Cyprus accedes to the Convention

Cyprus accedes to the Convention

4 September 2001
Cyprus

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The Bureau is very glad to announce that on 11 July 2001 the Republic of Cyprus deposited its instrument of accession to the Ramsar Convention with the Director-General of UNESCO, and thus the Convention, as amended by the Paris Protocol of 1982, will come into force for Cyprus on 11 November 2001. In accordance with Article 2 of the Convention, Cyprus has designated "Larnaca Salt Lake" as its obligatory first Wetland of International Importance in the Ramsar List. Larnaca, or Larnaka, Salt Lake (1,585 hectares, 34°52’N 033°33’E) is a highly saline seasonal lake which supports significant numbers of overwintering and stopover waterbirds. The basis of its productivity is the unicellular alga Dunaniella salina, which supports "fairy shrimps" Artemia salina and Branchianella spinosa (especially in the "airport lake" southern arm of the main lake, adjacent to Lakarna International Airport), which forms the main food for flamingos, chiefly Phoenicopterus ruber. Water levels do not exceed one meter, and salt flat halophytic communities fringe much of the lakeside. An important Muslim shrine, Hala Sultan Tekke, as well as a late Bronze Age archaeological site and an impressive 18th century aqueduct, add interest to the site. Private land, both Greek and Turkish Cypriot, fringe part of the lake, but the lagoons are state-owned and further acquisitions are planned, except for areas owned by Moslem and Christian Orthodox religious organizations, which are constitutionally protected from acquisition. The site was made a protected area in 1997 and a management plan is in place; an information centre and hides are planned. Urban development in the north and east of the lake and airport traffic in the south are seen as potential problems, but a shooting club facility is being relocated outside the reserve in order to reduce the threat from lead shot. Ramsar site no. 1081. [24/08/01]