In Akrotiri some people experience the miracles of nature from close up!

* NOTE: All the tributes of All About Limassol (as the Official Guide of Limassol) aim to ONLY highlight the special aspects of this wonderful city, so that everyone can be aware of the exceptional options they offer. Under no circumstances do they have any promotional or nominal value, and they do not serve the interests of Companies, Municipalities, Organizations or Individuals.

The - not so small - "house on the prairie" at the Akrotiri peninsula is, one might say, the yard of miracles. Just a few kilometers outside the city center of Limassol, the meadow and the habitat of the salt lake are full of wildlife, from rare birds, plants and animals, from cows grazing herds with their young and small donkeys’ communities.

Thomas, Pandelis, Koulla, Sophie and Vakis are the people living at the… little house on the prairie in Limassol, officers of the Akrotiri Environmental Education and Information Center, who explore how to live in harmony with the habitat. While contributing to its preservation, at the same time they teach all of us how to benefit from it. This was not accidental, nor happened overnight, but only through organized efforts, strenuous work and long-term planning.

Nature is a school… literally!
More than 28 educational programs (1-day, full-day and 2-day) for the flora and fauna, the wetlands, the coastal ecosystems, the history and the culture are now the core activity of the Akrotiri Environmental Education and Information Center. The teaching area is the habitat itself, while in the building presentations, interactive activities and laboratory studies take place.

Tens of thousands of students have so far attended the programs. The Center is also open to the public with over 10000 people visiting every year. The Center is part of the network of Environmental Education Centers of the Ministry of Education and Culture, together with another 4 centers in various regions of Cyprus.

Water and vegetation management works, incentives to increase grazing and the basket making craft, have been part of improving biodiversity and offer social and economic opportunities to the local community.

The Darwin Plus program «Akrotiri Meadow Restoration: a wetland landmark in the British Bases in Cyprus", with a 2-year duration, is implemented with funding from the United Kingdom and completed in March 2017. Implementing partners are the Akrotiri Environmental Education Center, BirdLife Cyprus and the RSPB in collaboration with local communities and other Bodies.

With the construction of a bird watch and nature trails with information signs, by organizing conferences and other events, the Center seeks to highlight the importance of habitat nearby.

These past years, research activity has been intensified on several issues, with special emphasis on birds, plants and the ecology of the wetlands. Several researchers are working with the Center and the results are impressive. They are monitoring the migration of various species of birds by placing transmitters, mainly on prey birds (hawks and eagles), but on Flamingos, too.

For example it has been extensive research on the Eleonora falcon, which nests in the area and in winter the whole population migrates to Madagascar. The nesting sites have been identified, as well as the feeding areas and migration routes, in order to apply protection measures. An important number of rare plants at risk of extinction have been spotted, in order to focus to the protection and conservation efforts.

The survey results are utilized directly in environmental education and the management of the area, while questions and gaps arising from the management, become research material. Note that in the Cape Peninsula there are over 30 species at risk of extinction.

Us and our world

People have been the core of this effort in Akrotiri. Apart from the Center's officers, the local community has been actively involved in all the above areas. The aim of the program, after all, is the development of ecotourism and the attraction of visitors to the Community. Thus, the preservation of the habitat and the hundreds of species of wildlife, become the way to self-preservation and progress for the residents of the area.

swipe gallery