Nicosia, 14 November 2018 – The European Union, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) planted yesterday in Amiantos, Troodos, 2500 trees to offset the carbon emissions produced by the heritage conservation projects they have carried out.
Since 2012, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, UNDP and the European Union travelled around the island to assess the conditions of monuments, supervise projects, and celebrate their completion.
“On average we estimate we have emitted 17 to 30 tons of carbon per project, depending on the magnitude of the works and distances covered from Nicosia. We used two parameters to calculate this: the carbon emitted from vehicles during supervision/monitoring activities and our electricity consumption on sites”, explains Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP Senior Programme Manager and Head of Office. “If we want to make sure that we cut our global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, we need ambitious commitment and action from all parts of society. We all know this task is daunting, but by this initiative we wanted to demonstrate that everyone has a role to play in the fight against climate change.”
The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, European Commission and UNDP estimated that 2,500 trees will offset about 500 tons of carbon produced during the implementation of the projects (1ton of CO2 emitted = 5 trees).
Trees can help us to directly offset our carbon footprint and cleaning the air we breathe. 1 tree can consume up to 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year. It also releases enough oxygen to supply our needs for two years. These two effects help to give the earth a healthier climate.
“Nature is an integral part of our cultural heritage. Climate change, through temperature increases, changes in precipitation patterns, and increased frequencies of extreme weather events, is impacting our daily lives and, of course, the life of our cultural heritage. Extreme temperatures and short heavy rains impact building materials causing wetting, drying and shrinking, which consequently can cause cracks and further deterioration. Of course, we are not going to fix this with 2500 trees, but with this event we are bridging for the first time our natural and cultural heritage and we are opening up to new partnerships so that cultural and natural heritage can play a louder role in advocating for our island’s sustainable development” say Ali Tuncay and Takis Hadjidemetriou, Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.
"A sustainable economy in a healthy environment is essential for future generations" reminds Kjartan Björnsson, head of unit of the EU Cyprus Settlement Support. "We have scientific evidence now that climate change is caused by human activity. It is therefore imperative for every one of us to adapt to climate change. Planting 2500 trees in Troodos is a small action. The EU has consistently set the pace in tackling climate change and encouraging moves towards a low-carbon economy."
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