The Common Agricultural Policy, in the 27 Member - States of the European Union, is based on two pillars, as below:
- Direct payments to farmers and the Single Common Market Organisation.
The policy of Rural Development is fully in line with the strategy, Europe 2020, placing the emphasis on climate change, the environment and innovation. The three main objectives of the common agricultural policy are:
- Rural Development.
- The sustainable production of food
The Rural Development Programme, renewed every seven (7) years, with predefined objects, actions, expectations and objectives, with vision and perspective, always for improving the quality of life in the countryside.
- the sustainable management of natural resources
- the balanced development of rural areas
The previous programme was ‘Plan for Rural Development, 2000-2006’. As of the date of admission to the European Union – January1st, 2004 – we had take advantage of this programme, only in the last three (3) years of the period, known as we have called it, 'Rural Development Plan, 2004-06'.
The programme that we are in now is the 'Rural Development Programme 2007-2013’. The objects of this Action Programme are classified into four(4) Priority Axes and Technical Support and they are categorized in Measures, which divided into Schemes or Actions, depending on the object.
The Department of Forests is one of the Delegated Bodies of the Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation (CAPO), contributing to the implementation of the Rural Development Programme. For this purpose, the Department of Forests, established the ‘Unit for Implementing Rural Development Programme (UIRDP), of the Department of Forests. The Unit is set up by the Head, two (2) Officers of the Administrative Control and three (3) Officers of the Implementing Unit per Forest Division. Three(3) for Lefkosia / Larnaca / Ammochostos Forest Division, three (3) for Troodos Forest Division and for the Forestry College with its wider region and three (3) for Pafos Forest Division. All Unit Personnel, is twelve (12) Officers.
The Department of Forests – as a Delegated Body of CAPO - is responsible for the execution of three (3) Measures of the Rural Development Programme, 2007-2013, which are sorted in priority axis 2: ‘Improving the environment and the countryside’.
These three Measures are:
(a) Measure 2.4: ‘Forestations’
Scheme: 2.4.1 'Afforestation of agricultural land'
(b) Measure 2.5: 'protection of forests from fires and reforestation of burnt areas’
Scheme: 2.4.2 ‘Installation of agricultural - forest systems’
Scheme: 2.4.3 'Afforestation of non-agricultural land‘
The Measure includes the following two actions:-
1. Protection from fires
(c) Measure 2.6: ‘preserving and improving the social and ecological role of forests’
2. Reforestation of burnt areas
Scheme: 2.6.1 ‘Non–productive investments’
All forestry Measures released by two times, except of Schemes: 2.6.2 ‘Forest-environmental payments’, and 2.6.3 ‘Forest–environmental payments, in Nature 2000’ of Measure 2.6, which released only once.
Scheme: 2.6.2 ‘Forest-environmental payments'
Scheme: 2.6.3 ‘Forest– environmental payments in Nature 2000'
The Measure 2.4: ‘Forestations’, addressed primarily to the farmers of the country, with the aim of providing financial benefit for the use of inefficient or abandoned agricultural crops and convert them to forest, with the establishment of forest trees and to protect existing agricultural crops.
In the two Releases were submitted a total of 72 requests. For Scheme: 2.4.1: ‘Afforestation of agricultural land’ and 2.4.3: 'Afforestation of non-agricultural land’. For 2.4.2: ‘Installation of agricultural-forest systems’, there was no interest from farmers. After the necessary checks, were adopted and have been implemented or will be implemented in total, 39 investments. The Afforestations will help to improve the environment and landscape of the countryside and it is expected to contribute to the increase in forest area of Cyprus, but at the same time, the implementation of these Schemes contribute to the ensuring of financial benefit and therefore, to the raising of the living standard of our people.
Measure 2.5: ‘protection of forests from fires and reforestation of burnt areas’, has as main purpose of improving the existing system of protection of forests and other forest land, from fires, according to the Forest Fire Protection Plan, as well as the restoration of burnt areas. In the two Releases of the Measure were submitted a total of 166 requests, from which were adopted and have been implemented or will be implemented 108 investments for both actions.
The first action, ‘protection of forests from fires’
The applicants / investors in this action, were interested and financed for the below:
(a) The construction / installation of fire protection infrastructure in various forest areas, in both, State and private forests. The main projects implemented, were in construction and maintenance of fire-traces, construction of roads, building of water-tanks, installation of hydrants / sluice-valves and several fire safety- systems in busy places, such as picnic and camping sites, but also along roads in forest areas, such as in villages, Moniatis and Foini. Important was the interest for cultivation of fields that they are tangent or near the forest or other forest land and implementation of forestry measures, to reduce the risk of explosion and fire extension and thereby contribute to the effective protection of the forest and other forest- land.
