Lobbying for better bird protection in Cyprus
Bird-trapping has long been banned in Cyprus, but the use of limesticks in particular is regarded as a trivial offence in some circles, if not that of a cultural tradition worthy of protection. The authorities find it difficult to work effectively against poaching, and the political will to take vigorous action is often lacking. Last but not least, some politicians rely on the votes of the poachers and therefore openly support them.
In such a complex situation, practical work on the ground can only be part of the broader campaign. Collecting traps and nets only makes sense if the extent and impact of poaching is documented and the general public are made aware of the scale of the problem. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) therefore publishes a detailed report with the results and analyses of our work after each bird protection camps. These reports go to the local authorities as well as to the EU Commission. Our regular press releases also draw attention to the situation.
In addition, we coordinate our work with nature and animal protection associations in Cyprus and adjust our approach according to the political situation. In addition, we have built up constant pressure on the authorities through regular meetings with the relevant ministries and police forces; and developed our contacts with the EU Commission and with the embassies of the countries from which our volunteers come.
We were particularly successful with this strategy in the British Sovereign Base Areas. Here, the police started to step up their work against poaching after the committee and the RSPB launched protests and press campaigns against the ongoing bird slaughter.