Technical Committee on Environment (TCE)

Technical Committees (TCs)

In July of 2006, the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader, in the presence of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, jointly agreed to form a number of Technical Committees (TCs), to address issues that affect the day-to-day life of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in parallel with the negotiations on the substantive issues for a comprehensive settlement. At present day, a total of twelve TCs have been established, focusing on a range of issues and with the aim of seeking immediate solutions and to improve the daily lives of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.


Technical Committee on Environment (TCE)

The  Technical Committee on Environment (TCE) was established in 2008 to initiate and promote cooperation on environmental issues across the island, and to share ideas aiming at common environmental goals.

At the time, thirteen areas of potential cooperation were identified:

1. Island-wide assessment of all major waste streams qualitatively and quantitatively (Baseline Study),

2. Environmental education,

3. Elimination of illegal dumping sites and the rehabilitation of the affected areas within the Buffer Zone,

4. Exchange of experience and information between environmental experts,

5. Prevention of wildfires,

6. Waste management – treatment-recycling,

7. Awareness raising measures for water saving,

8. Establishment of a common approach on mining and quarrying activities in Cyprus,

9. Biodiversity and nature protection,

10. Marine and maritime pollution management and control,

11. Chemical pollution management and control,

12. Asbestos pollution management and control 

13. Historical pollution management and control.

Most of Cyprus’ environmental issues are island wide. Thus, a major aim of the TCE is to create a network of communication and collaboration between the two sides/communities and among all environmental stakeholders in the island Cyprus. With this mechanism, environmental experts will be exchanging experiences and information, which will enable us to identify key environmental needs that need to be addressed. In the near future, the TCE is planning to organize fourteen field visits on seven thematic areas, in collaboration with key technical consultants and environmental experts, in order to assess certain environmental issues and produce field reports with action plans and policy recommendations addressing environmental needs in priority areas. The thematic areas on which the TCE is currently focusing are:

1. Solid waste management,

2. Wastewater treatment,

3. Water resources management,

4. Air quality

5. Mining and quarrying,

6. Biodiversity and nature protection, 

7. Urban environment

Support by the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU)

While the work of the TCs is in principle facilitated by the Office of the Special Advisor of the General-Secretary in Cyprus (OSASG-Cyprus), given their direct link to the negotiation process, in practice facilitation is shared between OSASG-Cyprus and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

Furthermore, the European Commission, as part of its support to confidence-building measures, initiated a new funding mechanism under the EU Regulation 389/2006. This support facility aims to enable cooperation and to build confidence between the two sides/communities with a view to contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue.

In the framework of the Facility, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office in Cyprus is extensively involved in supporting the activities of the TCs, by promoting initiatives that encourage dialogue and cooperation between the two sides/communities.