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ISOTECH Ltd has been appointed by Frederick University to develop and implement the DeCyDe-4-Biodiversity decision support method, to evaluate and prioritize the measures that have been proposed in the National Biodiversity Strategy, using a participatory approach that will capture the opinions of the key actors and stakeholders in Cyprus. The resulting prioritized list of measures will assist in the preparation of a specific implementation plan that will lead to the protection of the biodiversity of Cyprus. The measures will be evaluated and prioritized using a set of coherent and inclusive criteria that will ensure that the selected measures will be sustainable, effective, acceptable and meet contractual obligations.

The Strategy

The National Strategy for the Biodiversity of Cyprus was developed by Frederick University, following an agreement that was signed between the University and the Department of Environment of the Cypriot Ministry for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. The Strategy:

  1. Presents information on the ecological characteristics of Cyprus and analyses the current situation of the Cypriot biodiversity,
  2. Presents the pressures and threats that directly of indirectly affect the Cypriot biodiversity, and
  3. Outlines goals and measures for its preservation.

The DeCyDe-4-Biodiversity Methodology

The prioritization of the measures will take place at two levels: the expert/stakeholder level and the decision/policy maker level, at two separate workshops:

  • In the first workshop, a group of experts and stakeholders, split in 4 groups, will prioritize, using their expert opinion, and  based on one of four criteria, which have been defined as follows:
      1. Sustainability, which includes the cost for the implementation of the measure, the likelihood of securing funds/means for the measure’s implementation, and whether the measure is technically feasible;
      2. Effectiveness, which includes how effective the measure will be in addressing specific risks or threats, enhancing current knowledge and enhancing ecosystem services; 
      3. Contractual obligations, including European directives and contractual obligations arising from global strategies; and 
      4. Acceptance, which includes scientific acceptance, social acceptance and acceptance by governmental bodies (policy making bodies).
  • In the second workshop, which will be attended by high-ranking officials, decision and policy makers will provide the weightings for the measure categories and the assessment criteria, thus highlighting the most pressing regulatory and political needs regarding the preservation of biodiversity in Cyprus.

Thus, the combination of the outputs from the two workshops will result in a prioritized list of measures that will (i) address the most urgent Cypriot needs for protecting and preserving the island’s biodiversity, and (ii) meet the policy/regulatory obligations of Cyprus.

The 1st DeCyDe-4-Biodiversity Workshop

The first DeCyDe-4-Biodiversity workshop, bringing together 40 representatives of governmental departments, academia and civil society, was successfully completed on Wednesday 28 January 2015. The workshop resulted in a prioritised list of measures, within specific categories. You can find more information and photographs here.