Client: Ministry of Interior – Town Planning and Housing Department
The aim of the project was to assess the significant environmental effects that are likely to result from the implementation of the amended Policy Statement for the Countryside of Cyprus and to propose appropriate mitigation measures.
The Policy Statement for the Countryside of Cyprus defines the general policy for the promotion and control and regulation of development in the rural areas and villages of Cyprus. The key objectives of the proposed amendments were the reduction of urbanization, the preservation and growth of the rural population, the age uniformity between the urban and rural areas and the achievement of geographical, economic and social balance, consistency and convergence among the different areas of the island. At the same time, the proposed amendments of the Policy Statement for the Countryside aimed to a planned, rational and sustainable rural development, with particular emphasis on the management of natural resources, environment and landscape and to the enhancement of the overall attractiveness of rural areas according to the specific characteristics and relative advantages of each region.
According to the SEA, the proposed amended Policy Statement for the Countryside of Cyprus had positive impacts in most aspects of the human and natural environment. The negative effects were limited and could be overcome by the appropriate mitigation measures that were proposed.
The tasks that were successfully completed and the services that were provided by I.A.CO in the frame of the Strategic Environmental Assessment were:
- Analysis and description of the context and objectives of the Plan, establishing the baseline and deciding on the scope
- Detailed description of the Plan with a focus on those aspects that have a potential environmental impact
- Developing and refining alternatives, assessing effects and assist in the refinement of the plan and in the selection of the ones to be further analysed
- Analysis and presentation of the current situation in the relevant environmental fields, as well as of the trends and expected developments
- Detailed assessment and evaluation of the significant environmental impacts of the Plan, also taking into account cumulative impacts
- Identification and proposal of appropriate mitigation in order to be incorporated into the plan-making process
- Formulation of appropriate Monitoring Programme for the impacts and the effectiveness of measures
- Consultation and Public Participation Campaign with the public and relevant stakeholders
- Presentations of the Environmental Report to the public and to the Environmental Authority