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

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The project

The project consortium

The project is been carrying out by a well organised consortium, which includes the Environment Department and the Department of Forests of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, which are the competent authorities of Cyprus on nature conservation, the Nature Conservation Unit of Frederick University, which is the only Unit in the Cyprus academic system focussing on biodiversity conservation, the Federation of Environmental and Ecological Organisations of Cyprus, which will utilise an extensive environmental NGO network for disseminating the project's results and the United Nations Development Programme, which will facilitate the cooperation of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot experts for expanding the PMR concept to the northern part of Cyprus. Moreover, it includes a partner from Greece (University of Athens) that has successfully implemented a PMR project in Crete and will bring to the project its valuable experiences and knowledge. Close cooperation is also been developed with Valencian PMR specialists, including the scientist who proposed the PMR concept, Emilio Laguna.

Environment Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment

The Environment Department is placed at the Permanent Secretary's Office and, among others, is the coordinating service for Government programmes for the protection of the environment, heads the technical committee on environmental impact assessments, advises on environmental policy, is mandated to ensure the implementation of the environmental policy, administers the Law on the Control of Water Pollution, coordinates the process for the adoption of the European Union's environmental policy and legislation, coordinates the co-operation of Government agencies with international agencies and promotes environmental awareness, training and information. The Service is also the National Focal Point for the Commission of Sustainable Development, INFOTERPA, UNEP, the Basel Convention, CITES, the Montreal Protocol, the Biological Diversity Convention, the Climate Change Convention, etc.

The Environment Department covers legal and regulatory issues concerned with the implementation of the Habitat Directive in Cyprus.

It employs professionals on environment management, natural sciences, pollution control, geology and marine ecology.

Official website

Frederick University - Nature Conservation Unit

Frederick University (FU) is one of the six recognised Universities operating in the Republic of Cyprus. The University has a strong focus on academic research, being one of the leading research organisations in the country.

The Nature Conservation Unit (NCU) has been established in 2005 under FU and it specialises on biodiversity conservation and natural resources management in Cyprus. The Unit is the only department in the Cypriot academic system that focuses on nature conservation. The NCU draws from the experience of several collaborating scientists, graduate and postgraduate students with extensive experience on conservation biology and natural resources management.

Official website

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) is a legal entity of the public sector; it was founded on 1837, as the first University in the newly established Greek State but also in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean area. Nowadays, it is the largest in Greece and comprises 5 Schools, 29 Faculties, 3,000 members of academic staff and more than 100,000 students.

The Department of Botany (at the Faculty of Biology, School of Science) was established 30 years ago by the late Professor K. Mitrakos and has since shown a continuum of educational, research and conservation activities in the field of Plant Biology. The core members of the work team (Assoc. Prof. Costas A. Thanos and Assoc. Prof. Kyriacos Georghiou) and numerous coworkers (graduate and postgraduate students, visiting and collaborating scientists) have dealt with various aspects of plant biology, ecology and conservation/management.

Since 1994 the team has been actively involved and gained considerable expertise in biodiversity conservation projects. These projects include the completion of the Standard Data Forms as well as habitat description and mapping for the NATURA 2000 sites of the Aegean and S. Greece and of Cyprus. Other projects are related to site evaluation, flora and vegetation study, plant population assessment, habitat mapping and management plans for protected areas.

Recently (2004 - onwards), the NKUA team has been actively involved with (a) the creation of 7 plant microreserves for the management and conservation of 6 species and 1 habitat of Community priority ("A Pilot Network of Plant Micro-Reserves in Western Crete", LIFE04NAT_GR_000104, Project manager: Assoc. Prof. Costas A. Thanos) and (b) the conservation management actions in 5 Sites of Community Importance of Cyprus ("Conservation management in NATURA 2000 sites of Cyprus", LIFE04NAT_CY_000013, scientific coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Kyriacos Georghiou).

