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World Environment Day 5 June 2014

Saving and Preserving a Precious Resource: Environmental Research at The Cyprus Institute

leaf desertWe tend to take the world around us and the environment in particular as a given and unchanging. However, the overexploitation of natural resources, the dumping of pollutants and other harmful substances, as well as the consequences of current and projected climate change all leave their traces and result in increasing, often long-term degradations of environmental quality and an ever increasing reduction in the variety of plants and animals on our planet.

World Environment Day, celebrated every year on June 5, is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. The 2014 theme for World Environment Day focuses on 'Small Developing Islands and Climate Change'.

Most people will agree that “something” has to be done to preserve our environment and species diversity in order to retain a healthy planet. The best “therapy” would, of course, be to immediately stop any form of pollution and to halt global warming. However, this does not seem to be an overly realistic prospect. Moreover, wouldn’t it be more useful to better understand what exactly the current status of our environment is and where the most pressing problems lie? In addition, wouldn’t it also be beneficial to gain a better understanding as to what exactly and at what “dosage” the “medicine” would have to be applied in order to regain environmental integrity? It is these two questions that environmental research tries to tackle.

The following examples illustrate a few of the research activities being done at The Cyprus Institute aiming at a better understanding of natural processes and preserving the environment around us.

gender equality

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