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Every year, we fight many “environmental battles”, some of which we win and some of which we lose. What is certain is that whatever we have accomplished so far, has been made possible also because of your support, for which we are grateful.

Therefore, we listed some of our achievements of 2022, which you may find here below.

 

We continued our actions to save Akamas

We participated in public consultations, in Parliamentary committees and in the review of the Akamas Local Plan (LSP) at the Environmental Impact Assessment Committees of the Department of Environment throughout the preparation of the draft.
With scientifically based opinions we insisted for changes, removal of provisions, planning zones and harmful developments in the sensitive environment of the Akamas Peninsula, that were originally proposed in the Akamas TSP.  A few examples of the Department of the Environment opinions, which include our input (August 2022), are as follows:

– Abolition of the Single Dwelling Policy;
– Prohibition on the development of Visitor Farms within Natura 2000 sites or within 200 metres from the sites;
– Rejection of the proposed new Quarry Zone at Androlykou and a scheduled review in 3 years;
– Reduction of the area of the Tourist Zone at Ineia (T3d2), which is outside the development boundary of the community;
– Rejection of the proposed large Specialised Development Areas of Ineia and Drouseia and their relocation to alternative areas. Also, reduction of the Cathay area of the site by approximately half of the original proposal.

At the same time we provided in-depth opinions to the Ministry of Interior about how they could handle the issue of private land management and how this could be environmentally friendly, sustainable and with a positive outcome for the local communities. For this we have not yet had a response.

 

We acted on the climate crisis

We would describe our foundation as particularly active on the climate crisis during the past year. Amongst others, we participated in consultations in the Energy Committee of the Parliament on the promotion of RES and sustainable fuels in transport, we met with a technocrat of the European Commission on the promotion of sustainable transport through European financial instruments and we participated in the panel of the first event on the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Cyprus.
An integral part of our programme is to influence young children through education by our representatives of the Generation KlimACT movement to invite politicians of the island on television interviews and meetings with party leaders, and push then to act immediately to safeguard our children’s future.

In collaboration with hundreds of teachers we supported environmental education and introduced thousands of children to a different lifestyle. The one in which man and nature coexist in harmony.

Lobbying in the Parliament proved to be fruitful

With our 17 appearances in Parliament, we represented the voices of all those who support the natural heritage of the country.  It is noteworthy that, after our lobbying and letters to all the leaders of the parliamentary parties, two proposed bills discussed in the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism were not referred for debate in the plenary session of the House. The two proposed bills needed several amendments in order not to negatively impact the countryside, protected areas and the environment in general.

These Bills concern “glamping” and “guest farms” (Hotel and Tourist Establishments Laws and the proposed Act on the Establishment and Operation of Guest Farms respectively).   We have been exercising pressure by sending letters to all the leaders of the parliamentary parties to prevent these bills from being forwarded to the plenary.

We informed over 40 communities and institutions about the Natura 2000 network

Through activities and presentations in the conttext of the “Pandoteira” project, 23 communities and 22 institutions were informed about the Natura 2000 network in Cyprus. Some of the events we organized were:

  1. Walk and bird watching at the Paphos Lighthouse;
  2. Τhe release of sea turtles in their natural habitat in Meneou.
  3. Hiking on the nature trail “Genesis of Aphrodite” in Pissouri
  4. Walking and bird watching at the Achna Reservoir;
  5. Opening turtle nests at Mavrali beach in Argaka;
  6. Walk and bird watching at Larnaca’s network of salt lakes.
 

We educated more than 2500 children

This year, and despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, we managed to continue our work by educating more than 2500 students of all ages on ecology, geography, sustainable development and the environment. We inspired thousands of children to experience a different lifestyle.

Since the beginning of 2022, students from public and private schools, both from Cyprus and abroad, stayed or visited our premises and attended our multi-day educational programmes at the Cyprus Environmental Studies Centre.  Others attrnded our one-day programmes on our premises or scheduked the training in their premises.

Eurosite’s annual general meeting hosted in Cyprus for the first time

As a a member of the organization in Cyprus, we had the pleasure of co-hosting Eurosite’s annual general meeting here in Cyprus on 8-10 November. During the conference seminars and workshops were held on the importance of wetlands and private land management tools, as well as the efficiency of protected areas management methods.

We also visited the wetlands of Eastern Cyprus for birdwatching, and we also discussed land management with the owners of the private land at Paralimni lake, while a second group made an agriculture visit to protected mountain areas and to Lania village for wine tasting.

Policy Statement for the areas of the British Bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Non-Military Development Plat)

We provided thorough and scientifically based views during the public consultation stage as well as in meetings with technocrats and pushed for changes and removal of problematic provisions, urban planning zones and harmful developments in the sensitive environment of the Akrotiri Peninsula.
Some examples of our input are included in the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Policy Statement  (May 2022):

  • Abolition of the proposed Tourist Zone near Bishop’s Pool and designation as Protection Zone.
  • Abolition of the proposed Tourist Zone in the Lady’s Mile area and designation as Protection Zone.
  • Removal of the proposed Zone in Agios Hermogenes and designation as Protection Zone.
  • Abolition of the Livestock Zone in the Akrotiri community and designation as Protection Zone.
  • Relocation of the Tourist Zone in Avdimou north of the sea turtle nesting beach.

Project “Life with Vultures”

More than 1000 students were introduced to the project “Life with Vultures” and were informed about the endangered Giffron vulture on our island. The interest shown by the students was noteworthy, as they made numerous questions about this impressive bird and they were willing to learn how they could help on its protection.

In addition to training sessions in schools, we participated in festivals and events, while also conducting training sessions for organised groups such as scouts, hunting clubs and communities in Limassol and Paphos where vultures are found. Moreover, we talked with shepherds at livestock farms and exchanged views on the problems vultures face, such as poisons and lack of food.

Life with Vultures is a four-year project (2019-2023) in collaboration with BirdLife Cyprus (coordinating beneficiary), the Game and Fauna Service and the Vulture Conservation Foundation, who have joined forces to tackle the main threats facing the Griffon Vulture and prevent Cyprus’ most threatened bird of prey from going extinct. 

We participated in the Environmental Impact Assessment Committees

As a permanent member, we participated in 22 meetings of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee. We note that our organization shares the position on the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee with our partner BirdLife Cyprus.  We also took part in 9 meetings of the ad-hoc Committee for the Special Ecological Assessment of the Department of the Environment. In these committees, we expressed thorough and scientifically based οpinions on more than 60 proposed projects, such as photovoltaic parks, residential, commercial and tourist developments, asphalt plants etc.

Donation of land to Terra Cypria by Vasilikos Cement Factory to ensure the protection of the area

Specifically, the four blocks total ​​44,249 sq.m. located in Kritou Terra and they are considered to be the Nature Protection Area of ​​the Natura 2000 Network – Special Protection Zone (SPA) Agia Aikaterini – Agia Paraskevi Gorges.

The transferred land is a natural area with scrub and taller woody vegetation. Terra Cypria has pledged that, after this kind donation, the land will be left as an area dedicated to nature, without any destructive interventions being made that can alter the purpose of its protection.