Establishment of a Plant Micro-reserve Netwrok in Cyprus for the Conservation of Priority Species and Habitats

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E) Overall project operation and monitoring

The project > Actions

E1: Project management

This Action focuses on the effective administrative, scientific and financial coordination and proper implementation of the project. The Action foresees the operation of one Project Office during the implementation of the project. The Project Office will be located at the Environment Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. The management of the project will be the responsibility of the Project Management Team, which will include:

- The Project Management Team Leader
- The Project Manager
- The Scientific Coordinator
- The Project Accountant

The Project Management Team will be responsible for the overall management of the project and the timely preparation of the reports that will be submitted to the European Commission. The operation of the Project Management Team will secure the effective communication and coordination of the participating organizations.

Expected results:

This Action will result in a well-organised team, which will effectively deal with all the scientific, financial and administrative issues that will be raised during the project implementation.

E2: Project monitoring

This action was specifically designed to measure the effectiveness of the project actions as compared to the initial situation and the objectives and expected results. For the sound monitoring of the project's activities a "monitoring protocol" will be developed by the Scientific Committee that will include the full methodology for the monitoring of the project's activities.

The Monitoring Protocol will describe:

- the indicators of the project
- the party that will be responsible for the monitoring of each indicator
- the sources of information that will be used for the monitoring of each indicator
- the assessment criteria for each indicator
- the time-frame of the assessment for each indicator
- the target numbers (where applicable) for each indicator and for different phases of the project.

The Monitoring Protocol will be prepared by the Scientific Committee during its first meeting in March 2010 and it will be distributed to all partners, along with the Inception Report.

The Project Management Team will be responsible for the overall monitoring of the project, according to the Monitoring Protocol.

Expected results:

The development and implementation of the monitoring protocol will secure that the project actions are properly performed and the desirable results are effectively achieved.

E3: Operation of the Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee (SC) will be a group of experts who will provide scientific and technical support to the major decisions of the project. The SC will be comprised by 7 members: the Project Manager, the Environment Department Coordinator, the Scientific Coordinator of the project, the officially appointed Responsible Scientist from the University of Athens and the Department of Forests and two experts in the field of plant conservation and management and specifically on the micro-reserve concept. The participants have secured the participation in the Scientific Committee of the scientist who proposed the micro-reserve concept,
Dr Emilio Laguna. The second expert will be Prof. Costas Thanos, who was the Project Manager in the LIFE Nature project on the creation of 7 plant micro-reserves for the management and conservation of 6 species and 1 habitat of Community priority in Western Crete ( LIFE04NAT_GR_000104). The two experts will transfer to the project their valuable experience and knowledge.

The role of the SC is advisory on all scientific and technical matters. The members of the SC will be in continuous, informal contact with the Project Manager and the Scientific Coordinator. The SC will be nominated by the end of January 2010. The SC will have four official meetings in order to approve the Reports to be submitted to the EU and provide its scientific advice for the next steps of the project (March 2010 - Inception Report, June 2011 Mid-term Report with payment request, November 2012 - Progress Report, December 2013 - Final Report with payment request). The meetings will take place in Nicosia-Cyprus.

Expected results:

The operation of the Scientific Committee is expected to contribute to an enhanced coordination of the Project while at the same time, it will provide a concrete scientific and technical support to the major decisions and reports that have to be taken or written, respectively, during the project implementation.

Organisation and Management Chart

E4: Operation of the Stakeholders Board

The Stakeholders Board (SB) will be a group of scientists, policy makers and representatives of the local authorities. Through this committee the participation and collaboration of all stakeholders will be enhanced.

The SB will be composed by 8 members: Project Management Team Leader (chair) who will also represent the Environment Department, the Scientific Coordinator, the Project Manager, the representative of the FEEOC, the Director (or his officially appointed stand-in) of the Forestry Department, the official representative of the Ministry of Interior, the representative of UNDP and the representatives of the four communities nearby the PMRs. The SB will be nominated by the end of February 2010.

The Board will have an advisory role on all administrational and technical matters with specific emphasis on the information campaign and the relations with the local people and groups of interest. The official meetings of the SB will take place 4 times. The meetings will take place in Nicosia - Cyprus.

Expected results:

The operation of the Stakeholders Board is expected to contribute towards awareness and participation of local communities on conservation and management efforts.

E5: Networking with other projects

The proposed project will provide a platform for networking of all previous LIFE projects with a focus on the establishment of Plant Micro-reserves in Europe, through which scientific information and best practices will be exchanged. More specifically, through the project an effort will be made to link the previous projects that adopted the plant micro-reserves approach. The wider aim of this initiative will be to establish close cooperation between plant conservation biologists and other stakeholders that have been involved in the PMRs approach, towards the effective conservation of the threatened plants of Europe.

The project will bring together the principle scientists, who were involved in the following projects:
LIFE93 NAT/E/011100, LIFE95 NAT/E/00856, LIFE99NAT/E/006417 and LIFE03 NAT/E/0064 (network of PMRs in Valencia/Spain),
LIFE00 NAT/E/007355 (network of PMRs in Minorca/Spain),
LIFE02 NAT/SLO/008587 (network of PMRs in the Karst Park/Slovenia) and
LIFE04 NAT/GR/000104 (pilot network of PMRs in Crete/Greece).
- Management of Woodland Key Habitats in Latvia (funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency).

Moreover, the project will utilise the information and experiences resulted from the two LIFE projects, which were recently implemented in Cyprus and focused on nature conservation, namely "Special areas of conservation (Directive 92/43/EEC) in Cyprus" (Life Third Countries - Contract No. B4 - 0000/98/000) and "Conservation management in NATURA 2000 sites of Cyprus", (

In order to bring together scientists from the projects mentioned above, a two-day experts' workshop will be organised with focus on plant conservation in micro-reserves (June 2011). In this workshop, scientists who participated in the projects mentioned above (10 persons) will be invited to share their experiences and contribute propositions for the best implementation of the project. Moreover, 5 plant conservation experts from other new member states (e.g. Rumania, Bulgaria, Malta), that have not yet adopted the PMRs approach, will be invited to participate in the workshop. These experts will be informed and familiarised to the PMRs concept in order to promote the idea of establishing similar networks in their countries.

In addition, two Valencian PMR specialists (Dr Emilio Laguna and a collaborator) will visit Cyprus annually and will provide the partners with practical advice on several issues.

Expected results:

The main results of this action will be:

- The organisation of one experts' workshop, which will transfer to the project the knowledge and experience gained from similar projects in other European countries and explore the prospect of creating a European Plant Micro-reserves Network.
- The transfer of know-how from Valencian PMR specialists to the partners of the project and the establishment of close collaboration of the two PMRs networks.

E6: After-LIFE Conservation Plan

The "After-Life Conservation Plan" will describe how the partners plan to continue and develop the actions that will have been initiated through this project, after the end of the project. Moreover it will describe how the longer term management of the plant micro-reserves and the targeted species/habitats will be secured. The "After-Life Conservation Plan" will give details on the actions that will be carried out in the future and it will form a separate chapter of the final report (September 2013).

Expected results:

The "After-Life Conservation Plan" will be the main deliverable of this Action. The plan will be presented in Greek and in English, in paper and electronic format, and will form a separate part of the final report.

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