Α  Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans
Β Purchase/lease of land and/or compensation payments for use rights
C Concrete conservation actions
D Monitoring of the impact of the project actions
Ε Public awareness and dissemination of results
F Overall project operation and monitoring of the project progress


Α  Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans

Α.1: Detailed mapping of the distribution of the targeted habitat types and the locations where conservation activities take place
The first preparatory Action focuses on the mapping of:
1. The exact boundaries of the targeted habitat types *1520 and *5220 within Rizoelia National Forest Park.
2. The presence, density and trends of invasive alien plant taxa and the identification of locations where clearings will take place.
3. The identification of possible suitable locations regarding conservation actions (Actions C.3 and C.6) of the two targeted habitat types.
The precise mapping of the aforementioned elements will be carried out during fieldwork using GIS devices and the collected data will be processed using GIS software. Photographs will also be taken for documentation purposes. Both map and photographs will serve to assess any changes in the environment of the targeted habitat types.
The action will be implemented during September 2013 - June 2014.
Expected results:
  • One high resolution (1:500) color map.
  • Updating of the existing Standard Data Form (SDF) of the targeted Natura 2000 site "CY6000006 - Ethniko Dasiko Parko Rizoelias" (Rizoelia National Forest Park).

Α.2: Composition and structure of the priority habitat type *1520
The purpose of this action is to determine and describe the current composition and structure of the habitat type *1520 within the targeted site.
Within the framework of this action reference plots will be established, in order to collect important information on:
1. The basic environmental (e.g. slope, aspect, gradient, elevation, etc.) and biotic (e.g. vegetation cover) parameters of the targeted habitat type *1520.
2. The population size of the two keystone species of the habitat type *1520 (Gypsophila linearifolia και Campanula fastigiata) and any other important species that are found at the habitat type *1520.
3. The geological substrate.
4. The threats affecting the targeted habitat type.
The action will be implemented during March - June 2014.
Expected results:
  • A report on population structure of the priority habitat type *1520.

Α.3: Preparation of Monitoring Plans
The aim of this action is to develop integrated plans for the monitoring of the targeted habitat types (*1520 and *5220) within Rizoelia National Forest Park, in order to assess their conservation status.
The Monitoring Plans refer to:
1. The development of specific monitoring objectives.
2. The selection of the proper qualitative and quantitative variables and methods.
3. The site quality assessment, based on the evaluation of the targeted habitats including the relevant ecological conditions.
The Monitoring Plans will be critically reviewed and approved by project's Scientific Committee, the Department of Forests (Coordinating Beneficiary) and the Department of Environment.
The action will take place in September 2013 - October 2014.
Expected results:
  • Two Monitoring Plans (one for each targeted habitat type).

Α.4: Preparation of Management Plans
The aim of this Action is to develop complete and integrated Management Plans comprising of in situ and ex situ conservation measures for each targeted habitat type. The Management Plans take into account the information gathered during the project's actions A.1 - A.3 and especially the data about the habitat, the distribution and the assessment of the threats for each targeted habitat type.
The Management Plans will consist of two sections, the Descriptive Part and the Prescriptive Part, which are described below:
1.  The Descriptive Part will focus on the description of the existing status in the site (e.g. ownership, abiotic and biotic factors, management, land users, threats, etc.).
2. The Prescriptive Part will describe the actions foreseen in the Plan and the activities to be carried out in the following stages of the project. The methodology and the timeframe for carrying out these activities will be precisely defined. Finally, it will enable periodic reviews of the Management Plan, according to the results of the management measures.
The Management Plans will be critically reviewed and approved by project's Scientific Committee, the Department of Forests (Coordinating Beneficiary) and the Department of Environment.
The action will be concluded in October 2014.
Expected results:
  • Two Management Plans (one for each habitat type).

