News Local Cyprus marks Natura 2000 Day and World Biodiversity Day

Cyprus marks Natura 2000 Day and World Biodiversity Day

Cyprus celebrated Natura 2000 Day and World Biodiversity Day – marked on May 21 and 22 respectively – with a special event at the Cape Greco Environmental Information and Educational Centre, taking the opportunity to honour those individuals who pioneered in establishing the Natura 2000 network in Cyprus.

Stretching over 18% of the EU’s land area and almost 9.5% of its marine territory, the Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. It offers a haven to Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

In Cyprus, the Natura 2000 network includes 63 areas, from Akamas to Cape Greco, which operate as a protective shield for many rare or endangered species of flora and fauna and for rare habitats.

Addressing the event, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis, whose portfolio includes the environment, told the event that the Natura 2000 network was a particularly important tool in safeguarding the environment for current and future generations.

He noted that setting up the network initially had been difficult, while the new challenge now was to institutionalise specialised measures to manage each area, depending on protection required and taking into consideration the socio-economic conditions and the requirements of each of these areas.

The head of the European Commission office in Cyprus Ierotheos Papadopoulos told the same event that 4.4 million jobs in the EU depend on healthy eco-systems. Investing in nature have multiple benefits, but this can only be achieved when our natural habitats are in a good conditions, he added.

During the event, the Biology Department of Athens University which started off studies for Cyprus’ Natura 2000 network in the late 1980s and continues to spearhead this effort was honoured for its work. Awards also went to officials from the Forestry Department, the Environment Service, the Fisheries Department and the Game Services for their contribution. Other scientists who assisted the initiative were also honoured.

Natura 2000 is a network of core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species, and some rare natural habitat types which are protected in their own right. It stretches across all 28 EU countries, both on land and at sea. The aim of the network is to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats, listed under both the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive.

The Natura 2000 Viewer in an on-line tool that presents all Natura 2000 sites, provides key information on species and habitats for which each site has been designated, data on their estimated population size, conservation status and allows for various searches.

Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves from which all human activities would be excluded. While it includes strictly protected nature reserves, most of the land remains privately owned. The approach to conservation and sustainable use of the Natura 2000 areas is much wider, largely centred on people working with nature rather than against it. However, Member States must ensure that the sites are managed in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically.



Top Stories

EAC warns customers of fraudulent visits by strangers posing as their staff

Recently, EAC customers have informed the Organisation that they have been receiving visits from persons posing as EAC employees to check their electricity meters. These...

UPDATED – Drunk man entered café in Larnaca and pulled out knife

A drunk man entered a well-known café-restaurant in the centre of Larnaca and pulled out a knife. According to initial information, the man asked for...

European bee-eaters, other protected species illegally killed in Meneou

Images of dead protected species in Meneou area, Larnaca, were published on Facebook by BirdLife Cyprus and have caused anger and disgust, Philenews reported...

Death of 76-year-old bather in Larnaca sparks lifeguards’ protest

A 76-year-old man drowned early on Tuesday at Makenzie beach in Larnaca and lifeguards have called again for safety measures to be taken. “This sad...

Larnaca Municipality appeal for immediate cat sterilisation

Larnaca Municipality on Tuesday appealed to cat owners to neuter their pets immediately so that the population of strays and free-roaming ones across the...



Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...


Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...