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

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Expected results

The project

The project activities secures the protection and the sound management of four priority plant species and two priority habitat types of Cyprus found in Natura 2000 sites, through the establishment of a network of five PMRs. Through the operation of the PMRs all the factors that threaten the priority plant species and their habitats are monitored and restrained in a holistic and coordinated way.

More specifically, the expected results of the project are the following:

- Development of an information system (database and applications) of quantitative data that will facilitate the sustainable management of the PMR network and its future enlargement.

- Identification of the most appropriate legal status for the PMRs in Cyprus.

- Elimination of the illegal collection of plants and plant specimens, protection against trampling, reduction of the waste damping, prevention of the illegal road construction and control of annual road maintenance.

- Enrichment of genetic variability and size increase of the natural populations of the targeted species by introducing at least 200 new plant individuals for each species. Enrichment will be based on the assessment of the genetic diversity and population structure of the targeted species.

- Promotion of
ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources (seed lots from three successive years in a seed bank and living plant collections in three new sections that will be created in respective botanical gardens) to secure the survival of the targeted species in the long term.

- Enhancement of the reproductive success of species with low ability in sexual reproduction, thus promoting the enrichment of their populations.

- Prevention of fires in the wider area of the PMRs, where
Ophrys kotschyi, Arabis kennedyae and Cedrus brevifolia are found and restore plant populations immediately after a destructive fire event.

- Prevention of uncontrolled expansion of cultivated areas towards the habitat of
Ophrys kotschyi and minimisation of the use of pesticides around the targeted population of the species.

- Promotion of greater public awareness on the importance of the conservation of targeted species and habitats and increased awareness on the EU conservation policies.

- Participation of local people and other stakeholders in the design and implementation of conservation initiatives and the decision making process.

- Efficient dissemination of the scientific data and the results from the project to the interested authorities, the scientific community and the local people.

- Establishment of cooperation between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot experts for implementing the PMR concept to the northern part of Cyprus.

- Enhancement of the awareness and capacity of public officials, who are involved in the NATURA 2000 sites management and the conservation of the targeted taxa/habitats.

- Publication of a book on planning, establishment and management of PMRs that will present the knowledge and experience accumulated through the implementation of the PMR approach in several European countries, including Cyprus.

- Contribution to the creation of a European PMR Network by linking the existing PMRs in Europe.

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