The loss of biodiversity is worrying, and the need to raise awareness on the subject is imperative, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Wednesday at a conference to highlight the effects of animals killed on the road.
“As experts point out, the destruction we have brought to biodiversity and ecosystems has reached levels that threaten our well-being at least as much as climate change caused by humans,” the minister said.
Unfortunately, figures from both the EU and a recent UN report show that the biodiversity loss has increased.
Referring to the factors that lead to this situation, he noted one of them is roadkill which has many environmental, social and economic consequences.
In addition of the death of animals, there is also a risk of a loss of human lives in cases where vehicles crash into animals, while dead animals left on the road may put the health of the public at risk.
In Cyprus, there has been a significant increase in the road network in recent decades resulting in many animals, including protected species, being run over and killed.
“It is imperative to raise awareness, and we need to change our behaviour if we want to preserve and improve living conditions and protect the environment,” the minister pointed out.
He assured his audience that biodiversity conservation is a high priority for the government which is developing a range of policies and initiatives to this end.
The conference took place in the framework of the EnVeROS – Erasmus + project on ‘Environmental education through roadkill observation systems’.
The Cyprus Open University has focused on investigating the issue of roadkill through the Cyprus Roadkill Observation System (CyROS) programme during the past two years.
The site can be found here https://www.cyroadkills.org/