU competitive programmes. Examples of such programmes include Interreg and LIFE. Such examples include: Cooperation between Greece and other, mostly neighbouring, Union Member States on adaptation action in agriculture (i.e. LIFE Adapt2Clima project), urban adaptation (i.e. LIFE UrbanProof) and health (i.e. LIFE Medea

Moreover, an additional example of local activity is the MAREMED project on adaptation in coastal areas in which the Larnaca District Development Agency is partnering with 14 regions from five countries.

Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.

Department of Environment
Coordinating adaptation Policies
Theodoulos Mesimeris
Head of Climate Action Unit

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'