THE LANDSCAPE OBSERVATORY OF LARNACA DISTRICT (CYPRUS)

The Landscape Observatory of Larnaca District was created in 2012. The aim of the Centre is to monitor and record all initiatives in the area for the improvement and promotion of natural, river, agricultural and urban landscape as well as to implement the actions of the action plan and the territorial charter.
The Landscape Observatory is based at the Environmental Information Centre of Larnaca Mountainous Area and the actors that constitute the observatory are the following:
•    Larnaca District Administration Office
•    Local authorities (Larnaca Municipality, Athienou Municipality, Aradippou Municipality and the 18 communities that belong to the Larnaca Mountainous Area),
•    Larnaca Tourist Company
•    Environmental Association of Larnaca
•    Association for the protection of birds and animals of Larnaca and Famagusta district
The function is based on a memorandum of understanding that is sign between the involved actors.  Due to the fact that the action plan has a list of 65 different actions (different level of priority) the observatory decided to choose to implement, at first stage, the high priority actions. For accomplishing this goal we set up a monitoring committee for the implementation of the action plan (12 representatives from the actors). The monitoring committee meets once a month and discuss the status and the implementation progress of the action plan.  The monitoring committee had several meeting with the ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment to inform about actions taken in Larnaca District and to promote the importance of landscape though national landscape actions plan.
In progress we have the following actions:
1.    Restore and maintain the traditional buildings of the village (actions taken place in Lefkara, Skarinou and Agioi Vavatsinias villages).
2.    Protection of forest from fires (actions in co-operation with the Forest Department and though the volunteers).
3.    Encourage the local authorities and citizens to participate in forest cleaning campaigns (participation in the Lets do it Cyprus cleaning campaign and organization of cleaning campaigns with the schools).
4.    Promote the conservation of the biological diversity of ecosystems, habitats and biomes and species biodiversity (information campaigns, in process to establish botanical gardens in several places of the island in order to conserved endemic and rare plans).
5.    Creation of walking and bicycle paths and routes (with funding from a European Project we created 1 walking and 2 bicycle paths in Larnaca District)
6.    Recreation of the village squares (actions taken in most of the villages of Larnaca Mountainous area).
7.    Promotion of Efficient use of water (with funding from a European Project we have two information campaigns, one for students and one for farmers, for efficient use of water.