Α.5: Preparation of Action Plans for the enhancement of the targeted habitat types
The action foresees the preparation of two Action Plans (one for each targeted habitat type) which will constitute guiding tools for the enhancement of these habitat types in Cyprus, through restoration (Action C.3) and habitat creation (Action C.6) at selected locations of Rizoelia National Forest Park.
The Action Plans will consist of two parts:
1. The first part will present general information on each targeted habitat type, the ecology and the biology of the keystone species according to bibliography, as well as any actions taken in Cyprus and in Europe for the enhancement of the conservation status of the habitat type.
2. The second part will describe the actions foreseen to take place during the project for the enhancement of the targeted habitat type, the methodology and also the time frame for their implementation.
Furthermore, a Feasibility Study will be prepared and identify all the obstacles and knowledge gaps regarding re-creation and management of the habitat type *5220 (Action C.6).
The action will take place during February - October 2014.
Expected results:
  • Two Action Plans (one for each habitat type)
  • A Feasibility Study

Β Purchase/lease of land and/or compensation payments for use rights
Not applicable

C Concrete conservation actions

C.1: On site habitat demarcation and fencing of gypsum steppes *1520
The purpose of this action is the demarcation of habitat type *1520 within Rizoelia National Forest Park. For this, the results of Actions A.1 and A.5 will be taken into consideration. The demarcation is expected to result the facilitation of public accessibility and guidance of visitors towards specific trails, discouraging the access in the targeted habitat type, thus limiting threats and impacts (e.g. littering, trampling and fires).
The action will be implemented during the period November 2014 - May 2015.
Expected results:
  • Demarcation of selected parts (2000 m) of the targeted habitat type *1520 through "soft-fencing" (cordon, metallic posts).

C.2: Minimizing the impact of competitive vegetation on priority habitat types *5220 and *1520
This action focuses on the minimization of the impact of competitive vegetation on the natural regeneration of the keystone species of each targeted habitat type. Such an impact was preliminarily observed mainly for the habitat arborescent matorral with Ziziphus by the competition of Acacia saligna and also by other exotics species that have been planted in the area such as Pinus pinea and Eucalyptus spp.
All treatments will be carefully designed and implemented for the protection of the site's biodiversity and will refer to the control of the abundance and careful removal (applying specific techniques) of competitive species (e.g. Acacia saligna, Pinus pinea, Eucalyptus spp.). The action will take place in locations where competition with co-existing vegetation is intensive, and these locations will be identified in Action A.1.
The action will begin in June 2014 and will conclude in December 2016.
Expected results:
  • It is roughly estimated that 500 individuals of the competitive species will be treated, covering a total area of 0.4 ha.

C.3: Restoration of the targeted habitat types
This action will be implemented according to the Action Plans that will be prepared within the framework of Action A.5 and the activities will take place in selected locations which will also be determined by the Action Plans. For the implementation of this Action, the knowledge and experiences accumulated through successful restoration activities of habitat type *5220 within the framework of LIFE Nature project LIFE04 NAT/CY/00013, will be utilized.
For the implementation of this action the following activities will take place:
1. Plantations of Ziziphus lotus' individuals and of several characteristic species of the targeted habitat type *5220 (e.g. Asparagus stipularis, Phagnalon rupestre, Coridothymus capitatus and Noaea mucronata) will be implemented at locations where the conservation status of the habitat type *5220 is quite bad (inter situ conservation).
2. Seed dispersal of the keystone species of the habitat type *1520 (e.g. Gypsophila linearifolia, Campanula fastigiata and Herniaria hemistemon) in appropriate locations, both for enhancement (in situ conservation) and restoration (inter situ conservation) of the habitat. For seed dispersal, the results of Action C.5 will be taken into consideration.
The activities of this action will be applied in a pilot level during the second year of the project at selected locations. The following year will be implemented at all locations proposed by the Action Plans. 
The action will begin in October 2014 and will conclude by the end of the project, in February 2017.
Expected results:
  • Plantation of at least 1,000 Ziziphus lotus, 60 Asparagus stipularis, 60 Phagnalon rupestre, 60 Coridothymus capitatus and 60 Noaea mucronata individuals.
  • Restoration of 1 ha of the habitat type *5220.
  • Restoration of 0.1 ha of the habitat type *1520.
  • Enhancement of 0.1 ha of the habitat type *1520.
  • Dispersal of at least 6,000 seeds of the species Gypsophila linearifolia, Campanula fastigiata and Herniaria hemistemon.

