The aim of this project was to 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 was part of the region’s long-term preparation for inclusion into the European Community.
The project involved capacity building, management planning for six sites, development of infrastructure related to nature conservation, and stakeholder communication. The project included comprehensive institutional capacity building, including training of relevant governmental and decentralised 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 was 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 formed part of the project.
Finally, all phases of the project were subject to extensive stakeholder consultation, awareness raising and dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot community. One of the approaches of the project was to explore and highlight the long-term economic benefits of nature conservation for the local communities.
Sites that were covered by the project were: Karpaz Park, Akdeniz Region, South Karpaz coastal area, Kyrenia Mountains, Tatli Su coastal area, and the Alagadi beaches.
Results and impact
The project delivered comprehensive institutional capacity building, including training of relevant governmental and decentralised staff as well as assistance to development a robust administrative framework for the future management of EU NATURA 2000 sites.
Furthermore, the project prepared management plans conforming to EU requirements covering the six potential NATURA 2000 protected areas.