Surveys for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation are a crucial step for Cyprus’s economic development in the oil and gas sector, which is expected to have a great impact on its economy. However, despite the fact that hydrocarbon activities are so important, environmental protection is still a priority for the Republic of Cyprus. Consequently, any environmental issues and concerns from the public related to hydrocarbon activities in Cyprus’s offshore area are very important for better management of environmental protection.
The Environmental Report presents the findings of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the hydrocarbon licensing programme within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus. The SEA focuses broadly on those activities most likely to result from the licensing programme including prospecting, exploration and exploitation. It was prepared by a consortium consisting of Maritime Communication Services Inc. (MCI), Aeoliki Ltd, and CSA International, Inc. (CSA) in cooperation with the University of Cyprus Oceanographic Centre.
The findings of the report were presented during a public consultation. The meeting was organised in an ‘open house’ style forum in which the energy service and the consortium representatives disclosed the findings of the SEA. It was held in the Greek language, with simultaneous translation facilities available for the English speaking participants. Two presentations were prepared: ‘An overview of the Hydrocarbon Activities within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus’ and ‘The methodology, findings and recommendations of the Strategic Environmental Assessment’. After the presentations, the public expressed comments and concerns regarding the issues presented and requested clarification. The Energy Service and the Consortium Representatives answered their questions. The issues expressed and the feedback from Energy Service and Consortium representatives were recorded, written down and included in the Environmental Report as well as the presentations. The participants’ issues and the responses were included in the SEA, have been published and will be taken into consideration in the preparation of the detailed Environmental Impact Assessments by the licensees.
The contribution of the public regarding various environmental issues is very important, especially when it comes from people directly involved in environmental protection. Their involvement and the response they received created a clear picture of the situation regarding the implementation of regulations, laws, conventions related to hydrocarbon activities and the transparency of the procedures. In addition, the public consultation created a feeling of satisfaction about participation and involvement in environmental protection issues.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Environment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fishery|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Strategic environmental assessment, public consultation|
|Short English description:||The Environmental Report presents the findings of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the hydrocarbon licensing programme within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus|
|Organisation:||Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (Energy Service), Republic of Cyprus|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||50-100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|