Scientific Paper at Forests Journal

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Do People Understand and Observe the Effects of Climate Crisis on Forests? The Case Study of Cyprus

Paper available at: https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/12/9/1152

In collaboration with the Friends of the Earth (Cyprus), we have published the above paper.

Summary: A remarkable percentage of 65.62% of Cypriot residents, who participated in this study, stated that they noticed moderate, much or very much degradation on Cypriot Pine forests. This should sound the alarm concerning climate crisis for introducing policy-making that will mitigate its effects and moderate desertification. This is a quantitative study and a questionnaire was used as a tool for understanding Cypriot residents’ beliefs about climate change and its impact on Cypriot forests. The responses received were 416 and this corresponds to 0.051% of the targeted population. The results were analysed according to the various demographic data collected, using scatterplots and Spearman rank correlation coefficients to better understand the relationship between selected questions and demographic data. The demographic categories of age, education and employability status correlate (weakly or moderate) to the belief on whether climate change is important and will affect us in the future. Additionally, noticing degradation in pine forests was correlated with age category and employability status – moderate and weakly respectively – but it was not correlated with education level. This is interest since it indicates a possible association between employability and beliefs/observations about climate changes. In the open-ended questions, participants – as suspected by experienced foresters – wrote that they noticed (a) lack of regeneration and as noted in the literature, noticed (b) lack of soil moisture, while the most common reply was (c) tree dryness. It is worth highlighting, that in the selection of the most endangered Cypriot forest due to climate change, Akamas was ranked first and Troodos second. Akamas experienced recent fire events and the dry conditions make fire spreading easier, while Pinus Nigra that resides in Troodos forests is under pressure since Pinus Brutia is invading its habitat. Nevertheless, because all forested areas in Cyprus received a significant number of votes, each area may be have been affected somehow. The participants ranked coniferous as the most threatened type of forested species; coniferous includes the under pressure Pinus Nigra but assessing the overall vulnerability of Mediterranean conifers is crucial.

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