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Rural Development Plan


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Introduction


With the accession of Cyprus to the “European Union” (EU), from 1st May, 2004 as a full member, new rights are starting, but also new obligations, for our State - the Republic of Cyprus - and to all physical and legal persons belonging thereto.
One of these rights is, our participation in the Rural Development Programme, which aims to improve the living standards of our people, by funding in common, European Union (community resources) and Republic of Cyprus (national resources), with percentages, (formerly), 50% - 50% and (now, the last two years), 85% - 15%, respectively, several related projects, aiming at achieving the following decisive objectives.

    - Improving the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry by supporting their restructuring,
    - Improving the environment and in particular the countryside, by supporting land-planning management,
    - Improving the quality of life in rural areas, by encouraging and supporting the diversification of economic activities in the people who live in rural areas.
Cooperating Authorities-Rural Development Staff Structure

For the Organization, preparation, planning, execution and payment to different applicants/investors of projects for rural development programme are cooperating the three authorities below.

(a) Managing Authority of Rural Development Programme (M.A.R.D.P.) which, until November 30, 2014 was composed by officers of the Department of Agriculture, chaired by the Director of the Department. Until the completion of the Rural Development Plan 2004-2006 and of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, the Department of Agriculture will have relationship, responsibility and talk on the object, in cooperation with the new composition of Managing Authority of Rural Development Programme (M.A.R.D.P.)
From1st December, 2014, as regards the new rural development programme 2014-2020, the managing authority of rural development programme directly subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, chaired by the Director General of the Ministry and, Chief, senior officer of the Ministry.
For the management and distribution of these communal and national resources, competency has the independent organization (b) Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation (CAPO). However, for faster and better results (management, execution and control of certain specialized works), the CAPO commissioned-by written agreement-certain competencies, in seven (7) Delegated Bodies, namely, Partners of CAPO (Ministries, departments and services).
One of these Delegated Bodies is the (c) Department of forests, which-for the realization of that competency-founded, organized and staffed, since 2004 the Rural Development Programme Implementation Unit (R.D.P.I.U.), of the Department of Forests, composed, by two (2) full-time Officers and nine (9) part-time Officers on the object.

Below is listed a table with the structure and telephones of the Rural Development Programme Implementation Unit (R.D.P.I.U.), of the Department of Forests.

Objectives of rural development

The common agricultural policy in the 28 Member States of the European Union is based on two Pillars as below:-
-Direct payments to farmers and the single Common market organisation,
-Rural Development.

The policy of rural development is fully in line with the strategy Europe 2020, with an emphasis on climate change, the environment and innovation. The three main objectives of the common agricultural policy are:-
-Sustainable food production,
-the sustainable management of natural resources,
-the balanced development of rural areas.

The rural development programme, renewed every seven (7) years, with predefined objects, actions, aims and expectations, with vision and perspective, always improving the quality of life in the countryside.

Participations in the rural development programme

So far, the Republic of Cyprus participated in two Programmes under rural development:-

(A) RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2004-2006

It was the remaining period of the current Rural Development Plan 2000-2006, since it’s known that the Republic of Cyprus became a full member of the European Union, the1st May, 2004.
This plan included four (4) Measures as below:-

Measure 2.4: “Afforestation of Agricultural Land”,

Measure 3.1: “Protection of forests from fires and natural disasters and
reforestation of burnt areas”,
Measure 3.2: “Afforestation of non-agricultural land and investment
maintaining and improvement of the economic, ecological
and social role of forests”,
Measure 3.3: “Improving the harvesting, processing and marketing of
forestry products”.

For the entire rural development plan 2004-2006, spent a sum of approximately €6.75 million.

(B) RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2007-2013

This program included three (3) Measures as below, subdivided into Schemes or Actions.

(a) Measure 2.4: "Afforestation"
Scheme 2.4.1: “afforestation of agricultural land”
Scheme 2.4.2: “establishment of agro forestry systems”,
Scheme 2.4.3: “afforestation of non-agricultural land”.



