Combating Desertification in Cyprus Through Composting

€5000 awarded

Project duration: 04/2022 – 06/2022


The challenge

Cyprus is one of the 13 Member States that have declared to be affected by desertification under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Estimates suggest that by 2050, about 70% of agricultural land will be very sensitive to desertification and there will be a lack of water for irrigation. The enrichment of active soil carbon concentration and the enhancement of soil productivity are considered the most effective ways to combat desertification. This can be achieved by sustainable green waste management and particularly by composting of green waste and the application of compost to agricultural land. In rural and remote areas, green waste is currently mismanaged by being landfilled, burned, or inappropriately disposed of in open fields posing a constant fire hazard. Instead, this compost raw material should be treated locally in a simple and sustainable way taking into consideration scale and ownership. In order for any waste management scheme to be successful in these particular areas, economies of scale must be developed through the cooperation of neighbouring Local Authorities, farmers and relevant stakeholders.


The solution

The project aims to create a roadmap for 7 communities in rural Nicosia (Mitsero cluster) where a Waste Management Scheme for local agricultural green and garden waste is designed and proposed. The goal is to promote the composting of green waste and the application of compost in agricultural land by proposing a solution that addresses both desertification impacts and green waste management. The developed Waste Management Scheme is based on a symbiotic relationship between all key actors in the compost value chain, from waste producers to waste management, to compost end-users, that will minimise costs for compost production and application. The idea is to use existing resources and infrastructure to collect green wastes from farmers and garden wastes from the Local Authorities and to develop a basic local compost facility that will produce quality compost to be provided to local farmers for land application. All key actors will be the owners of the Scheme which will be financed by a combination of three options: farmer’s own contribution (membership fee), government incentives currently under development (subsidies for compost per treated land) and local authorities’ contribution.


Project’s deliverables

  • A participatory stakeholders’ workshop on green waste management for stakeholders from 7 communities of rural Nicosia and key Governmental departments to discuss and co-design a tailor-made symbiotic local Waste Management Scheme for agricultural green waste and garden waste.
  • A Roadmap for Local Authorities for the implementation of the Green Waste Management Scheme that is viable and transferable to other clusters of communities in Cyprus.
  • A farmer’s Informational manual explaining their role in the Scheme as a tool for the effective implementation of the Scheme.


Project updates

  • Press release on participatory workshop in Astromeritis – June 2022.
  • Road map for proposed Waste Management Scheme – July 2022.
  • Farmers guide in participating in proposed Waste Management Scheme – July 2022.


A bit about the organization

AKTI Project and Research Center is a non-for-profit organization which has been working since 2000 to empower local engagement focusing on specific issues of relevance and interest to Cyprus such as waste management, climate change, water saving, desertification etc. Environmental research based on the Cyprus’s context, scale and particularities is another of AKTI’s areas of expertise aiming to provide answers and tangible solutions to the island’s environmental challenges. Through its projects the organization has been delivering participatory stakeholder engagement activities and decision support workshops for the development of policy tools and guidelines focused inter alia on waste management. AKTI has developed its own innovative initiatives such as Tiganokinisi, which has received national and international acknowledgement and provides a solution to the management of domestic Used Cooking Oil and the Green Cluster, a joint platform for Cypriot nano-SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs working in the green sectors in Cyprus.