Terra Cypria–the Cyprus Conservation Foundation is a non-profit, Non Governmental Organization, officially established in 1992. It was granted charitable status by the Council of Ministers in 1994. Its overall aim is to promote environmental awareness as well as the concept of sustainability within Cypriot society through educational programmes and sensitization activities.
The Foundation’s particular objectives are twofold: Firstly, to sensitise the decision-makers of today through position papers, seminars, reports and other activities directed at Parliament, government and specific target groups within the community. This work is conducted from the head office in Limassol. Secondly, to implant environmental understanding in the citizens of tomorrow,i.e. school pupils and students, so that they in turn may deal more responsibly with the earth and its resources. As a key part of achieving its aim, the Foundation set up the Cyprus Environmental Studies Centre, in the abandoned school of Kritou Terra village in Paphos, with funding by the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the EU LIFE Programme. The Centre has been in full operation since 1996 offering courses to local elementary schools, Greek and Anglophone secondary schools from Cyprus and abroad, as well as institutions of higher education. By arrangement with the Ministry of Education, 10 to 12 year old pupils of public primary schools receive training at the Centre as part of their curriculum. Accommodation is offered in the Centre’s dormitory and in village houses. By the end of June, 2016, courses had been attended by more than 56.000 participants.
The Foundation’s main funding derives from an annual grant offered by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, grants from projects carried out and contributions received for some of the training offered it its Centre.
Since 1997, Terra Cypria participates as an NGO partner in the proceedings of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention for the Protection of European Wildlife and Habitats. It is also a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and is currently on the Boards of the two pan-European NGOS: the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and Eurosite. It is also a past board member of the European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS).
At the end of 2016 the Foundation had 1500 registered supporters.
Terra Cypria is a sibling organization of
the Laona Foundation for the Conservation and Regeneration of the Cypriot countryside,
with which it shares its offices in Limassol.