(b) Measure 2.5: “Restoring forestry potential and introducing prevention
actions”
The Measure included the following two Actions:-
1. Prevent fires
2. Reforestation of burnt areas.

(c) Measure 2.6: “Maintenance and improvement of the social and ecological
role of forests”
Scheme 2.6.1 “Non productive investments”,
Scheme 2.6.2 “Forest-environment payments”
Scheme 2.6.3 “Forest-environment payments in NATURA 2000 areas”

The Measure 2.4: "Afforestation", addressed primarily to the farmers of the region, with the aim of providing financial support for the utilization of inefficient or abandoned agricultural crops and converting them into the forest, with the installation of forest trees and protects existing agricultural crops.
Such afforestation, contribute to improving the environment and the rural landscape and certainly contributed to the increase in forest area of Cyprus, but at the same time, the implementation of these schemes, helped to secure income and hence, in raising the standard of living of our people.

Measure 2.5: “Protection of forests from fires and reforestation of burnt areas” , had as main aim, improving the existing system of protection of forests and other wooded land, by the fires, according to the fire protection plan of forests, as well as the rehabilitation of burnt areas.

First action, “Protection of forests from fires”

Applicants/investors, in this action, interested and funded for the following:-

(a) The construction and installation of fire protection infrastructure in various forest areas, both in Government and in private forests. The main projects implemented, were, construction and maintenance of fire traces, opening up of forest roads, construction of water deposits, installation of hydrants/valves and several fire protection systems in busy places, such as picnic and camping sites, but also along roads in forest areas. Important was the interest in cultivating fields touching or adjacent to forest or other wooded areas and implementation of forestry measures, to reduce the risk of explosion and fire extension and hence, contribute to effective protection of the forest and other wooded land.
b) Development and improvement of premises, fixed fire detection instruments and other equipment, such as communications, construction and improvement of fire lookout stations, observation posts, installation of automatic fire detection system in the Akamas Peninsula, as well as the development and improvement of the existing telecommunications system of the Forestry Department, by purchasing radiotelephones, photovoltaic systems and telephone systems, repeaters, etc., which help direct communication for forest protection and not only.

Second Action, “Restoration/reforestation of burnt areas”

Applicants/investors, in this action, interested and funded for the following:-
Restoration/reforestation of burnt areas. Financial aid covered the Reforestation, establishment of stem ties, stem blocks and stone full gabions, as well as care/maintenance of reforestation for three years after the completion of reforestation, which lasted two years. Several of these projects have been implemented in the area of “Saittas”, after the disastrous fire of June, 2007 and have contributed effectively to the restoration of the burnt region. The forests of Cyprus may have low productivity in wood, however, offer other valuable goods and services, although hardly valued in economic terms, which are important benefits about the economy and the prosperity of our people.

Measure 2.6 "Maintenance and improvement of the social and ecological role of forests”.

“Scheme 2.6.1 “Non-productive investments”, had as main objective, the maintenance and improvement of the social role of forests. An attempt was made to meet the need of the whole population of Cyprus, rural and urban, for the best possible recreation in forests, with the aim of physical, spiritual and mental health of our people and guests of Cyprus. The need for better organization of forest recreation relies primarily by the requirement to protect the forest itself from any damage that may occur from the unorganized tourists wandering in the forests. In addition, it contributes to the following:-

