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In June, we held a very constructive presentation at the National Rural Network, a very interesting event in Achna and two smaller presentations in Omodos and Statos-Saint Photios communities.

In the framework of the “Pandoteira” project, we co-organized in cooperation with the Cyprus University of Technology and the National Rural Network of the Department of Agriculture, a presentation entitled: “The Natura 2000 network and the importance of agricultural areas”.

The presentation took place on Thursday, 2nd June 2022 at the Department of Agriculture and its purpose was to inform the members of the National Rural Network about:

  • The importance of the Natura 2000 network and the role of the Pandoteira project in protecting and sustaining the network.
  • The importance of agricultural areas in protecting and sustaining the Natura 2000 network.
  • The greater importance of agricultural areas for species and habitats.
  • The importance of the High Nature Value farmland and how agricultural areas are characterized as such.

The topics of interest to the participants were:

  • The funding opportunities of existing agricultural activities through the protection of nature.
  • The reduction of the carbon footprint of crops with the aim of achieving a competitive advantage.
  • The need for a close cooperation among the academic community, government bodies and farmers, with the aim of benefiting both farmers and nature.

We will organize even more specialized presentations at local communities, focusing on Special Protection Zones and wild birds.

In addition, the definition of agricultural land set-aside and how this is granted by the Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation is an issue that should be visited in the near future.

After two days, on 4th June 2022, together with the Achna Community Council, we successfully held an event titled: “Natura 2000: Generating awareness among stakeholders”.

The event began at 10 am with a hike and birdwatching at the Achna Reservoir – which is part of the Natura 2000 network as a Special Protected Area for birds. The participants had the opportunity to observe the birds at the reservoir, under the expert guidance of representatives from BirdLife Cyprus.

The participants then gathered at the Achna Animal Park, where our team presented the importance of the Natura 2000 network, as well as the importance of the Pandoteira project in the protection and preservation of the network.

The purpose of the event was to:

  • Generate awareness concerning the importance of the Natura 2000 network.
  • Introduce participants to the concept of clustering and the commonalities and characteristics of the Natura 2000 sites which form each cluster and are close to their community. In more detail, the special characteristics of their cluster were presented, including the designating species and habitats, their conservation status and the geographical expansion of the Natura 2000 sites of the cluster.
  • Help participants grasp the importance of the specific Natura 2000 site and its biodiversity – particularly for the birds found at this site.

Finally, the information and awareness activities were completed with two more presentations held at the Omodos Community and at the Statos-Saint Photios. The presentations aimed in raising awareness and informing the participants about the importance of the Natura 2000 network, the concept of clustering and the special characteristics of their cluster.