Republic of Cyprus
Department of Forests

Sustainable Forest Management

Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management

The Department of Forests has formulated and adopted a set of Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable Management of Forests in Cyprus, based on the Improved Pan-European Criteria and Indicators, as they were finalised and adopted by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe in 2002. The Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable Management of Forests in Cyprus (L079) which were published in 2006, analyse the state of Cyprus forests for the period 1993 – 2003, setting the basis for a quantitative and qualitative assessment of Cyprus forests and their management, as well as for the monitoring of future changes.

Forest Inventories
The purpose of the inventory is the collection of all the necessary data (raw data) on forests, aiming at the rational design of forest management as well as monitoring the dynamic development of stands.

In 2013, Management and Computerization Sector of the Department of Forests, presented the results of the fourth Forest Inventory (2011 – 2012). Inventory covered Productive Forests, Non Productive Forests and Reforestations.

Climate Change and Forests
According to the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the term of climate change means «a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity» differentiating the term by climate variability due to natural causes.

Recently, at the 21st Meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC - COP21), an agreement (the Paris Agreement) was reached, which culminated in a series of efforts by the global community to tackle climate change effectively.

The Republic of Cyprus ratified the Paris Agreement on 9 December 2016, while internationally entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Cyprus Forests unfortunately could not remain uninfluenced by Climate Change and other Changes. In particular, the period 2005 – 2008 was affected by prolonged droughts, resulting on Cyprus forests ecosystems been intensively stress due to lack of soil moisture, high temperature and high competition between forest species.

The Department of Forests adopts and applies mostly repeated actions which are designed to adapt on forest stands (natural and artificial) to climate change. Also the object of these actions is the reduction of emissions and increase the absorption of greenhouse gases. These actions can be grouped into three main areas as listed in the Statement of Forest Policy:
• Protecting forests against forest fires
• Adaptation of forests to climate change and enhancing the contribution of forests in addressing climate change and improvement of main forests and forested areas
• Improvement and expansion of forests.
Such measures are:
• Protection of forests from illegal logging: With the implementation of Law 139 (I) / 2013 is controlled most the available firewood locally and criminal penalties for any illegal or uncontrolled logging and / or disposal of the local timber market without authorization
• Reforestation of Amiantos Mine as well as restoration of abandoned mines in cooperation with the Competent Authority (the Mines Service)
• Protection of forests and enhancement of their structure and resistance to climate change through the Rural Development Program 2014 – 2020.
• Production in forest nurseries resistant to drought plants and trees (eg Olea europea, Ceratonia siliqua, Pistacia lentiscus) to be used in afforestation or reforestation.
• Participation of the Department of Forests in co-funded projects (eg Life Kedros), aiming to develop management tools (management rules) aimed at protecting, preserving and further upgrading protected forest habitats.

In particular, on the Rural Development Program, a number of activities and actions have been integrated under Measure 8 (Investments in forest area development and improvement of the viability of forests). The Action 8.5.3 includes thinning operations in thick stands created by afforestation / reforestation, with the purpose of:

Improving the structure of forests created by afforestation or/and reforestation operations. Furthermore, they will help in the adaptation of forest stands in climate change as well as contribute to the adaptation of forest stands to climate change, the reduction of emissions and increase the absorption of greenhouse gases.

The implementation of targeted thinnings is expected to improve stability and resistance capacity to other disturbances, such as drought, increase in average temperatures and prolonged heat waves (as a result of climate change).

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