Cape Greco is not only the most spectacular area of the east coast of Cyprus, it is also known for its rich biodiversity as it is home to unique flora and fauna species. It is no wonder then that the area is designated a Natura 2000 site, both for the value of its habitats and species and also for its importance to birds. Moreover, its marine area is also designated as a Natura 2000 because of the presence of important marine habitats, such as the Poseidonia seagrass.
Despite its beauty and ecological value however, the area faces a number of serious threats. Among them is a series of races taking place within the Natura 2000 area. The last example was an Enduro race (see video footage below), which took place on 4 March 2018. As soon as we were informed about the race, we contacted the Authorities to enquire whether the necessary Appropriate Assessment - as the law foresees, took place which would show whether this activity would have any negative and irreversible impacts to the protected habitats and species of the area. Our greatest concern was the fact that the race was taking place within the breeding season, and this meant that the breeding success ofour two endemic species who breed in the area, the Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear, and for which the area is designated as protected, could be negatively affected. With great disappointment we found out that, the Department of Forests provided the organizers with a permit without undertaking the necessary and lawful Appropriate Assessment study.