June 5, 2022 INSIDER • GOAL • IN-CYPRUS • PROPERTY • CYPRUS-IS • CAREER LIKE • GOING OUT • XRYSES SYNTAGES • ACTIVE • PHILGROUP NEWS & nbsp; SOCIETY & nbsp; INSIDER & nbsp; OPINIONS & nbsp; GOING OUT & nbsp; CULTURE & nbsp; SPORTS & nbsp; AUTO & nbsp; GOOD LIFE & nbsp; USEFUL & nbsp; PRINTED EDITION & nbsp;
Next Previous Award of the LIFE-KEDROS project – Silent witness of centuries HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS • Award of the LIFE-KEDROS project – Silent witness of centuries
& nbsp & nbsp Άγγελος Νικολάου & nbsp; & nbsp;
In a competitive environment with projects of high ecological and environmental value, the network of partners from Cyprus proved the serious effort made in preserving unique elements of the natural heritage of our place.
The LIFE-KEDROS project claimed and achieved significant distinction at this year's Commission LIFE Awards. This is the only Cypriot participation that won an award and in fact as the best work LIFE (Best of the Best) in the Nature category. 116 LIFE projects, which were completed in 2021, claimed the European award. on Monday 30 May. The ceremony was of particular importance, as it coincides with the completion of 30 years since the implementation of the LIFE program, but also with the start of the European Green Week (EU Green Week), the largest environmental event in Europe. & Nbsp;
The selection of the LIFE-KEDROS project award, from a number of other projects implemented in various European countries with the sole purpose of nature protection, is a special honor for the network of project partners, who were: & nbsp;
1. The Department of Forests (contractor partner of the project) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.
& nbsp; 2. The Philodaski Association of Cyprus.
& nbsp; 3. Frederick University through the Conservation Unit.
The LIFE-KEDROS project, with the full title “Holistic management of priority 9590 habitat in the area of the Natura 2000 Network Cedar Valley-Plain” (LIFE15 NAT/CY/000850), aimed to ensure the medium and long-term conservation of the forest with species Cedrus brevifolia (cedar the short leaf). The project, with a implementation period from September 2016 until January 2021, had a total budget of € 1,342,000, of which € 920,000 (68.6% of the total eligible budget) was funded by the LIFE program. & Nbsp;
The short-leaved cedar is found in Cyprus and nowhere else in the world, forming a special type of habitat, whose ecological value has been recognized by the European Commission. The European Commission, following a proposal by the Republic of Cyprus, has included the habitat in Annex I of the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC), with the codename code 9590 Cedrus brevifolia (Cedrosetum brevifoliae), ie designating it as a habitat. habitat type for which conservation measures are to be taken.
Report by the father of botany
C. brevifolia has a special botanical value, as it is one of the four species of the cedar genus (Cedrus sp.) That are found today on our planet, and at the same time it is the species with the most limited geographical distribution of the other cedar species. The presence of cedar on the island is lost over the centuries, with the father of botany, Theophrastus (371 – 287 BC), to mention the presence of this species in Cyprus. The same author mentions a case where cedar wood from Cyprus (as clarified by Pliny, 23-79 AD) was used to build the warship of Demetrius the Besieger. The ecological value of the cedar forest is also supported by genetic studies which, among other things, showed that the species was separated from its relative Cedrus libani 6.56 (± 1.20) million years ago (Mya ), scientifically documenting the long presence of the species on the Troodos mountain peaks even before the development of civilization on the island. The cedar forest in Cyprus, spreads to the high peaks of the Paphos Forest at an altitude of 900 m – 1362 m, covering an area not exceeding 2.9 km2 (290 ha). At the limits of the distribution of the cedar forest, among other things, is housed a number of species of flora and fauna (eg wild, Cypriot snake, etc.), acting as a natural refuge and breeding ground for special and remarkable species of our place. & Nbsp;
& nbsp; Threats to cedar forests & nbsp;
The Department of Forests, as the department responsible for the protection and management of forests, together with the scientific community (Nature Conservation Unit) identified a number of parameters that could potentially affect the resilience and resilience of the cedar forest in Cyprus. Such parameters (pressures and threats) are nowadays:
Climate change which is expected to adversely affect a number of biological processes and the resilience of C. brevifolia. Climate change, combined with the limited range of the forest to the highest peak of the Paphos Forest, make the species prone to extinction due to climate change.
The competition that C. brevifolia individuals face at different stages of their development, both in nutrients and other abiotic resources (eg water, light) and in growth space, from other species of woody vegetation, such as species Pinus brutia (rough pine) and Quercus alnifolia (latzia).
