Posted by: Dan | June 22, 2009

Wildlife Reclaiming the Buffer Zone

Rusted car in Variseia
Via BBC News, Sheep rule defunct Cyprus village:

In 1974, after Turkish troops arrived on the island amid political upheaval, the residents of Variseia – who were Greek Cypriots – received 24 hours’ notice to leave their homes as conflict enveloped Cyprus.

Eventually a divide was created to separate Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriots, a barrier that runs through the island. In parts, such as in the capital city Nicosia, the divide is only a few meters apart, but elsewhere on the island it stretches to over 7km wide. Variseia sits in this no-man’s land to the mountainous north of the island.

“This area was originally called the green line because a soldier drew the line with a green marker pen on the map, but we’d like to show the world it is a green line because it’s a wildlife corridor,” remarks Nicolas Jarraud, an environmental officer from the local UN Development Programme.

Pigeons, foxes and rats have got comfortable where humans once bedded down. But more exotic animals and plants have also found the lack of human activity in the buffer zone to their liking.


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