Learning to respect biodiversity

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Akrotiri Peninsula is a biodiversity hotspot on the island and the Western Mediterranean basin, which makes it ideal for an education centre with over 10,000 visitors a year.

On February 4, the Akrotiri Environmental and Education Centre marked World Wetlands Day by offering experiential workshops with its team of experts.

The event was organised with the Republic of Cyprus Unit for Environmental Education and Sustainable Development and the Akrotiri community.

One of the centre’s aims is to maximise awareness of the wetlands and the urgency of its restoration.

Wetlands Day provides the perfect opportunity to achieve those goals, allowing the centre to involve the community.

Manager of the Centre Thomas Hadjikyriakou said: “Akrotiri Peninsula is one of the biodiversity hotspots on the island and the Western Mediterranean basin.

“It hosts about 30 natural habitat types and over 800 different plant species.

“Many of them are endemic, and about 30 of them are endangered with extinction.

“A total of 364 bird species have been recorded at the Peninsula, as well as hundreds of insect species, including a large number of endemic ones.

“Our wetlands offer much, and we are always happy to see people coming to learn more about what we have here.

The Centre is supported by the British Bases in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, alongside the Akrotiri community.

It is part of a wider network of environmental education centres islandwide.

“Among the many educational programmes that the centre offers are organised tours for students from both the (British) Bases and the RoC, in which students have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork activities.

“The work being carried out by staff at the centre is remarkable,” said Hadjikyriakou.