The possible start and expansion of a forest fire, either due to human activity or natural causes (lightning), in the C. brevifolia forest, will work catastrophically, as the species is not distinguished by strong fire resistance and recovery mechanisms after a fire. & Nbsp;
The fragmentation of the C. brevifolia forest due to natural (environmental) processes but also due to human intervention, contributes to its discontinuous distribution in space, with the risk of extinction or change of biological characteristics of the species (eg genetic diversity ) be more pronounced in those parts that are small in extent and geographically isolated from the other parts of the C. brevifolia forest. & nbsp;
& nbsp; The pressures that the forest receives in terms of the abiotic component, such as the point presence of erosive phenomena, contribute to the loss of fertile soil that would contribute constructively to the establishment of new vegetation and regeneration of the species. At the same time, elements of the biotic component under special conditions can function negatively and lead to the effects of cedar tree infestations by pests. These infestations reduce the vitality of individuals of the species, while in extreme cases lead to their necrosis. Necrosis and loss of reproductive material (seeds) have a direct impact on the ecological balance of the habitat. the project contributed: & nbsp;
To support the resilience of the cedar forest, through targeted forestry interventions that cover 51% of the total area of cedar forest, creating favorable conditions for 10,034 cedars.
In the restoration of 12.31 hectares (ha) of 9590 habitat and the expansion of the forest to an area of 9.37 ha, contributing to the increase of the composition and connectivity of the cedar forest to a total area of 21.68 ha. This area corresponds to ~ 21% of the pure forest stands.
Implementing infrastructure for the prevention and non-expansion of forest fires in the cedar forest, with the construction of a fire lane, water tanks and information and warning points, benefiting more than 8504 ha directly connected to the 9590 habitat (~ 47% of the Natura area 2000).
Enhancing forest resilience, through the control of targeted life threats, such as pest population management, that affect the vitality of C. brevifolia individuals. For this purpose, the presence of natural predators of pests (insects and mice) at the borders of the cedar forest was enhanced, with the installation of artificial nests. The network of these nests, combined with their colonization by bat species, the Cypriot owl (Otus cyprius) and the hummingbird (Tyto alba), is estimated to have contributed to the hunting of ~ 9500 mice and 32 million insects throughout the project. Also, the practice of mass collection of targeted pest-eating organisms (Orthotomicus erosus) that secondarily infect C. brevifolia individuals, using pheromones, was applied. This method helped to reduce the population of harmful bark-eating insects in the places where it was applied, up to 98% in a period of three years.
& nbsp; In the strengthening of the abiotic component in the cedar forest, by the strengthening of the point corrosion resistance of the habitat, through the installation of dry stones with a total length of 176 m, and the installation of stone-filled cisterns of of cedars, actions that helped to prevent soil erosion, by reducing and retaining the amount of soil erosion, or even to improve soil conditions in mature C. brevifolia trees, in an area of more than 0.5 ha. & nbsp;
& nbsp; In ex situ conservation of the species with the creation of a new plantation in the Asbestos mine, in an area of 8.5 ha (equal to 8.5% of the natural pure stands of habitat 9590), with 6500 new plants C. brevifolia, and with the simultaneous storage of 200 kg of seeds of the species.
The network of project partners, in addition to its primary purpose project, set a series of sub-objectives, the implementation of which serves the sustainable conservation of the endemic cedar forest in Cyprus. Sub-objectives of the project were: & nbsp;
& nbsp; Minimizing the possibility of partial destruction or loss of the forest in the event of a forest fire. & Nbsp;
Enhancing the resilience and adaptability of the forest to climate change and competition from other species. & nbsp;
Enhancing the natural regeneration of cedar in the clusters that form the species. p> Restoration and expansion of the cedar forest of Cyprus within its area of distribution. & nbsp;
Implementation of specific measures for the ex situ conservation of the species C. brevifolia, through the creation of a plantation in the Asbestos Mine (Troodos National Forest Park) and the storage of seeds in the Genetic Material Bank of the Department of Forestry. & Nbsp;
Informing and sensitizing the scientific community and the public about the actions and results of the project.
Special honor & nbsp for Cyprus
The award of the LIFE-KEDROS project by the EU, in a highly competitive environment, reflects the scientific and technical perfection of the project in terms of fulfilling its objectives. At the same time, it highlights once again the scientific knowledge that exists in our country on issues of conservation and nature protection, as well as the possibilities of positive results from the cooperation of the academic community, environmental NGOs and relevant Government Departments for nature protection issues. This award rewards all the efforts of individuals and organizations that contributed from the writing of the proposal to the implementation of its actions. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
& nbsp; A.N.