(b) Development and improvement of estates, fixed fire detection instruments and other communication equipment, such as construction and improvement of Fire Look Out Stations and observation posts, installation of automatic fire detection system on the peninsula of Akamas, but also development and improvement of the existing telecommunications system of the Department of Forests, with the purchase of radiotelephone, photovoltaic and telephone systems, transmitters etc, which help the direct communication for protection of forests, and not only.
The Second Action, ‘Restoration / reforestation of burnt areas’
The applicants / investors in this action, interested and were financed for the below:-Restoration / afforestation of burnt areas. The financial benefit, covers the reforestation, installation of stem-bindings, stem-blocks, and stone-filling of wire-boxes (Gabions), as well as care/maintenance of reforestation for three years after completion of reforestation, which has a duration of two years. Many of these projects have been implemented in the burnt area of Saϊttas, after the disastrous fire of June, 2007 and contributed effectively to the restoration of the burnt region. Forests of Cyprus may have low productivity in wood, but they offer other valuable goods and services, although it is difficult to evaluate in financial terms, but they are important elements of the economy and prosperity of our people.
Measure 2.6 'Maintenance and improvement of the social and ecological role of forests'
The Scheme: 2.6.1 'Non-productive investments', has as a basic objective, the preservation and improvement of the social role of forests. It is attempting to be satisfied the need of the whole population of Cyprus, rural and urban, for the possible better recreation in forests, with the ulterior aim of physical, mental and psychological health of our people and visitors of Cyprus. The need for better organisation of forest recreation, relies primarily by the requirement to protect the forest from any damage that may caused from the unorganized wandering in the forests. In addition, contributes the following:-
- Improving knowledge and experiences offered to the public, information, education and training, around forestry and environmental issues, with a view to raising awareness on protection of forests and the environment in General.
To achieve the above, through the two Releases of the Rural Development Programme, have been implemented or will be implemented various projects, in all areas of free Cyprus. Indicating, we will finance three Environmental Centers and a Museum with forest exhibits. The three Environmental Centers, cover almost all the free areas of the island. The Environmental Center in Skarinou, implemented by ‘Larnaca District Development Agency’ and operated recently. Environmental Center in Episkopi at Pafos, is implementing by Community Council of Episkopi Pafou. The Environmental Center at Cavo Greco, is expected to be implemented by the Department of Forests. The Museum, with forest exhibits, at Kampos Tsakkistras, is implementing by the Community Council of Kampos Tsakkistras.
- Increasing the capacity of the picnic and camping sites.
- Improving of services to the picnic and camping sites.
- Improving and extension of the network of nature trails.
- Increasing the number of viewpoints.
Also funded several projects, like as:
- Creation of new and upgrade existing picnic and camping sites
The Scheme: 2.6.2 'Forest-environmental payments', has as a basic purpose, the strengthening of the ecological and protective role of forests, in areas outside the network Nature 2000.
- Creation of new and upgrade existing nature trails
- Increase of viewpoints
- Highlighting of monuments of forestry heritage, reforming and beautifying traditional springs and bridges
The applicants / investors - who are forest owners - receive financial benefit for loss of income, after the commitments undertaken by concluding and signing a Contract / Agreement, with the Director of the Department of Forests, in order to be achieved the above purpose.
The Scheme: 2.6.3 'Forest-environmental payments, Nature 2000' has as a basic purpose, the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and ecological role of forests with the preservation and improvement of high-value forest ecosystems.
The applicants / investors - who are forest owners - in the areas of Nature Network 2000, receive financial benefit for loss of income, after the commitments undertaken by concluding and signing a Contract / Agreement, with the Director of the Department of Forests, in order to be achieved the above purpose.
Preparing a New Rural Development Programme
At the same time, with the implementation of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 ", that we are already at the end of it, it is also preparing the new one ‘Rural Development Programme 2014-2020', by the competent bodies of the Cyprian State, which are:
(a) The managing Authority of the Rural Development Programme, of the Department of Agriculture, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment (MANRE)
(b) Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation (CAPO)
(c) Department of Forests, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment (MANRE)
Implementing Unit Offices-Telephone
|Head of Implementing Unit ||Department Of Forests |
Louki Akrita 26
|Branch Administrative Control||Forest Office Lemesos|
Koroivou 3112 Lemesos
|Athalassa||Forest Division Of Lefkosia/|
Louki Akrita 26
|Larnaca||Forest Office Rizoelia|
Acropolis 11A Avenue,
|Lemesos||Forest Office Lemesos|
Koroivou 3112 Lemesos
|Platania||Forest Division of Troodos |
|Pafos||Forest Office Geroskipou|
|Stavros Psokas||Forest Division of Pafos|
8804 Stavros Psokas
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