environment can be considered as what includes the waters, the
atmosphere and the soil, together with the organisms living in
or on them.
basis of our entire environment is the geological system. It is
a complex system that includes soils, rocks and minerals,
surface waters and groundwaters.
the last few centuries, and in particular since the Industrial
Revolution in the late 18th Century, scientific and
technological advancements have been considerable.
Man has exploited and used mineral resources such as
metals, coal, asbestos, oil and many others for surviving.
However, all this activity has had negative effects on the
extraction of minerals has created big scars on the Earth’s
surface as well as large waste dumps, and the use of pesticides
such as DDT has caused serious diseases. The burning of fossil
fuels such as coal and oil has caused atmospheric pollution as
well as climatic changes, also known as the ‘greenhouse
the increase in world population, the need for housing, food,
raw materials and other commodities, and scientific and
technological advancements larger and more permanent impacts on
the geological environment have occurred to the extent that
geological processes cannot restore it.
these negative effects, which happened in the name of progress
and development, were not of much concern until the 1980s.
Reaction to the negative effects on the environment started only
when it was realised that they were also seriously affecting
quality of life.
expansion of towns, the revival of mining activity, the
intensive cultivation and use of surface water and groundwater,
and industrialisation are some of the activities that have put
tremendous strain on the environment in Cyprus.
geological environment in Cyprus has already suffered great
damage from people’s actions in the last 80-100 years. These
actions include the large number of abandoned mine pits (Photos
E1, E2) at the periphery of the Troodos Range
from which cupriferous sulphides were extracted; the large
asbestos mine (Photo
Amiantos on the Troodos Range; the large number of quarries (Photos
E4, E5), most characteristic of which are those
on the southern side of the Pentadaktylos Range; the waste dumps
E6) from mining and quarrying; the landfills
(rubbish dumps) all over Cyprus; the pollution of the ground and
the waters with solid and liquid waste (Photos
E7); and, the intrusion of seawater into the coastal
E9) are a great
potential risk to human life when inhaled (lung cancer). These
fibres can be transported easily by the wind to the atmosphere
and the inhabitants living around the Amiantos mine have
suffered due to this past mining activity. Restoration works (Photos
E15) have been carried out in the
area since 1995 and it is expected that the impacts on the
environment will be minimized eventually.
are growing day by day due to human consumption and the burning
of household solid waste without permission is polluting the
atmosphere and environment with hazardous gases.
liquid waste pollutes the groundwater
basins which contaminates the potable water resources
therefore carrying a health risk to humans.
The over-exploitation of groundwater in coastal aquifers is creating salinity problems. These problems are seen extensively in Morphou and along the coastal part of the South-eastern Mesaoria Aquifer. They cause great damage to the aquifer and it takes a long time for the aquifer to restore itself naturally . The cost of restoration is very high but the benefits are significant.