External Monitoring Team visit to the LIFE Oroklini project - April '12

The External Monitoring Team of LIFE Oroklini has travelled from Athens to Cyprus in order to have its first visit to the project and meet the project’s beneficiaries. As foreseen under the LIFE program, the external team has a monitoring role for all LIFE programs on behalf of the European Commission, and will visit the LIFE Oroklini project once every year during the three years of the project’s implementation. The aim of these visits is for the monitoring team to be kept updated on the progress of the project and to provide support where needed.

The external team visited the project for two days on the 24 and 25 April 2012. On the 24 April the LIFE Oroklini project beneficiaries (Game Fund, BirdLife Cyprus, Environment Department, Department of Forests, and Voroklini Community Council) met with the external monitoring team at the Game Fund head offices, in order to give a presentation on the project and the actions foreseen and also to present the progress of the project up to date. Also, during the meeting the external monitoring team presented the LIFE common provisions and checked the financial management of the project to confirm that all the necessary procedures are put in place and are running according to the LIFE provisions.

The second day of the visit, on 25 April, the LIFE Oroklini Project Manager from the Game Fund and the Project Coordinator from BirdLife Cyprus, together with the external monitoring team, visited Voroklini Community Council and met the Secretary and the Vice-Chairman of the Council. There, the monitoring team was informedabout the events foreseen under the LIFE Oroklini project that are planned to take place at the Community Council building. The highlight of the day was the visit at Oroklini Lake where the monitoring team was informed about the importance of the Lake, saw the current condition of the Lake and the birdlife the Lake attracts ; the two qualifying species of the Oroklini SPA, the Black-winged Stilt and the Spur-winged Lapwing, in particular. The site visit was also very useful as the monitoring team got a better picture of the project and saw the areas where the actions will be implemented, such as the areas where the information point, the notice boards and the hide are more likely to be erected, the approximate area where the fencing will take place, where the invasive alien species existand other.

The two day visit was quite fruitful and provided the necessary support at the first stages of the project,  as the project beneficiaries had the opportunity to ask questions and make sure that all procedures set so far had been done so according to the LIFE guidelines and provisions.  It is also worth noting that the external monitoring team was quite pleased with the news that the illegal flea market has finally moved from the area of the Lake.

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