Thursday, February 26, 2009

Forests on Cyprus - Droughts and fires problem

Not so long ago Cyprus was known as the "Green Island" of the Mediterranean but today forests cover less than 50% of Cyprus. Cyprus forests are disappearing at very fast pace, not only because of deforestation, but mostly because of droughts and fires. In some part of Cyprus land is so dry that even despite seemingly enough rain forests are still drying up. Numbers of trees with dry branches have reached critical level so it is really no surprise that Cyprus's forestry department recently set up a two-year action plan for 2009-2010 that should include the installation of irrigation systems to make the most of any rainfall.

And as in many other parts of the world, the less forests means of course less habitats for species that live in these forests. Cyprus is no exception, and environmentalists are already warning about significant drop in wildlife that usually inhabits these forests. Not only trees but also animals are in need of water, and forestry department has even started placing water stations around the forests to help the animals remain in their natural habitat.

Drought and fires are big threat to forests on Cyprus

And once climate change impact becomes even stronger with higher temperatures things could become much worse, especially to trees in mountain regions that have adapted to colder climates, and environmentalists are already warning that invasive species such as Acacia could be fast spreading around the island.

If the rain continues many hope that situation should significantly improve next year. However a good action plan that would ensure proper use of rain water in years to come is still a "must thing" for survival of forests on Cyprus.

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