The first “Cyprus-Ireland Blue Growth Initiative” was successfully concluded, the Embassy of Ireland in Cyprus has announced.
It said that following the visit of Ireland’s Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney to Cyprus in June 2018, it was agreed, with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Nicos Christodoulides, that cooperation should be enhanced between Ireland and Cyprus, as two EU island nations, in the marine and maritime sectors.
This first year of the initiative has involved an academic, educational exchange between University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland and AKTI Project and Research Centre, based in Cyprus. The themes explored this year have included microplastics/marine litter, blue growth, marine renewable energy, entrepreneurship within the blue economy, and other marine and maritime related issues.
Following the exchanges, discussions have now commenced on ways to enhance the collaboration between the two EU island nations through the development of Memorandums of Understanding for academic, research, civil society and industry collaboration.
Christodoulides had a meeting with Ambassador of Ireland Deirdre Ní Fhallúin, the students from University of Cork in Cyprus and the team from AKTi Project and Research Centre, the press release says.
The Minister had said that despite the geographic distance, Cyprus and Ireland have a lot in common and enjoy excellent ties at various levels. “Together with our Irish partners we are determined to expand and broaden our cooperation further, in innovative ways that will benefit our peoples, our economies and the environment we live in, an important part of which are the seas that surround our islands”, he remarked.
Christodouides added that the ‘Cyprus-Ireland Blue Growth Initiative’ “is a prime example of the innovative cooperation we are looking for and that we are therefore happy to encourage and support.”
Ambassador of Ireland in Cyprus, Deirdre Ní Fhallúin said the aim of the project is to develop bilateral relations between Ireland and Cyprus in two key respects – marine/maritime and higher education.
“As two islands at the opposite sides of Europe, Ireland and Cyprus have much to learn from each other through sharing expertise and learning. The project complements the role being played as consortium members by the Irish Marine Institute and SmartBay Ireland in the development of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) in Larnaca.”
Head of AKTI Xenia Loizidou said the two island countries, have so many in common, “limited natural resources and a fragile environment. Sustainability is the only way forward. Cooperation and networking make us stronger and resilient, to protect our islands, to protect our seas, to develop within the Blue framework of growth”
(Cyprus News Agency)