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Building Sustainable Future for Mountain Agriculture: CyI Leads a Successful Ecosystem Restoration Living Lab in Troodos Mountains



An Ecosystem Restoration Workshop held on May 17-18, 2024, in Kyperounta at the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus and organized by The Cyprus Institute, has concluded with great success. This capacity-building event was part of the PRIMA-REACT4MED project, dedicated to combating soil degradation and promoting innovative management of agri-food systems across the Mediterranean. The workshop focused on traditional agricultural practices, specifically the construction and restoration of agricultural drystone terrace walls, which are crucial for sustainable land and water management in Mediterranean mountainous regions. It brought together professional grape-growers, winery managers and agricultural workers to enhance their skills and knowledge in these vital techniques.
The workshop commenced with a series of presentations, including an overview of the REACT4MED project by Dr. Christos Zoumides, Research Scientists at the Cyprus Institute. A session on drystone techniques around the world was presented by Ms. Antonia Theodosiou, the Environment Commissioner of Cyprus. Additionally, Mr. Christos Theodorou, architect and member of the Petra sti Petra Foundation, provided an in-depth presentation on drystone building techniques including their ecological and structural benefits. The practical sessions on the following day allowed participants to apply these techniques firsthand, constructing a drystone wall under the guidance of experts.
Drystone knowledge is recognized by UNESCO as a practice passed down from generation to generation and is therefore part of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage. It’s a technique applied for millennia and embodies traditional knowledge that is necessary for maintaining ecological balance and sustainable resource use. This event aimed not only to enhance practical skills but also to preserve and transmit this valuable traditional knowledge to new workers and the younger generation. Organized in collaboration with the Kyperounta Winery and supported by the Office of the Environment Commissioner of Cyprus, the event was a resounding success, fostering knowledge exchange and practical skills essential for ecosystem restoration in the Mediterranean. The Cyprus Institute extends its gratitude to all participants and partners for their invaluable contributions to this initiative.



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