To improve knowledge and experiences offered to the public, information, education and training, around forest and environmental issues, with a view to raising awareness on protection of forests and the environment in General.
To increase the capacity of picnic and camping sites, in the improvement of services for picnic and camping areas, to improve and expand the network of nature trails and to increase the number of viewpoints.
Various projects have been implemented in all areas of Cyprus. Indicatively, funded three environmental centers and a Museum with forest exhibits. The three environmental centers cover nearly all the free areas of the island. The Environmental Center in Skarinou, implemented by the Larnaca district development agency. The Environmental Center in Episkopi of Pafos was implemented by the Community Council of Episkopi, Pafos. The Environmental Center at Cavo Greco, implemented by the Forest Department. The Museum with forest exhibits in the region of Kampos Tsakistras, implemented by the Community Council of Kampos Tsakistras.
They have also funded several projects to: - establish new and upgrade existing picnic and camping sites, establish new and upgrade existing nature trails, viewpoints and highlighting forest heritage, with the renovation and landscaping of traditional taps and bridges.
The Scheme 2.6.2 “environment payments", had as its main purpose the strengthening of protective and ecological role of forests in areas outside the network NATURA 2000.
Applicants/investors-who are forest owners-they got financial aid for loss of income due to the commitments undertaken by concluding and signing a contract/agreement with the Director of the Department of forests, in order to achieve the above purpose.
The Scheme 2.6.3NATURA 2000 payments” had as its main purpose, the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and the ecological role of forests with the preservation and enhancement of high-value forest ecosystems.
Applicants/investors-who are forest owners in areas of the network NATURA 2000, received financial aid for loss of income suffered as a result of commitments made, concluding and signing a contract/agreement with the Director of the Department of forests, in order to achieve the above purpose.

For the whole of the rural development programme 2007-2013, spent a sum of approximately €11.37 million.

(C) RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2014-2020

The rural development programme 2014-2020, prepared by the three aforementioned partner competent authorities and approved by the European Commission, on 3 December, 2015.
The total amount available for the Measure 8, deriving both from the communal and from national resources, 53% + 47% respectively, amounts to €6.5 million.
The Forest Department–as Delegated Body of CAPO-is responsible for the implementation of Measure 8, “Investing in the development of forest areas and improving the sustainability of forests” of rural development programme 2014-2020.
Measure 8 includes four (4) Schemes as below:-

Scheme 8.1: “Afforestation and woodland creation”,

Scheme 8.3: “Prevent damage to forests due to forest fires, natural disasters and
catastrophic events”,

Scheme 8.4: “Repairing damage to forests due to forest fires, natural disasters
and catastrophic events”,

Scheme 8.5: “Investments that improve durability and environmental value of forest
ecosystems”.

The Scheme 8.5 includes three (3) Actions as below:-

(a) 8.5.1 “Investments to improve the value of forests as public goods ",

(b) 8.5.2 “Actions and projects for the conservation and enhancement of
biodiversity in forests”,

(c) 8.5.3 "Dilutions in dense clusters woodlands/reforestation to improve
resistance of forests”.

Releases of Measure 8 of Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Preliminary, it is expected the first Release in March 2016, for the schemes 8.1 and 8.3. The second Release in April 2016, for the scheme 8.5. The third Release in November 2016, for the scheme 8.4.

Applications will be made on pre-printed forms and for any other relevant information, interested applicants/investors should contact phones shown below, depending on the location of the requested investment.


Offices of Implementing Unit of the Rural Development Programme,
of Forest Department - communication telephones

Office/officer
Address
Tel. Communication
Chief of the Implementation Unit (R.D.P.I.U.)Department of Forests
26 Louki Akrita
1414 Lefkosia
22 403712
Branch Board of ControlForest office Lemesos
Koroivou 3112 Lemesos
25 872053
AthalassaLefkosia/ Larnaca/Ammochostos Forest Division
26 Louki Akrita
1414 Lefkosia
22 403739
22 403746
LarnacaRizoelia Forest office
Acropolis 11A Avenue,
7101 Aradippou
24 304655
Lemesos (Troodos Forest Division)
Forest Office Lemesos
Koroivou 3112 Lemesos
25 872305
25 872306
25 952120
PafosForest office Geroskipou
2 Ploutonos 1
8201 Geroskipou
26 804607
26 306266
Stavros PsokasPafos Forest Division
8804 Stavros Psokas
26 991860

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