The meeting between Minister Gabbay, Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Yiannis Tsironis, and Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Nicos Kouyialis, took place on April 6, 2016, in Jerusalem.
The tripartite meeting, and regional cooperation between the countries is of significance, as all three countries are located off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and have similar environmental characteristics and challenges. The ministers expressed their commitment to cooperation by signed a joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in the Field of Environment.
During the meeting, the ministers agreed upon the establishment of a professional joint working group to promote collaboration and projects in their countries. The group will focus on protection of the marine and coastal environment, water and wastewater management, and climate change. The first working group meeting took place immediately following the ministerial meeting.
Minister Gabbay also agreed with both ministers that they would establish both an Israeli-Greek and Israeli-Cypriot consultation forum for their ministries. The forum will allow for discussions of joint projects, and will give the countries opportunities to host professional and business delegations. A central theme of these forums will be water management, with an emphasis on prevention of water contamination and wastewater treatment. The Israel-Cyprus forum will also focus on prevention of forest fires.
The Cypriot minister also met with representatives of clean-tech companies, in order to learn from Israel’s experience with environmental technologies.