Cyprus ranks 1st in Europe for the quality of swimming water

Cyprus ranks first in Europe for the second year in a row, for the quality of bathing waters

Screenshot 5 28 seas, Cyprus, waters

Cyprus ranks first in Europe for the second year in a row, for the quality of its swimming waters, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Maria Panagiotou, said today.

In her greeting at the Pan-Cypriot Awarding Ceremony of Blue Flag beaches for 2024 held at the Zygio Fishing Sanctuary, the Minister stated that "the Blue Flag is an international institution that promotes environmental awareness and is the most recognizable and widespread ecological symbol of quality in world, which rewards organized beaches and is awarded according to strict criteria".

"The institution awards the beaches that achieve high quality environmental goals" he said and added that "it is an institution that respects the values ​​of life and culture and practically promotes the principles of ecology and sustainability".

He added that "a necessary condition for awarding a coast with the 'Blue Flag' is, among other things, the 'Excellent' quality of the bathing waters, but also the observance of other 33 criteria for coasts and 38 criteria for marinas, which certify the quality of their organization, such as the safety of bathers, the information of visitors, the cleanliness and organization of the coast and the coastal area, the protection of natural wealth and environmental awareness".

An important achievement for Cyprus, he continued, "is the fact that this year 76 beaches out of 123 bathing water areas and 2 marinas meet the criteria, resulting in being awarded the Blue Flag, which is very special and is another important award for the Cyprus".

"In this institution, the pioneer is CYMEPA, as the president of the National Judge, whose active member, among others, is the Department of Environment, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment", he added.

As Ms. Panagiotou said, the Ministry, through the Department of the Environment, "coordinates and has the general responsibility for the implementation of the Law on the Management of the Quality of Bathing Waters in cooperation with the Health Services and the State General Chemistry, which are responsible for the monitoring of the quality of bathing waters".

"Cyprus submits at the end of the year an annual Report to the European Commission in accordance with its obligations under the implementation of Directive 2006/7/EC regarding the management of bathing water quality," he said.

We are proud, continued the Minister, "of the fact that according to the results of the latest European Commission Report for 2023, Cyprus ranks first in Europe for the second consecutive year. In particular, our country has complied with the strictest specifications of the Directive on the Management of the Quality of Bathing Waters and has fulfilled all the obligations arising from it".

More specifically as he explained "Cyprus received a compliance rate of 97,6% with 120 out of 123 bathing water points being characterized as excellent quality while only 3 points have not received classification, and this due to a limited number of samplings".

After stating that in recent years we managed to "make significant progress in the list of countries where environmental protection is high on their priorities" he noted that "the majority of tourists visit Cyprus for its sun and sea, and this first can be used to promote marine and coastal tourism. This is one of the main goals of the governance program of President Nikos Christodoulides, the upgrading of the services offered at the beach resorts of our country and the investment in marine and sustainable tourism".

This, the Minister continued, "complements at the same time the efforts of our Government, both in terms of the protection of Natura 2000 marine areas and marine biodiversity, as well as with our actions and policies for the reduction of single-use plastics, waste management and zero waste (Zero Waste)'.

In her greeting, Mrs. Panagiotou also mentioned that "for the visitor a beach with a "Blue Flag" is a safe entertainment area, for the local government a "trophy" that proves its effective management" and confirmed "once again the commitment of Cyprus to the protection of the environment, to the achievement of sustainability".

Source: KYPE