The conservation of marine turtles in northern Cyprus will soon be safeguarded, along with other precious nature of the region. A new project will assist the Turkish Cypriot community in its efforts to comply with EU nature conservation requirements.
In collaboration with NIRAS IC (leading company), NIRAS AS, GOPA Consultants and OIKON, NEPCon is implementing a project which will prepare the Turkish Cypriot community of northern Cyprus to manage its rich natural heritage in accordance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.
The two directives are cornerstones of EU nature conservation legislation and form the legal basis for the EC network of protected areas, NATURA 2000. The project is part of the region’s long-term preparation for inclusion into the European Community.
With its sunny position in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus holds numerous rare and endemic species. Acting as a stepping stone for migrating birds en route from the European mainland to Africa, northern Cyprus alone is host to at least 111 bird species protected by the EU Birds Directive. The region is also famous for its nesting sites for marine turtles such as the Green and the Loggerhead Turtle, as well as its unique mountainous and coastal vegetation. However, the wonderful climate and coastal scenery also causes high development pressures, in particular from tourism and housing. At this point, it is urgent to reconciliate development needs with the need to conserve outstanding nature.
The project includes comprehensive institutional capacity building, including training of relevant governmental and decentralized staff as well as assistance to develop a robust administrative framework for the future management of EU NATURA 2000 sites. Also, management plans conforming to EU requirements will be prepared covering six potential NATURA 2000 protected areas. Planning and construction of infrastructure related to conservation measures and visitor facilities in the six sites also forms part of the project.
Finally, all phases of the project will be subject to extensive stakeholder consultation, awareness raising and dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot community. One of the approaches of the project is to explore and highlight the long-term economic benefits of nature conservation for the local communities.
Project title: Technical Assistance for management and protection of potential NATURA 2000 sites in the northern part of Cyprus
Grant: EC EuropAid /125695/C/SER/CY
Partners: The project is implemented by a Consortium consisting of NIRAS IC (leading company, Poland), NIRAS AS (Sweden), GOPA Consultants (Germany), OIKON d.o.o.(Croatia), and NEPCon (Denmark).
Sites covered by the project: Karpaz Park, Akdeniz Region, South Karpaz coastal area, Kyrenia Mountains, Tatli Su coastal area, and the Alagadi beaches.