FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR OF THE FLORA OF CYPRUS
‘All things are a-flowing, sage Heraclitus says’, and never was this truth more evident than at the present time. For
many centuries changes were slow –scarcely perceptible– but now rapid advances in technology mean that an
entire landscape can be irrevocably altered in the space of months: forests disappear; rivers are diverted; marshes
drained, and wildernesses criss-crossed with motorways.
Unfortunately Nature cannot keep pace with such invasions, and everywhere naturalists are lamenting the loss of
habitats, and warning that we will ultimately pay dearly for our thoughtlessness and lack of respect.
This is no less true of Cyprus than elsewhere. Profound changes have already taken place, even within my own
lifetime, and the damage done is in some places extensive and probably irreparable. This damage will ultimately,
if extended and left unattended, destroy the attractiveness and prosperity of a uniquely interesting island.
In this regard the active co-operation of the Forestry Department, its staff, and of all Cypriots interested in nature
and natural resources is of vital importance, and the publication of this Red Data Book – thanks to the support of
the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus, could not be more welcome. The provision of up-to-date
information on the distribution and habitats of Cyprus endemics and near-endemics is also of vital importance.
I am certain that the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus will do much to safeguard the future of Cyprus habitats
and of the rich Cyprus flora, and, in doing so, earn the gratitude of generations yet to come.
My warmest congratulations to all who have contributed to, or sponsored, this important publication