C.4: Fire Prevention
Specific measures for the prevention or minimization of the risk of fire, taking into account the special characteristics of the targeted priority habitat types will be implemented within the framework of this action.
Fire prevention measures will be related to the management of flammable biomass or other material and will include removal of flammable vegetation found at the boundaries of the targeted habitat types and limitation of vehicle and visitor's access close to the targeted habitat types.
The action will begin in January 2015 and will conclude by the end of the project, in February 2017.
Expected results:
  • Prevention of habitat loss by potential fires and increase of public awareness on fire hazards.

C.5: In situ and inter situ conservation of the targeted habitat types keystone species
The aim of this action is the conservation of the targeted habitat types through activities that focus on their keystone species.
Within the action's framework, the following measures will take place:
1. Collection of a considerable number of seeds of targeted habitats keystone species, as well as accompanying (perennial) species. The seeds collected will be used for production of saplings and dispersal in selected locations.
2. Preparation of protocols on germination, growth and outplanting of the keystone species of the targeted habitat types.
3. Production of saplings of the keystone and accompanying (perennial) species of the targeted habitat types. The saplings will be used for specific conservation activities (Actions C.3 and C.6).
The action will begin in November 2013 and will conclude by the end of the project in February 2017.
Expected results:
  • One Protocol on seed germination, growth and outplanting of Ziziphus lotus and any keystone (perennial) species of *1520 habitat type, that will be determined during Action A.2.
  • Production of saplings for the needs of Actions C.3 and C.6. It is foreseen the production of 2,500 saplings of Ziziphus lotus and 350 saplings of each of the keystone species of *5220 (Asparagus stipularis, Phagnalon rupestre, Coridothymus capitatus, Noaea mucronata) and *1520. 

C.6: Habitat re-creation of arborescent matorrals with Ziziphus (*5220) adjacent to Rizoelia area
The action aims at the establishment of the habitat type *5220 in an area where the habitat was known to occur (habitat re-creation) in the past, outside the Natura 2000 site "Ethniko Dasiko Parko Rizoelias" (CY6000006), but within the Rizoelia National Forest Park.
The action will comprise the following phases:
1.  Preparatory phase which will include eradication of competitive vegetation, taking into account the results of Action A.2.
2. Second phase which will include establishing thickets of Ziziphus lotus in isolated groups and keystone species of habitat *5220, among existing indigenous vegetation. The area / size of the groups will vary from about 200 - 800 m2. The plantlets utilized will be produced within the framework of Action C.5 and their exact number will be defined in the Action Plan for habitat type *5220 (Action A.5).
3. Final phase which will start following the end of the project and will be implemented under the supervision of the Department of Forests (competent authority). It will refer to the maintenance of the plantations and/or replacement of any loss.
The action will begin in November 2013 and will conclude by the end of the project in February 2017.
Expected results:
  • Plantation of at least 1,500 Ziziphus lotus individuals and 250 individuals of certain species (Asparagus stipularis, Phagnalon rupestre, Coridothymus capitatus, Noaea mucronata).
  • Restoration of 2 ha of habitat type *5220.
  • Report on the results of the habitat type *5220 re-creation.

D Monitoring of the impact of the project actions

D.1: Monitoring of Concrete Conservation Actions
This action is designed to measure the effectiveness of the concrete conservation actions as compared to the initial situation prior to the start of the project. Within the framework of this action a Conservation Monitoring Protocol will be prepared and it will be complementary to the 'Project Management Manual' (Action F.1).
The Conservation Monitoring Protocol will provide information such as:
1. The indicators for monitoring the impact of the project's concrete conservation actions on the status of the targeted habitat types.
2. The beneficiary which will be responsible for the monitoring of each indicator.
3. The sources of information that will be used for the monitoring of each indicator.
4. The assessment criteria for each indicator.
5. The time-frame for the assessment of each indicator.
6. The target numbers (where applicable) for each indicator and for different phases of the project.
The Conservation Monitoring Protocol will be reviewed and approved by project's Scientific Committee.
The action will begin in November 2013 and will conclude by the end of the project in February 2017.
Expected results:
  • A Conservation Monitoring Protocol.

