It is indeed with great pleasure that I am here to give a Welcoming Speech today, at The Cyprus Institute, to this very important event that marks the Public Launching of the Horizon 2020 Teaming EMME-CARE Eastern Mediterranean Middle East – Climate & Atmosphere Research Centre.
Our Host today, The Cyprus Institute, coordinates this extraordinary project, which has a formidable challenge: to establish a European Center of Excellence for Climate and Atmospheric Research. A Centre that will indeed conduct research of global Excellence for and from one of our planet’s Climate Change hot-spots.
However difficult the challenge, we are confident when we see the stakeholders involved in this project; the Team of EMME-CARE is comprised of world-class, leading research institutions and an impressive network of local and regional partners:
- The University of Helsinki, in Finland, represented here today by a distinguished team and led by the director of the Center Professor Markku Kulmala,
- The Laboratory of Climatic & Environment Sciences of CEA, in France, with a team led by Professor Philippe Ciais,
- The Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, in Germany, led by its director Professor Jos Lelieveld,
Of course, I cannot highlight enough the great significance of the local and regional partners of EMME-CARE in Academia and Government. Their role is crucial in every aspect of the project and particularly so in the areas of impacts, policy and innovation.
As the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment I am also very happy with the involvement of several Departments and Units of our Ministry: the Department of Environment, the Department of Forests, the Department of Meteorology, and the Agricultural Research Institute, represented here by their leaders and top scientists.
We are proud that the European Commission has entrusted this strategic Horizon 2020 Teaming project. We thank the European Commission for co-funding this great endeavor of the Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre of Excellence. We believe the EMME-CARE Team will deliver to the expectations that will be presented here today by the Honorable Representatives of the European Commission.
We are confident because we know the work of The Cyprus Institute, a novel research and educational institution with scientific and technological innovation orientation. The Ministry and the Republic have witnessed The Cyprus Institute’s achievements in the field of Climate Change, emphasized by the appointment of its leader, Academic and President of the Cyprus Institute, Professor Costas Papanicolas, as the Advisor to the President of the Republic on Climate Change and Presidential Special Envoy for Climate Change.
As some of you may already know, at last World Summit in New York, we presented our important Initiative on Climate Change. As His Excellency President Anastasiades himself has worded it: “the Cyprus Climate Change Initiative aims at the development of a Regional Action Plan to address the specific needs and challenges countries are facing in the EMME region, to address and ameliorate the impact of Climate Change and advance mitigation actions”. Our Ministry is leading this Initiative politically, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with those leading it scientifically; none other than The Cyprus Institute.
We are very happy that our Cypriot research landscape attracted a French Expert, Professor Jean Sciare, with considerable international scientific and research experience and profile, who will lead the EMME-CARE Team.
We feel confident that the objective of the European Commission, through the Horizon 2020 Teaming Programme, will be fulfilled by EMME-CARE, and the Centre of Excellence will build on regional and international networks to lead scientific, research and innovation breakthroughs, provide advanced training and education, and establish infrastructure and globally recognized technical and scientific competencies.
Indeed, with such a centre Cyprus will join other renown European and World leaders in globally recognized science and research for Climate Change and our Environment, in full alignment with our Government’s Cyprus Climate Change Initiative. We look forward to the establishment and the operation of the Centre of Excellence, and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus we will fully support it.
Thank you all for your presence here today.