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EU Policies Protect Our Environment, Say Professionals

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Environment and Sustainability professionals in Britain are worried leaving the EU will have a detrimental effect on environmental issues. That’s according to results of an Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) poll taken by 1,200 people in the industry. A majority said they believe leaving Europe could reduce or even remove the way environmental issues are taken into account in infrastructure decision making.

Half of IEMA’s respondents say opportunities for the public and communities to engage in the decision making process on new infrastructure proposals that would potentially affect them would be reduced outside the EU. 43% think current engagement processes would be retained, with only seven per cent saying it would be enhanced.

Almost 1,200 members responded to the second of IEMA’s online polls to test views on different aspects of UK/EU environmental policy one month ahead of the EU Referendum on Thursday 23 June. The majority of respondents (81%) believe that European laws and regulations are important in providing them with a framework for being able to deliver environmental protection and improvements.

Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor said: “Environment and Sustainability Professionals recognise the importance of EU policy and regulation in helping to drive environmental improvements. Whichever way the vote goes, it is essential that environmental issues continue to be factored into infrastructure decision making and that those potentially affected are given opportunities to participate.”

Overall, the vast majority (93%) believe that efforts to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity in the UK are best addressed within (80%) or aligned to (13%) EU policy frameworks. 7% think this is best addressed by UK policy being separate and outside of EU policy regimes. If the UK were to leave the EU, 60% believe that there will be a lower level of legal protection for wildlife and habitats.

In recent years, the Common Agricultural Policy has increased environmental management and protection requirements linked to payment support to farmers. 69% of respondents who expressed a view believe environmental requirements associated with payments to support UK farmers would most likely be reduced or removed, if the UK votes to leave the EU.

The EU Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) directive was amended in 2014 to bring in new requirements to harmonise EIA between EU Member States, streamline the process to reduce burden, and introduce basic quality requirements across the EU. Of those involved in EIA, 80% believe that the EIA Directive has enhanced the way that environmental issues are factored into development consent decisions for major infrastructure projects.

Respondents were clear when asked about who should be covered by “competent experts” cited in the amended EIA directive:

– 61% believe that the EIA co-ordinator and the lead on each environmental topic area (e.g. ecology, air quality) should demonstrate they are a “competent expert”

– 8% believe it should be limited to just the EIA co-ordinator having to demonstrate they are a “competent expert”

– 31% believe that everyone making a contribution to the EIA process should demonstrate that they are a “competent expert”.

IEMA provides the majority of EIA related CPD in the UK and runs the individual EIA register and the EIA Quality Mark scheme (for organisations that co-ordinate UK EIA).  Given the new requirement for EIA Reports to be produced by “competent experts”, of respondents who expressed a view:

– 64% believe this should be a member of any relevant professional body with sufficient EIA expertise

– 19% believe only IEMA members who can demonstrate sufficient EIA experience and expertise should be considered to be competent experts for UK EIA

– 10% believe only IEMA members who are registered on the individual EIA Register should be considered to be “competent experts” for UK EIA

– 7% believe anyone with chartered environmental (CEnv) status should be considered as being a “competent expert” to undertake EIAs.

The European Commission is currently reviewing the Strategic Environmental Assessment directive to determine whether it requires amendment /updating since it was published in 2001. 75% of those who expressed a view of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive’s progress in the UK since its transposition in 2004 believe that it should be amended.

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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