D.2: Socio-economic study
The aim of this action is the identification and assessment of the impacts of the project on selected socio-economic components of the local communities of Larnaka and Aradipou, as well as the ecosystem services in the area. For the identification and classification of ecosystem services provided by the park, the Millennium Ecosystem assessment framework will be utilized.
The action will run throughout the project (September 2013 - February 2017).
Expected results:
  • A study on the impacts of the project on local economy and ecosystem services.

Ε Public awareness and dissemination of results

Ε.1: Information campaign
The action focus on the promotion of public awareness about the actions, targets and expected results of the project as well as the enhancement of the active role of the different stakeholders in the project. The target groups of this action are: Government authorities, local authorities and local people, universities, tourists, the Union of agro-tourism enterprises, farmers, relevant NGOs and the media.
The following activities are envisaged for this action:
1. Local workshops.
2. Notice boards.
3. Habitat information boards.
4. Media coverage (press release & article per year).
5. Newsletters.
6. Leaflets.
7. Final Info Day.
The action runs from the beginning (September 2013) till the end of the project (February 2017).
Expected results:
  • Two local workshops.
  • Four notice boards.
  • Four habitat information boards.
  • Media coverage: three press releases, three articles in newspapers/magazines.
  • Three newsletters.
  • One leaflet.
  • Final Info Day.

Ε.2: Website development - Production of promotion material
The aim of the Action is the promotion of the project and the presentation of the scientific data and the results that will arise from the project in several target groups. This will be implemented through:
1. The development of a project website.
2. The creation of a Facebook project account.
3. The development of promotion material.

The action runs from the beginning (September 2013) till the end of the project (February 2017).
Expected results:
  • Project website.
  • Facebook project account.
  • Hats and pens.

Ε.3: Conferences
This Action focuses on the presentation and publication of the scientific data and the results that will arise from the project through participation in scientific conferences.
The action will conclude by December 2016.
Expects results:
  • Four presentations in international conferences and four publications in the book of abstracts/proceedings of these conferences.

Ε.4: Layman's report
The aim of this Action is the production of a Layman's report. A Layman's report would present the scientific data and the results that will arise from the project, in an approachable way to the general public. The target groups of this action are schools, universities, competent authorities, NGOs, local people, local authorities and the general public. 
The preparation of the Layman's report will begin in September 2016 and will conclude at the end of the project.
Expected results:
  • A Layman's report.

F Overall project operation and monitoring of the project progress

F.1: Project management
This Action aims on the effective administrative, scientific and financial coordination and proper implementation of the project.
The management of the project is the responsibility of the Project Management Team (PMT), which includes:
1. The Project Management Team Leader.
2. The Project Manager.
3. The Scientific Coordinator.
4. The Financial Manager.
The PMT is responsible for the overall management of the project and the timely implementation of the project's action and the preparation of its deliverables. Thus the members of PMT are in constant communication.
The operation of the PMT secures the effective communication and coordination of the participating organizations, the Stakeholder Committee and the Scientific Committee, the LIFE External Monitoring Team and the European Committee.
The action runs throughout the duration of the project.
Expected results:
  • Constitution and operation of the Project Management Team.

