Combatting Desertification in Cyprus through Composting
Cyprus is one of the 13 Member States that have declared to be affected by desertification under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Estimates suggest that by 2050, about 70% of agricultural land will be very sensitive to desertification and there will be a lack of water for irrigation. The enrichment of active soil carbon concentration and the enhancement of soil productivity are considered the most effective ways to combat desertification. This can be achieved by sustainable green waste management and particularly by composting of green waste and the application of compost to agricultural land. In rural and remote areas, green waste is currently mismanaged by being landfilled, burned, or inappropriately disposed of in open fields posing a constant fire hazard. Instead, this compost raw material should be treated locally in a simple and sustainable way taking into consideration scale and ownership. In order for any waste management scheme to be successful in these particular areas, economies of scale must be developed through the cooperation of neighbouring Local Authorities, farmers and relevant stakeholders.
The project aims to create a roadmap for 7 communities in rural Nicosia (Mitsero cluster) where a Waste Management Scheme for local agricultural green and garden waste is designed and proposed. The goal is to promote the composting of green waste and the application of compost in agricultural land by proposing a solution that addresses both desertification impacts and green waste management. The developed Waste Management Scheme is based on a symbiotic relationship between all key actors in the compost value chain, from waste producers to waste management, to compost end-users, that will minimise costs for compost production and application. The idea is to use existing resources and infrastructure to collect green wastes from farmers and garden wastes from the Local Authorities and to develop a basic local compost facility that will produce quality compost to be provided to local farmers for land application. All key actors will be the owners of the Scheme which will be financed by a combination of three options: farmer’s own contribution (membership fee), government incentives currently under development (subsidies for compost per treated land) and local authorities’ contribution.
This project is funded under the Cyprus Environment Foundation