Economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection are crucial elements in the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Cyprus, which aims –within a medium to long term time horizon – at a “smart”, “sustainable” and “inclusive” growth, relying on knowledge and innovation, the rational use of the available resources and on high employment with the enhancement of economic and social development and cohesion. The priorities of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Cyprus (S3CY) target both directly and indirectly a number of SDGs.
Within the framework of the S3Cy the following priority areas have been identified : Tourism; Energy (renewable forms of energy, solar energy, Solar-thermal technology Solar; Photovoltaic, Technologies for Solar Heating and Cooling, energy storage and transfer); Agriculture–Food Industry; Construction industry (sustainable urban development, sustainable construction, existing building stock, innovative and intelligent materials and reuse of building materials, cultural heritage); Transportation (marine, shipping, intelligent transport systems, road freight) and Health (e-health, prognosis-prevention and treatment of diseases, health pharmaceutical industry). Environment and ICT were also defined as important sectors of horizontal character.
S3CY is implemented through an Action Plan, which includes various measures related to the main dimension of sustainable development (i.e. social): innovation programme, Joint Programmes Initiatives (participation for Water Challenges for a Changing World: Environment) - Tourism, URBAN EUROPE: Global Challenges – Local Solutions: Urban development-Construction, Industry-Environment, Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE): Agriculture-Food Industry- Environment and Cultural Heritage and Global Change: A New Challenge for Europe: Cultural Heritage-).
The preparation of a new long-term economic strategy for Cyprus “Developing a long-term economic strategy for Cyprus – towards sustainable growth and international competitiveness” is underway. The preliminary results will be available in mid 2020. This strategy will guide the country towards achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity over the next 10 -15 years in order to address future challenges and be in a position to identify and build on opportunities. It will also help enhancing the resilience and competitiveness of the economy as well as the establishment of a socially and environmentally sustainable pattern of future growth. Based on the outcome of this exercise, a decision will be made about the possible update of the S3CY for the next programming period and if yes in which direction.
Cyprus prepared the First Voluntary Progress Report on the Implementation of Agenda 2030 (VNR) in 2017 with the contribution of the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations. Selected SDGs are presented as a priority for Cyprus based on the analysis of the current situation and the country’s needs and competencies in relation to the 17 SDGs. The actions planned and promoted in order to implement these priorities, as well as the progress achieved, the related challenges and the next steps are also presented in the VNR. Furthermore, SDGs have been incorporated in the 3-year Government Strategy Statement which provides guidance to the strategic plans and actions promoted by all the government services, in all policy areas.
Main SDGs in the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Cyprus
- SDG 3. Good Health and Well-being
- SDG 4. Quality Education
- SDG 5. Gender equality
- SDG 7. Affordable and clean energy
- SDG 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG 11. Sustainable cities and communities
- SDG 12. Responsible consumption and production
- SDG 13. Climate action
- SDG 14. Life below water
- SDG 15. Life on land
- SDG 17. Partnerships for the goals areas.