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The Department of Forests (DF) is responsible for all in situ conservation actions in Cyprus as well as management and communication project actions
The DF comes under the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment. It has a dual mission: it is the Forest Authority of the country and the Managing Authority of the state forest estate. As Forest Authority it implements the state Forest Policy and Forest Legislation all over the country, providing technical advice and incentives to the public, but also implementing actions promoting public awareness on forest conservation, nature conservation and forest expansion. It also exercises control over forestry matters, with emphasis on forest protection. As manager of the forest estate (18% of the country’s total area), it is responsible for the protection, management, proper use and development of the various state forests areas and solely responsible for activities aiming at the prevention, detection and suppression of Forest Fires. DF is also engaged with forest education, applied forest research, management of forest protected areas including Natura 2000 sites, forest recreation including development and management of nature trails, picnic and camp sites, visitor centres and botanical gardens. It is also responsible for the establishment of roadside plantations along highways and the tending of green spaces in main government buildings. DF is extensively involved into the systematic study of Cyprus flora and fauna and especially into the conservation of endemic, rare and threatened plants. It operates a Herbarium with more than 7000 specimens, collected since 1988, which represent around 90% of the Cyprus Flora. The herbarium hosts many type specimens of recently described endemics and is registered in the Index Herbariorum under the code CYP. DF employs 34 professional foresters with degrees in forestry and related fields and more than 290 forest technicians. DF has a long experience in implementing LIFE projects. More specifically, it has been involved in the following 7 projects: LIFE13 NAT/CY/000176, LIFE12 NAT/CY/000758, LIFE10 NAT/CY/000716, LIFE10 NAT/CY/000717, LIFE09 NAT/CY/000247, LIFE08 NAT/CY/000453, LIFE 04 NAT/ CY/ 000013, and a LIFE 3rd Countries 1998.