EU Warns Cyprus On Bird Protection Lapse
The European Commission (EC) has warned Cyprus that it faces legal action and financial penalties if it does not designate a sufficient number of areas for protection of wild birds, said the EC today.
In June 2007, the island received a first written warning from the Commission over its failure to designate a sufficient number of areas for protection of wild birds.
"The Commission noted major shortcomings in nine out of sixteen areas considered important for birds, and while there has been some progress, a number of serious gaps remain. A final written warning points out in particular that three of the 9 areas of concern (the Paralimni Lake, the Oroklini Lake and the Akamas peninsula) still lack any designation, and that six other areas are still much smaller than the requirements of the legislation," said the EC.
Cyprus will now be required to provide scientific justifications to explain the discrepancies, and has two months to reply.
EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "Natura 2000, Europe's network of protected areas is the envy of the world – but adequate protection is vital, because its integrity must be protected."
The EC has the power to act against a Member State that does not comply with a previous judgement of the European Court of Justice and also allows the Commission to ask the Court to impose a financial penalty on the Member State concerned.