Although in Europe the great impact on the geological environment started with the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, Cyprus remained almost unaffected until the early 20th century. The expansion of towns, the revival of the mining activity, the intensive cultivation and use of surface water and groundwater, and industrialisation are some of the activities that put tremendous strain on the environment. By the end of the 20th century the impacts of the economic and other activities of the Cypriots on the geological environment have been more than obvious as one can observe from:
the large asbestos
mine (Photo E3) at Amiantos on the Troodos Range;
dumps from mining and quarrying (Photo
the landfills (rubbish dumps) all over Cyprus;
the intrusion of sea water into the coastal aquifers.
is apparent from the above that the geological environment in
Cyprus has already suffered great damage from people’s actions
in the last 80-100 years. Although
the best way to protect the environment is to avoid causing any
damage to it, this is not practical because human developments
are necessary and hence unavoidable.
The only practical way is to plan future developments
properly, by predicting impacts on the environment and taking
the necessary mitigation measures into account during planning,
construction and operation.
order to achieve these objectives, a process of Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) has been developed and applied in many
countries, including Cyprus.
This process has been enforced through legislation and is
applied to many developments, which are expected to have a
significant effect on the environment.
the application of the EIA process in Cyprus, for more than ten
years the situation with the environment has improved
considerably. People are also becoming more sensitive and demanding on
environmental matters, because they have the opportunity to
become involved in the EIA process.
Quarries and mines are necessary to the economy of Cyprus, but are among the developments that cause considerable damage to the geological environment. EIAs have been carried out since the early 1990s and the situation has improved considerably (Photo E8).