COLLATERAL IMPACTS OF TRAPPING ON TOURISM AND PROPOSALS TO OVERCOME THEM July 2011 Report by Costas Orountiotis, Environmental Engineer Panayiota Koutsofta, Environmental Studies Artemis Yiordamli, Geographer-Lawyer
Bird migration mapSource: Κουρτελλαρίδης Λ., Τα πουλιά που φωλιάζουν στην Κύπρο, 1997
Well over 300 bird species use Cyprus as a rest-stop on theirmigratory route.Source: Bird Holidays: Cranes on Öland Nets and limesticks are illegal, non- selective bird trapping methods. Source: Cyprus killing Europe’s songbirds for a snack
In 2010 BirdLife Cyprus estimated that 1.700.000 birds were illegallytrapped and killed, many of which were not ambelopoulia (black caps).They included many endangered and protected species. And theywere not even edible.FoE found over 100 species in this ‘by-catch’. Otus scops cyprius (γκιώνης) S. Christodoulidis (Σ. Χριστοδουλίδης)
Such actions impact worldwide biodiversity and break EU and International law! …but that is not what we wish to talk about now...source: Thomas Hadjikyriakou
We shall talk abouteveryone’s mostpressing obsession£ € $
If some people wish to eat‘ambelopoulia,’ does it affectyour wallet and mine?
If you live in Cyprus and your livelihooddepends on tourism, and especially if you are:• a hotel owner• restaurant owner• a hotel / restaurant employee• a shop keeper• a builder of holiday homes• a tourist agent / travel agent• a tourist guide• a taxi driver... then bird trapping affects YOU!
Citizens from the European countries which provide ourtourists have a different attitude to birds… www.brilliantstudent.com Otherswww.noitikiantistasis.com Cypriot www.dailymail.co.uk
Cyprus is among that privileged group of countriesvisited by migratory birdsWe have a choice: Scenario A: We exploit the millions of migrant visitors by killing them and eating them as a delicacy! or Scenario B: We utilise the opportunity provided by the millions of migrant visitors to attract tourists and promote a positive image of Cyprus.
Scenario A will lead to…• Intensification of activist protests• Embarrassment in international media• Immediate electronic coverage of all negativeincidents• Tourist boycott of Cyprus by bird groups andsensitised individuals• Reactions in foreign parliaments
Bird slaughter makessensational news.As long as it goes on, therewill be economicrepercussions for Cyprus.
Terra Cypria has tried to measurethese economic repercussions: are they worth considering? are they serious?
Who profits from illegal bird trapping?BirdLife’s 2010 provisional estimate: 1 700 000 birds killedThere are no statistics for the numbers of different speciesthat are trapped……so let’s estimate that only 1 000 000 of these birds areedibleSince ‘ambellopoulia’ cost €60 per dozen, or €5 per bird: €5.000.000 goes to trappers and restauranteurs
Meanwhile, what has Cyprus lost?Those tourists who decided not to visitCyprus, because of our behaviourtowards migratory birds.Can we count how many made such adecision?
We used the number of peoplewho sent negative electroniccomments to CypriotGovernment Ministers in autumn2010Committee Against Bird Slaughter Campaign:5200 responses by December 2010
Cost calculations based on data from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation(CTO)5200 complainants x 75% = 3900 from tourist originating countriesAssume 50% traveling with partners = 1950 partners 5850 people who will not come to CyprusSay 5900 people x €70/day (average per CTO) x 10 days (average per CTO) = €4 095 000 lost income from people who complained
According to CTO, for every person that makes awritten complaint there are 25 others who feel thesame way. They do not bother to complainformally, but stay away in protest.€ 4.095.000 x 10 = € 40.950.000Whereas if we use CTO’s multiplier of 25 “silent protesters’’,then the annual unrealized income is … € 4.095.000 x 25 = € 102.375.000!
So for €5.000.000 of domestically generated income we may lose between €40-100 m. as unrealized income from overseas.
Conclusion 1:As long as there is a demand for ambelopoulia, illegal supply will continueConclusion 2:As long as there is tolerance towards illegal bird trapping, activists’demonstrations will continue and intensify, harming our island’s image.Conclusion 3:Consequences are not only legal and environmental, they also directlyaffect our pocketsConclusion 4:Other than lost revenue because of our behaviour towards birds, we alsolose unrealised income because we cannot promote Cyprus as a bird-watching centreConclusion 5:We must change our attitudes! Move from thecurrent Scenario A to Scenario B
Deeply rooted cultural attitudes will not changesimply because of criminalization and punishment.They change when political leaders and culturalicons lead by example towards a new direction. Πηγή:www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__Dq5_ABpFrs/TMTHd4HExmI/ AAAAAAAAN0o/19wxA-ghFic/s1600/Bornean%2BBird%2BFestival_Sepilok
In Cyprus our most vocal politicians express outrageabout “citizens’ rights”A typical news title: - “Police invade restaurant and terrorizecustomers”It could easily have appeared as: - “Following numerous warnings, police raideda restaurant and cautioned 40 customers eatingillegally trapped ambelopoulia”.As things are, the police have become the ‘badguys’ simply by trying to implement the law toprotect birds. Poachers, and the gluttons whoeat the birds, have become the ‘victims’.
Scenario B: Utilizing the opportunities offered by the migratorybirds• Birdwatching was reported as the second fastest developinghobby in Europe, and the first in the USA.• In the USA 61 million people, about 21% of the residentsthere, are engaged in birdwatching (U.S. Fish and WildlifeService) and the most recommended European destinationbirding is the island of Lesvos (internal research)• Since birdwatching trips are organized during the Spring &Autumn migratory periods, which are not peak tourist seasons,this would increase tourist income.
We suggest:(a) Public statements and messages from the President of the Republic, his Ministers and the Hunters’ Federation condemning the illegal trapping and consuming of ambelopoulia.(b) CTO consultations with its tourist partners in the private sector (hoteliers, travel agents). They should do not remain indifferent to the consequences of the bird slaughter.(c) Create a non-governmental platform to develop and implement best practices that will sensitize mass media, citizens and private business on migratory birds issues, culminating in establishing a Cyprus Bird Fair to celebrate and publicise migratory birds.
We’re talking serious moneyThe theoretical annual revenue from birdwatcher visits at KuşcennetiNational Park (Ramsar area) in Turkey, was calculated at €76,770,000(Gurluk,S.,Rehber,E. 2008) Lake Manias, Turkey Πηγή: www.flickr.com Akrotiri Lake, Cyprus Source: http://el.wikipedia.org/wik
Cyprus is privileged with three main poles ofattraction for migratory birds:Akrotiri (Ramsar site), Larnaca Salt Lake(Ramsar site), Cavo Greco coast line Why are we not utilizing this priviledge?Akrotiri Wetland Larnaca Salt Lake Cavo Greco FamagustaPhoto: Thomas Hadjikyriakou Photo: Lefteris Kalavasos Photo: Alexandros Daskalakis (Αλέξανδρος ∆ασκαλάκης)
Ordinary Cypriots should realise what they arelosing financially. They must react against birdtrapping.According to the law of supply and demand,once demand has been minimized, trappingwill no longer offer big financial rewards.Government officials, political parties, theCyprus Tourism Organisation, the touristindustry, the Hunting Federation and the massmedia have a most important role to play.