Cyprus – A point of attraction for so many conquerors throughout the centuries. A gem many wanted to posses for its strategic placement and the abundance of fossil wealth present on the island. Nevertheless, copper and gold weren’t the only precious commodities in Cyprus in the old times.

There’s a part of our island’s natural history only known by a few: Cyprus used to be covered from top to bottom by a wealth of vegetation. From high up Troodos mountains, all the way down to the coasts, Cyprus used to be covered by trees – lush and diverse forests primarily consisting of Cyprus oak – now known as Syrian oak, since for centuries now it has been extinct from Cyprus.

Why is it that we allowed a couple of centuries of intense deforestation patterns, and now, degenerative agriculture practices, lead our island towards environmental exhaustion?

What happened to that diverse paradise and why is the image we have today for Cyprus, more of a dryland, inevitably heading towards desertification?

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