Department of Forests of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment

Country

Cyprus

The Department of Forests is one of the oldest government departments established by the British Colonial Government in Cyprus. The operation of the Department began in 1879, a year after the arrival of the British on the island. Other services such as the “Department of Agriculture” which was established in 1896 were initially under the jurisdiction of the “Chief Forester”.

Previously, during the occupation of the island by Turkey in 1570 – 1878, there was no systematic management or protection of the forests. The forests were then almost destroyed because of uncontrolled felling of trees and other vegetation, free grazing and large area land reclamation for agricultural development and also because of large scale fires. 
Today, the Department of Forests continues to be responsible for the Management and Protection of forests for social and environmental purposes as well as for recreation. These are first priority objects while timber collection is simply a forest activity for the improvement of the forests where it is required. 

The main objects of the new Forest Policy of the Department of Forests are: 
  • Sustainable development and conservation of natural resources
  • Expansion of forests through the reforestation of government and degraded private lands
  • Conservation, improvement and promotion of the natural environment and natural inheritance
  • Extending and upgrading the infrastructure for tourist and recreation purposes
  • Development and revival of the villages adjacent to forests
  • Environmental education of the citizens and the creation of forest consciousness
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