Republic of Cyprus

Natura 2000

Natura 2000

The “Natura 2000” European Ecological Network is a wide European network of protected natural areas for species of flora, fauna, birds and habitats.

It is the cornerstone of EU policy for the protection of the environment and biodiversity and aims to protect and manage vulnerable species and habitats in all their natural area stretching across Europe, regardless of the national or political boundaries.

It is based on the full and effective implementation and enforcement of Directive 1992/43/EC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and Directive 2009/147/EC on the Protection of Wild Birds.

The Natura 2000 Network in Cyprus

Within the framework of the implementation of the above Directives, many areas of Cyprus have joined this network for their protection and conservation. Until now, a total of 40 Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and 30 Special Protection Areas (SPA) have been identified. In addition, 39 management plans have been prepared, including measures and actions for the conservation of natural habitats, species and the habitats of species. The Management Plan for the Akamas area is under preparation.

After finalizing the list of SCI, Member States are obliged to declare these areas as special areas of conservation (SAC), the latest within six years from finalization and to determine priorities, to maintain a satisfactory state of habitat types and species of Community interest therein. The List of Sites of Community Importance, Maps, Standardised Data Forms (SDF), Management Plans, as well as the relevant decrees per Network area can be found here

In the context of area management, all network areas are monitored and supervised and the procedures to determine SCI as SPA and the issuance of Decrees are well underway. When these procedures are completed, the legal framework of each management area will be completed as well.

The Natura 2000 network does not prohibit any activities, within its boundaries, being governed by the philosophy that man must coexist with nature. However, projects and activities with expected negative impacts on rare species and habitats, must be avoided in these areas to ensure satisfactory conservation status.

During the examination procedure of works or projects that fall within or adjacent to or affect areas of the Natura 2000 network, the impact of such works or projects is appropriately evaluated and an assessment is made regarding the effect on species and habitats of the area, towards their conservation. The Department of the Environment is following an informal procedure of appropriate assessment for both small projects and projects for which it is required to submit a Specialized Assessment Study.

Funding of actions in Natura 2000 areas

In recent years, several scientific research and management projects have been carried out on different species and habitats through the funding of the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (RPF), or through other Community and national funding mechanisms. Also, the various measures promoted through the Rural Development Programme are particularly important for the funding of low-intensity rural activities, which are by nature environment friendly. The Department of Environment has included in its budget an allocation for projects in the areas of the Natura 2000 Network (e.g. nature trails) and for the implementation of provisions/ actions/projects mentioned in the Area Management Plans.

An important instrument for funding Network area conservation and management activities is the LIFE programme of the European Commission.

European Structural and Investment Funds

The use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) is a cornerstone of the management of the Natura 2000 network, for the planning and implementation of measures and actions based on the provisions of the Nature Directives (92/43/EEC και 2009/147/EC). The contribution of the Community Funding 2014-2020 for nature protection has been significantly revised to ensure sufficient resources for nature-related projects.

Five of the major funds that can be used to find the resources for nature protection are the:

    - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - regional and urban development

    - European Social Fund (ESF) - social inclusion and good governance

    - Cohesion Fund (CF) - economic convergence of the less developed regions

    - European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

    - European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

For this programming period, funding priorities will be based on the Prioritize Action Framework and will aim to protect and restore biodiversity (habitats and species of the Natura 2000 network), as well as the evaluation and promotion of ecosystem services through green infrastructures.

The provision of financial resources and their mobility in the 2014-2020 period enables the management of Natura 2000 network sites and is part of the wider land management policies in the European Community, for example agriculture falls under the financial support of the common agricultural policy and is also part of rural and regional development policies.

Useful Links:

European Commision Natura 2000 website

Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development

For further information you can contact:

Mrs Elena Stylianopoulou, Tel: 22408929,

Mrs Despo Zavrou, Tel:22408912,

Mrs Marina Xenophontos, Tel:22408917,

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Last Modified at: 16/09/2021 02:58:35 PM
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