CYPRUS’ first islandwide clean up will take place on September 29 with a monumental effort to make the island rubbish-free in only one day.

“This is the first and probably only campaign regarding the environment which is taking place on such as large scale in Cyprus,” said Natasa Ioannou, communications head for the campaign, who was speaking at a news conference yesterday to announce the project: ‘Let’s do it Cyprus.’ 

“The important thing for us is to locate the areas which need to be cleaned up,” said Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou.

He said they wanted everyone involved including politicians and local authorities.

According to Ioannou, the aim is clean the island up in a day, while creating awareness among the public.  The project involves cleaning the waste from natural areas, including beaches, forests and fields, but not cities.

The campaign is a global one with 100 countries participating. The initiative began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 volunteers cleaned up 10,000 tonnes of waste in a day.

Before the clean up can begin a number of other actions must take place in the months leading up to it, such as mapping the targeted areas, and creating groups of volunteers. Those who want to help map the sites should look out for areas polluted with plastic bottles, paper, aluminium cans, packages, tyres, glass and discarded electrical appliances.

“We want foreigners to help too so that’s why our website is in English as well,” said Theopemptou, adding that several groups have already shown interest, and mapping has already started on their websites. Organisers are hoping to get thousands of people interested in participating.

To find out more or to take part look to the website on www.letsdoitcyprus.org/

Also yesterday, Aglandjia Municipality banded together with primary schools and various other bodies to commemorate World Environment Day.

The event took place along Kyrinias Avenue in Aglandjia. Also present was House President Yiannakis Omirou who stressed the need to protect the environment but also to create a ‘green consciousness’ among the population.

Parliament also made a €500 donation to the event to cover expenses for the event.

World Environment Day has been commemorated every year, since 1973, to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action. It is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with this year’s theme being a Green Economy.

Meanwhile, the Green party claimed that environmental issues were not high enough on the government’s agenda, calling ‘tragic’ the situation regarding animal welfare.

“Also a green economy in Cyprus can give jobs to 87,800 people in 2013 which represents 22 per cent of total employment,” they said, referring to the fact that a greener economy could be developed, providing jobs for many.

They also called on the government to take certain actions such as investment in renewable energy and proper waste management.

 

 

 

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