#ProtectWater

We all need water to survive. But without healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands, there is no water.

The sources of Europe’s water are protected under EU law – but many EU governments want to weaken the law.

Together, we MUST stop this from happening.

The European Commission now wants you to have your say through its public consultation.

This is your only chance to tell them to keep our water law strong.

We have prepared the response that will best ensure that the law is kept safe.

To send this to the Commission on your behalf, please fill in your details and click ACT NOW.

Water is essential to people and an indispensable life source for birds and biodiversity in general. Despite its important role in keeping the planet alive, only 1% of it is fresh (in other words not seawater) and accessible (in other words not locked in glaciers and ice caps). Even less is unaffected by pollution by industries and agriculture, unaffected by climate change and not claimed by too many people.

If we continue on this path, everything will be affected – from small things in our day-to-day lives we take for granted, to keeping entire industries going. It will also affect all the countless species that rely on freshwater ecosystems for their survival.

This is an issue that concerns our island too. Cyprus’ freshwater ecosystems are also under great threat. Cyprus’s few and precious wetlands have been threatened for decades by development, pollution and uncontrolled and irresponsible use of water. For us the effective management and protection of water resources, particularly wetlands, should be a priority for Cyprus. Our work focuses on preserving and improving the status of these biodiversity-rich sites through policy, research, education, awareness-raising and project-based work. Our recent restoration projects of two wetland Important Bird Areas, Oroklini Lake and Akrotiri Marsh, stand testament to the work that has been done to help these two sites bounce back to life, giving birds and other wildlife a place to thrive in and people the opportunity to enjoy them. These project successes were the result of working closely with relevant departments and other stakeholders.

Through the EU water law (Water Framework Directive - WFD) Member States agreed to put an end to the destruction of water sources. Not only have they failed to live up to their promises, but today a new threat is looming.

The European Commission is currently checking whether this powerful legal tool is fit for purpose. As expected, some Member States will take advantage of this opportunity to ask for the strict standards that the WFD sets for the protection of water bodies, like lakes and rivers, to be weakened. Such a ‘fitness check’ outcome would undoubtedly result in further degradation of these fragile habitats.

Almost two years ago, you and half a million Europeans helped save the Nature Directives, Europe’s vital laws for the protection of wildlife and our most valued natural places. Now we need your help to save the WFD! The European Commission wants you to have your say through its public consultation. This is your only chance to tell them to keep our water law strong.

Through the new campaign #ProtectWater, we join forces with WWF Europe, BirdLife Europe, the European Environment Bureau and other European NGOs, to tell the Commission that Member States’ time and resources should be focused on the proper implementation of this law and not on its revision since, at least on paper, it fits its purpose.

We have prepared the response that will best ensure that the law is kept safe. To send this to the Commission on your behalf, please fill in your details and click ACT NOW.


 

​Why should you care?

 
A world without beer?
A lot of things go into making your favourite beer, but it all starts with good quality water. With Europe’s water sources being degraded at an alarming rate, what does this mean for all the goods we are all so used to enjoying?

Together we must stop any weakening of the water law. Tell the European Commission to keep our water law strong, and make sure DRY BEER, DIRT BEER or LUXURY BEER remain nothing more than figments of our imagination.
 
 

​What is the WFD? And how is this applied in Cyprus?

Realising the need to protect freshwater ecosystems effectively, the European Union and its Member States adopted the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000. This is considered to be the most comprehensive instrument of EU water policy. Its main objective is to protect and enhance freshwater resources with the aim of achieving good status of EU waters by 2027.

Cyprus transposed this Directive onto National Law (13(I)/2004 replaced by 47/(Ι)/2018). In order to implement the WFD, each Member State needs to adopt a River Basin Management Plan for each River Basin on its territory. The second River Basin Management Plan for Cyprus was adopted by the Cyprus Ministerial Council on 7 October 2016, covering the period 2016-2021.

BirdLife Cyprus provided comments to the competent authorities on the current (2016-2021) and the previous River Basin Management Plan (2009-2015). BirdLife Cyprus’ comments related to the use of many exemptions and the unambitious targets set for Cyprus’s water bodies for the achievement of ‘good status’. BirdLife Cyprus also commented on the lack of attention to water bodies that are dependent on natural river and stream flows and especially those in Natura 2000 areas, which consequently affect biodiversity too.

Any amendments to the WFD in Brussels would mean changes to the national water law in Cyprus.

 

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