Client: Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment – Environment Department
The main objectives of the project were the following:
- Elaboration of a National Action Plan to combat desertification based on the obligations that arise from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and all the relevant national legislation.
- Identification of Environmentally Sensitive Areas threatened by desertification in Cyprus
- Elaboration of a Programme of Measures to combat desertification
- Public awareness and consultation
The tasks that were successfully completed and the services that were provided were:
- Detailed analysis of the obligations that arise from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and all the relevant national legislation that need to be incorporated in the National Action Plan for Cyprus
- Identification of the factors and processes that contribute to desertification with particular reference to the conditions of Cyprus. The main factors were climate, topography, vegetation, geology, soil, hydrology and anthropogenic impacts. The main processes that were analysed were erosion, reduced rainfall in recent years, non sustainable irrigation methods, chemical pollution, etc.
- Based on the current situation and the possible trends, future predictions for the desertification were elaborated under various scenarios.
- Identification of Environmentally Sensitive Areas threatened by desertification through a multivariate approach using specialised software, the D-Tool that was developed in-house for the project needs. The D – Tool is a very useful tool for the assessment and evaluation of each area in Cyprus in respect to its risk to desertification, and it also helps to the prioritization, implementation and evaluation of relevant measures.
- Elaboration of the National Action Plan to combat desertification, which included a) Identification of Environmentally Sensitive Areas threatened by desertification, b) Evaluation of current policies and measures, including policies in other relevant aspects such as Rural Development Plan, Water Policy, Forest Action Plan, CAMP, etc., c) Assessment of the need for further more efficient institutional arrangements and procedures and d) National strategy to prevent and combat desertification and promote sustainable land use and water resources management.
- Identification and proposal of concrete and practical measures necessary for the prevention and combating of desertification and mitigation of the effects of drought
- Prescription of the role of the State, local government and land users
- Assessment of the required resources (financial, institutional and technical) to implement the national Action Plan and the Programme of Measures.