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21-03-2024 11:44

Address by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment at the 6th Meeting of the CIS Ad-hoc Task Group on Water Scarcity and Droughts, in Larnaka

It is both an honour and a privilege to welcome you to Cyprus for the 6th Meeting of the CIS Ad-hoc Task Group on Water Scarcity and Droughts.

As the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment of the Republic of Cyprus, I am profoundly aware of the critical challenges we face regarding water scarcity and droughts. These challenges are not just regional but global, impacting our agriculture, our communities and our very way of life.

The issues of water scarcity and drought are crucial for Cyprus, where water scarcity is becoming a major constraint to economic prosperity and sustainable development. Addressing these challenges is a matter of the highest national importance for the Cyprus Government, dedicating decades of effort towards solutions and investments in actions to enhance our water reserves. Through both conventional as well as non-conventional water sources, like desalination and the reuse of reclaimed water, alongside measures to contain water demand, we strive to balance the difference between supply and demand.

As we approach World Water Day, celebrated on the 22nd of March each year, it is crucial to be reminded of the profound significance of this annual event and the critical importance of water conservation and sustainable management practices. This year's theme, “Water for Peace”, underscores the indispensable role of water in fostering stability and prosperity. It calls upon us to collaborate and ensure equitable access to water, to leave no one behind and to employ water as a catalyst for peace in the world.

In Cyprus, we have a long history of addressing water scarcity through innovative water management and conservation strategies. Our experiences have taught us the importance of adaptation, resilience and the need for a collaborative approach to safeguard our water resources for future generations.

The impacts of climate change and the pressures of a growing global population demand a united front in safeguarding our invaluable water resources. The meeting’s deliberations are an opportunity to expand our perspectives and broaden our thinking and understanding to enrich our collective strategies and vision, ensuring that we can secure a sustainable and prosperous future for all.

I look forward to the progress and outcomes of this meeting. I am confident that the insights shared will enhance our collective efforts to address water scarcity and ensure a sustainable future for our communities.

Thank you for being here and I wish you a productive meeting.