Establishment of a Plant Micro-reserve Netwrok in Cyprus for the Conservation of Priority Species and Habitats

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Plant Micro-Reserves

Plant Micro-Reserves

The Plant Micro-Reserves (PMRs) approach was initially developed about 15 years ago in Valencia (Spain) and since then has been successfully implemented in several other areas of Europe. It was first developed around 1990 by
Emilio Laguna and was originally put into practice in 1994 within the framework of an EU-funded LIFE project. This concept is now widely accepted as one of the most effective practices towards the conservation of plant diversity in small land plots that are of peak value in terms of plant richness, endemism or rarity.

PMRs are legally defined as areas of small surface size (less than 20 ha), in order to:
- protect a selected sample of the main subpopulations of the rarest, endemic or threatened species and to
- establish a continuously monitored network.
Such a patchy network of small protected areas is considered as a complementary tool to the generally adopted "large site" strategy that has recently been materialised into the European Network of nature conservation, NATURA 2000.

According to Article 6 of the Habitats Directive, Member States are required to undertake conservation measures in order to maintain species and habitats at a "favourable conservation status". If necessary, these measures may involve appropriate management plans. The guidelines set by Article 6 led to the conceiving of the PMR approach. The PMR model is considered as a very important approach by international resolutions and strategies (national and European), such as:
- IUCN 2004. Resolutions of the World Conservation Congress, Aman. Resolution 2.68, Conservations of plants in Europe.
- Planta Europa and the Council of Europe (Smart. J.
et al., eds.) 2002. Saving the Plants of Europe. European Plant Conservation. Strategy. Plantlife International. London.
- Laguna. E. & Perez Rocher B., Transl. into Spanish 2003. Estrategia Europea de Conservacion de la Flora. Generalitat Valenciana. Valencia.

This project is based on the best practices that have been successfully implemented in other PMR projects around Europe. Moreover, the scientist who proposed the Plant Micro-reserves approach, Emilio Laguna, considers Cyprus as an ideal territory for the creation of a network of micro-reserves for the protection of plant populations, due to its particular natural conditions and the large number of botanical micro-endemics.

Valencian Plant Microreserves Network (Spain)

The Cretan PMR project (Greece)

The Slovenian PMR project

The Bulgarian PMR project

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