Networking with institutions and public services of EU countries, which implement LIFE projects, is essential for improving the effectiveness of the projects. In this context, representatives of the University of Crete-Natural History Museum of Crete and the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature attended two networking meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus the period 15-17 February 2017.
The aim of this visit was the contact between the project teams of “LIFE Natura Themis” and “LIFE FORBIRDS” projects. The acquaintance with the nature of Cyprus and the most important habitats of the island, as well as, the exchange of views and experiences derived from the implementation of the two projects was shared between the meetings' participants.
In particular, the team of LIFE Natura Themis project held two meetings with the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment of Cyprus (Department of Forests), the Cyprian Ministry of Interior (Game and Fauna Service), the Cyprus Forest Association and the Frederick University.
The working meetings took place in the offices of the Department of Forests and in the Environmental Education Center of the National Forest Park Athalassa in Nicosia on 15 and 16 February 2017. On Thursday, 16 February a tour on the natural pond of Athalassa, located within the boundaries of the Forest Park, took place. On Friday, February 17, 2017, the members of the project team of the “LIFE Natura Themis” accompanied by the representatives of the project “LIFE FORBIRDS” made a guided tour in the protected areas of Koshi and Cape Greco (both are areas of the NATURA 2000 Network). In particular, the group visited two orchards-fields in Koshi and the small dam for the collection of water in Avdellero. The orchards have been established by the Department of Forests, aimed to act as shelters for the projects’ target species.
At the same day, the participants visited the protected area of Cape Greco, at the south-eastern edge of Cyprus. This area is very important for migratory birds that use Cyprus as a stopover for their annual migrations. Moreover, at the territory of Cape Greco, important priority habitats, such as seasonal ponds and Posidonia meadows, and typical habitats of the Mediterranean basin, such as submerged caves and phrygana, are found.
The communication between the two projects will remain open for the entire duration of their implementation, while it will focus on specific common actions either in Crete or Cyprus in the coming period.