BirdLife Cyprus and its contract partner, consultants IACO Environmental, have entered the second and final round of consultations with local communities over management plans for NATURA 2000 sites for birds. In total, 30 village meetings will take place across all districts over the 5 months from February to June 2016. The discussions aim at engaging local residents in the drawing up of management plans for the 30 Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated for birds across Cyprus, a major project BirdLife Cyprus and IACO are tasked to complete before the end of this year.
The first round of 20 community visits under project took place in late 2014 and early 2015, with the aim being to inform local residents of the objectives of the project and get their first feedback. For the ‘round 2’ meetings, the aim is to get feedback on the draft SPA management plans drawn up by BirdLife Cyprus and IACO.
The first of the ‘round 2’ meetings took place at Oroklini on 16 February 2016 and proved to be a lively and worthwhile discussion, despite the negative reactions of some landowners who feel their land is affected by the NATURA 2000 status. As always, BirdLife Cyprus and IACO sought to emphasize the advantages that NATURA 2000 designation can bring, provided an alternative and more sustainable development model is adopted.
All this is part of the 3-year contract with the Ministry of the Interior’s Game & Fauna Service for the ‘Preparation of Conservation Objectives and Management Plans for SPAs designated by Cyprus under the Birds Directive (2009/147/ΕΚ)’ – a tender BirdLife Cyprus won jointly with I.A.CO Environmental & Water Consultants Ltd.