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11-04-2024 11:14

Welcoming speech by the Commissioner for the Environment, Ms Antonia Theodosiou, at the “Landscape resilience workshop”

Dear Director of the CERIDES Centre-of-Excellence, Prof. Boustras;

Dear Distinguished Speakers and Presenters of the Workshop, from abroad and from Cyprus;

Dear Attendees-Participants from the various Agencies, Services, Organised Groups and Stakeholders;

The impacts of climate change are daily news to such an extent, that we now speak about climate crisis. Especially regarding droughts and wildfires, we see and feel the extreme pressures on our societies, particularly on farmers and foresters. And we all know that the Mediterranean basin is particularly vulnerable to temperature increase with a higher risk of wildfires and severe droughts. Landscape resilience to such extreme events is a key question to cope with climate crisis impacts, and it is a very transversal issue on which we need to work synergistically and participatorily.

The CERIDES, European University Cyprus is actively involved in ResAlliance, a 3-year EU funded project that seeks to increase the awareness, understanding, skills and engagement of farmers and foresters concerning landscape-level solutions in knowledge and practice towards more landscape resilience approaches to confront climate change challenges. The Office of the Commissioner for the Environment of the Republic of Cyprus has placed the CERIDES activities of ResAlliance under its auspices, since the beginning of this project and the inaugurating Workshop in October of 2023.

Today’s event brings together, once more, a great diversity of actors: practitioners or representatives of professionals from agricultural and forestry sectors; governmental and local authorities; research and educational institutions; civil society organisations and private sector involved in landscape resilience activities. Therefore, our Office’s expectations for this event are positive but high: we expect to learn more about practices of landscape resilience, and then to see the outcomes of participatory processes of dialogue and of co-decision on which of these practices are better suited for our Cypriot landscapes.

It is critical for us to tackle with the abandonment of our rural areas, to develop or perhaps revive traditional practices into our modern settings, to proactively foster prevention and protection of landscapes.

I wish you all the best in today’s deliberations.