The LIFE Oroklini project has been awarded as ‘Best LIFE project’ together with 27 other conservation projects funded by the EU. This award rewards the effort for the restoration of Oroklini Lake and also highlights the importance of protecting important areas for wildlife as well as the importance of funding programs such as LIFE.
Oroklini Lake is one of the 63 Natura 2000 sites in Cyprus, but as with many other sites, it suffered from degradation. Due to its importance for birds and biodiversity, and especially for two bird species, the Spur-winged Lapwing and the Black-winged Stilt that breed there, a coordinated effort began in 2012 funded by the EU LIFE program. The three-year project included targeted management actions, such as fencing around the wetland to reduce the disturbance to important bird species, water level management, creation of nesting islands for birds, etc. A crucial role in the successful realisation of this project played the implementing bodies, the Game and Fauna Service, BirdLife Cyprus, the Department of Forests, the Department of Environment and the Voroklini Community Council.
Today, thanks to this project, visitors of Oroklini Lake can enjoy the site’s wildlife from the two birdwatching hides that the project created. Visitors can also learn about this unique wetland and the species found here from the information material created by the project and is available at the site. Oroklini Lake attracts visitors every day, from experienced birdwatchers to small children who enjoy the sight of the lake’s birds.
The project was selected as one of the Best LIFE projects after a detailed evaluation process with key criteria. These criteria addressed the key issues of the projects’ contribution to environmental, economic and social improvements and their degree of innovation. The overall objective of the Best Projects exercise is to help improve the dissemination of LIFE project results by clearly identifying those projects whose results, if widely applied, could have the most positive impact on the environment.
The Award Ceremony will be held on 23 May 2018 in Brussels with High Representatives from the European Commission.
To celebrate this nomination in Cyprus, project partners will be organising a celebration event at Oroklini Lake on Saturday afternoon 26 May.The event will include birdwatching as well as fun educational activities for children. More details about the event can be found on www.birdlifecyprus.org.