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Global issues on the local map

By Andrianne Philipou (Cyprus Weekly 28-01-2011)

Berengaria rotary club hosts environmental fair

LIMASSOL’S only cosmopolitan Rotary Club, the Berengaria, will host an Environmental Fair on Sunday February 6 in the Conference Room of the Columbia Plaza in the Old Town.

It will feature 22 projects from local schools, businesses and volunteer organisations, with both group and individual entries, submitting projects that will be judged by a panel of eight respected community members including Andreas Christou, the Mayor of Limassol, the Commissioner of the Environment, Charalambos Theopemptou and Andreas Metaxas who is President of the Water Board Committee and General Manager of the Limassol Water Board.

President of the Berengaria Cosmopolitan Rotary, Bill Dahmer said: “The aim of the competition is to raise environmental awareness among students, the local community and the general public by highlighting global issues at a local level. Cyprus is an island particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, because of its dependency on a largely tourism based economy; clean beaches and water, a sustainable environment are very important to its future…hopefully the Environmental Fair will give this a higher priority on the island.”

The projects will be judged based on their actual environmental impact and will be acknowledged accordingly and rewarded with prizes, taking into account the year group, their efforts and their successful achievement and implementation.

The emphasis will be on the actual environmental impact of the project. Judges will be looking to see how practical solutions and the successful implementation of the projects will be achieved making them effective and viable. In the same way judges will be looking to see which of the projects are highlighting global issues, but have the most pertinence to Cyprus and which could have most impact on the island at a local level. The issues being considered are agriculture practices, air quality, alternative energy & bio-fuels, clean beaches, climate change, garbage disposal, health concerns, land use choices, litter, pollution, preservation of wildlife and marine habitats, recycling, sustainable development, tourism, transportation, water conservation and waste water recycling.

The challenge for the participants is to provide practical solutions to local environmental problems with the triple ‘P’ principle in mind, ‘People, Planet and Profit’. Are they socially and economically viable for example?

Dahmer explained: “The Environmental Fair is one of our three annual community projects (the other two are the School Speaking competition and the Football Festival held every year); this gives us the opportunity to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need in Cyprus and overseas and to get involved on a local level.”

There are three age ranges within the pupil groups, from Primary to year 6, year 7 to 9 and year 10 to 12; in the adult groups there are schools, volunteer organisations and businesses. Prizes will be awarded based on the age groups, number of participants and the quality of the actual project submissions.

There are 59 participants submitting their projects on the February 6 and there will be cash prizes and Gold, Silver and Bronze plaques awarded to the winning entries.

There are 19 Rotary Club branches in Cyprus and Limassol’s Berengaria Cosmopolitan Rotary Club is very active in its charity work, social and environmental efforts.

On a global scale, the Rotary is a volunteer organisation of 1.2 million business and professional leaders, who are united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and to help build goodwill and peace on a local level; since the first Rotary Club was founded in 1905, more than 32,000 Rotary clubs have been established in more than 200 countries worldwide.

The Berengaria Cosmopolitan Rotary in Limassol reflects the multi-cultural ethos of the club with its international mix of members from countries as diverse as Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, England, Germany, Kenya, Lebanon, Netherlands, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Ukraine and the USA.

For further information on the regular weekly meetings and how to become a Rotarian Club member visit their website: http://rotary-cyprus.org/berengaria .

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