F.2: Project monitoring
This action is specifically designed for monitoring the project's progress and to evaluate the timely and proper implementation of its actions.
For the sound monitoring of the project's activities a 'Project Monitoring Protocol' will be developed by the Project Management Team. The Protocol will refer to:
1. The indicators of the project monitoring.
2. The beneficiary that will be responsible for the monitoring of each indicator.
3. The sources of information that will be used for the monitoring of each indicator.
4. The assessment criteria for each indicator.
5. The time-frame of the assessment for each indicator.
6. The target numbers (where applicable) for each indicator and for different phases of the project.
The Project Monitoring Protocol refers to all project's actions, apart of the Conservation Actions (Actions C). The monitoring of Actions C will be implemented through the Conservation Monitoring Protocol (Action D.1).
The action will conclude at the end of the project (February 2017).
Expected results:
  • A Project Monitoring Protocol. 

F.3: Scientific Committee
The purpose of this action is the establishment of a Scientific Committee (SC) which provides advice and evaluates the scientific quality of the work undertaken for the project.
The SC consists of:
1. The Project Management Team Leader.
2. The Project Manager.
3. The Scientific Coordinator.
4. A representative of Frederick University.
5. A representative of the Department of Environment.
6. Three external scientific experts.
The SC is active throughout the duration of the project. Official meetings of the SC will take place in February 2014 and April 2016.
Expected results:
  • Two Scientific Committee meetings.
  • Two documents reporting minutes of each meeting.

F.4: Stakeholder Committee
The purpose of this action is the establishment of a Stakeholder Committee (ShC); a group of scientists, policy makers and representatives of the local authorities. The ShC is involved in the implementation and management of the project, by providing the necessary support and advice, as well as information, to local authorities and other interested groups. Through its operation, the ShC, enhances the participation and collaboration of all stakeholders.
The ShC is active throughout the duration of the project. Official meetings of the ShC will take place every October till the end of the project (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016).
The Stakeholder Committee consists of nine members:
1. The Project Management Team Leader (representative of coordinating beneficiary).
2. The Project Manager.
3. The Scientific Coordinator.
4. The official representative of the Ministry of Interior.
5. The Director (or official representative) of the Department of Environment.
6.  A representative from the local community situated around the selected location.
7. The Director (or official representative) of Larnaca District Development Agency.
8. A representative of an NGO.
9. A representative of local farmers.
Expected results:
  • Four official meetings of the ShC.
  • Four documents reporting minutes of each meeting.

F.5: Networking with other LIFE and/or non-LIFE projects
The purpose of this action is the networking with other relevant LIFE and non-LIFE projects, focusing on exchanging of information and experiences on complex issues related to the project, such as the impact of climatic change on the priority habitat types' viability, the legislative framework of the competent authorities of Cyprus for nature conservation, the approaches and methods for invasive species removal and the natural habitats restoration and management in Europe.
Within the framework of this action, a two-day experts' workshop will be organized focusing on the impact of climatic change on priority habitat types' viability and on best practices for their restoration. The project will bring together scientists, who were involved in other projects of similar conservation issues, such as:
  • LIFE00 NAT/E/007304 (Cabo de Gata - Improvement of the management of the SCI and SPA 'Cabo de Gata - Nijar').
  • LIFE04 NAT/CY/000013 (Conservation management in Natura 2000 sites of Cyprus).
  • LIFE03 NAT/E/000059 (Habitats N-E Murcia - Gestiόn integral de habitats de la comarca noroeste de Murcia).
Moreover, two visits at projects abroad will be organized, one to Murcia and one to Cabo de Gata (October 2014), in order to obtain experiences and information.
The visits of project members is expected to take place by the end of October 2014.
Expected results:
  • One report from the visits of team members to other similar projects.
  • A two-day expert's workshop.
  • Proceedings of the expert's workshop.

F.6: After-LIFE Conservation Plan
The 'After-Life Conservation Plan' will describe how the partners plan to continue and develop the actions that have initiated through this project, after the end of the project. Moreover it will describe how the longer term management of the targeted priority habitat types will be secured. The 'After-Life Conservation Plan' will give details on the actions that will be carried out in the future and it will form a separate chapter of the Final Report (February 2017).
The Plan will be completed at the end of the project and it will be included in the Final Report.
Expected results:
  • After-LIFE Conservation Plan.


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Improving the conservation status of the priority habitat types *1520 and *5220 at the
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