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UNFICYP marks World Environment Day
2006-06-05 16:07:31

Nicosia, Jun 5(CNA)- World Environment Day serves to remind us of our common responsibility for planet earth and of our duty to succeeding generations to look after it and to hand it on in good working order, Secretary-General's Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller said today.

According to a press release issued by UNFICYP, Moller said Environment Day is an annual reminder of the green values that underpin the delicate balance of our shared eco system.

Moller welcomed the UNDP Action for Cooperation and Trust-organised Eco Forum opened in Nicosia this morning as a chance for people from both communities to discuss with one another solutions to common environmental problems, which transcend the buffer zone.

There was an urgent need for an integrated and coordinated approach to efforts to protect the island's environmental assets, he said.

''The reality is that the two communities exist in a single, island-wide eco-system. One that knows no boundaries. One that recognizes no division. One that awaits no settlement'', he added.

The recent outbreak of bird flu on the island had proved, he noted, that environmental threats ''know no boundaries'' adding it had been contained thanks to dialogue, action and cooperation between the two sides, plus some help from the UN system on the island, notably UNDP/ACT.

Moller hoped the example of that cooperation would inspire and invigorate current efforts to promote dialogue towards a united Cyprus.

As custodians of the buffer zone, he noted that UNFICYP peacekeepers patrol and control a unique tract of land that over the years has become a nature preserve.

''This is part of the island's heritage. We want to keep it that way. We want to be sure that when we leave this island, we hand it over intact and pristine to the people of this island'', he concluded.

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