Official website

Department of Forests, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment

Within the framework of the Cyprian Forest Law and Regulations, this Department is responsible for the management of all main and minor state forests, including National Park Forests and Forest Nature Reserves. It is also responsible for reforestation works and for the establishment of roadside plantations for the improvement of the natural landscape. The Department is extensively involved into the systematic study of Cyprus flora and fauna and especially into the conservation of endemic, rare and threatened plants. Recently their activities have focused on the study of the vegetation of Cyprus. The Department employs professionals with degrees in forestry (i.e. forest research and planning, landscape architecture, management of forests, parks and nature conservation, protection and preservation of wildlife, forest botany, etc.).

The Forestry Department was actively involved in several biodiversity conservation projects, including the Life Project for the inventory, identification, evaluation and mapping of the habitat types and flora and fauna species in Cyprus ("Special areas of conservation (Directive 92/43/EEC) in Cyprus" Life Third Countries - Contract No. B4 - 0000/98/000). It has been also one of the main partners in the Life Project on the implementation of conservation management actions in 5 Sites of Community Importance of Cyprus ("Conservation management in NATURA 2000 sites of Cyprus", LIFE04NAT_CY_000013), as well as in the project that resulted in the publication of the Red Data Book of the Cyprus Flora, which was funded by the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus.

Official website

Federation of Environmental Organisations of Cyprus

The Federation was founded in 1988 by a number of the most active environmental NGO's. Today, it comprises of 17 members, active in the fields of ecology, environment, culture and human rights issues. Acting as their umbrella, the Federation coordinates and reinforces their activities, and represents them in various bodies, committees, institutions and boards - national, European and international.

The Federation is the official representative of environmental NGOs in the policymaking process recognised by the state. The inclusion of the Federation in a number of permanent monitoring committees shows that the government recognises the need to have the voice of civil society actively involved in the political process.

Some of these Committees are:
- The Monitoring Committee for the Protection of Nature and Wildlife
- Committee for Genetically Modified Organisms
- Waste Management Committee
- Structural Funds Committee
- Evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessment Committee
- Parliamentary Environment Committee and many others.

Raising public awareness about environmental issues is high on the Federation's agenda. To do that, it publicises its activities, organises exhibitions, seminars or workshops on environmental and cultural heritage issues. In addition it reacts against political decisions that have a detrimental impact on the environment and thus has been successful in preserving environmentally sensitive areas, or at least in many cases minimise the damage.

The Federation also participates in projects implemented under the EU Life Program e.g. the creation of cycling-networks, a recycling project etc, as well as in a program of the Council of Europe for the architectural and cultural heritage. It is a member of International and European environmental associations such as the IUCN, MedForum, EEB, MIO-ECSDE, and is in contact with WWF, the Commonwealth the European Federation of Green Parties etc. The Federation has its base in Nicosia. It has partially staff and relies mostly on the voluntary work of its members.

Each member-Organization of the Federation retains its functional and administrative autonomy. The financial resources of the Federation come mainly from subscriptions of its members environmental projects in collaboration with other environmental organisations in Cyprus and abroad, as well as and government funding.

Official website

United Nations Development Programme - Action for Cooperation and Trust

On 1 October 2005 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched its peace building project in Cyprus, Action for Cooperation and Trust (ACT). The purpose of ACT is to create opportunities for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to work together on concrete projects which will benefit all people on the island, while at the same time promoting inter-communal tolerance and mutual understanding. The ACT project is managed directly by UNDP and has a total budget of US $41.8 million for three years (October 2005-September 2011). The project is funded principally by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with additional funding from UNDP.

UNDP - ACT provide opportunities for Cypriot organizations to design and implement projects which will help build the foundations for lasting relationships islandwide. One of the main objectives of ACT is to encourage Cypriots to demonstrate the benefits of islandwide cooperation. To this end ACT funds projects and initiatives which focus on multicultural education and youth empowerment, promoting civil engagement, support to environmental protection and the preservation and promotion of Cyprus's rich cultural heritage. In each of these areas ACT works with Cypriots to emphasize the need for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to work together to achieve a prosperous and healthy future for the island and its people.

Official website

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