Risk Assessment Study on Limassol coastal environment presented by Frederick University

A research study presented during the 2nd Blue Limassol Forum in Cyprus highlights the need to effectively monitor the growing risks to the coastal, marine and maritime environment of Limassol, Cyprus’ second largest city and maritime hub. The study, which was conducted by Frederick University on behalf of Limassol Municipality, is the first environmental risk assessment study to examine holistically and simultaneously all the developmental and operational activities in the coastal Limassol area: Energy, Oil & Gas, Commercial Shipping, Marinas & Yachts, Construction, Sewage & Litter and Aquaculture & Fisheries. It identifies and assesses potential threats and provides recommendations regarding best practices for the protection of the sea and coastal environment. The study calls on all stakeholders involved to take joint action to address the challenges ahead. The findings indicate that, while the environmental pressures and risks in each sector are not assessed as particularly significant, in their entirety they will be factors of environmental degradation. The situation revealed by the study conclusively points to what is necessary: data integration and improved reporting, more use of technology in mitigating environmental risk and a firm and guiding but not overly coercive strategy of environmental protection. All sectors of the economy along the Limassol coast should operate and develop while always being aligned to the effective protection and sustainability of the environment. The regulatory fragmentation revealed by the authors points strongly to the need for a central agency to which all others report. This agency should have a supervisory board composed largely of independent scientific professionals. Equally important is that citizen awareness of the need for environmental protection must rapidly evolve into responsible citizen stewardship, through their own preventive behaviour and role in the inclusive and transparent incident reporting processes.

The Risk Assessment Study responds to the concerns of citizens of Limassol regarding threats to the sea and coastal environment expressed in an extensive opinion survey that took place in the first Blue Limassol Forum in May 2020. A consortium of seven reputable institutions and a research team of more than 30 specialists was established to realize the study. These include: The Limassol Municipality, Frederick University, Department of Maritime Studies and Department of Architecture, DNV Greece, the Marine and Environmental Research Lab (MER), the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) and the Development Agency of Limassol (ANELEM).

The full report with the findings of the study can be found in this link: https://www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy/el/blue-limassol-forum-2022-research